Jake Mitchell Hart

Reba (TV series)

Reba was an American sitcom starring country music singer Reba McEntire. It premiered on The WB Television Network (The WB) network in 2001, where it ran for five seasons before The WB merged with UPN to form The CW Television Network (The CW), and it ran on The CW for its final season. When it premiered on The CW, the show became the top rated sitcom on the network, as it was on The WB.

Despite being one of The CW Network's leading shows, the long-running series ended rather abruptly, with its finale airing on Sunday, February 18, 2007.

Synopsis

The show is set in the suburbs of Houston, Texas, and stars Reba McEntire as a wisecracking single mother Reba (Nell) Hart, whose dentist ex-husband Brock (Christopher Rich) has left her to marry young, ditzy Barbra Jean (Melissa Peterman) after an affair with her. Ironically, though Reba sees "B.J." as her nemesis, Barbra Jean considers Reba her best (and perhaps only) friend. As the show progresses Reba slowly and painfully comes to the conclusion that despite all her efforts to hate her, she likes Barbra Jean and considers her a friend. During the show's first season, Reba's oldest daughter, then high school senior Cheyenne (Joanna García) became pregnant. In the pilot episode, Cheyenne married her baby's father, fellow high-schooler Van Montgomery (Steve Howey), a dim-witted but well-meaning football player. Van moves in with them, as his own parents kicked him out for standing by Cheyenne, and comes to view Reba as a surrogate parent (something Reba is very comfortable with). Reba's other two children are Kyra (Scarlett Pomers), an intelligent and rebellious teenager who shares Reba's sarcastic streak, and Jake (Mitch Holleman), a young boy just trying to sort through the mess of his family. Since the fifth season, Van and Reba have been real estate partners. The show strives to comically but realistically portray the trials and tribulations of family life in modern society.

The show was canceled when The WB Television Network and UPN merged into The CW Television Network. However, in an 11th hour move on May 17, 2006, The CW renewed Reba with a 13-episode order, reportedly to fulfill a syndication contract worth $20 million. In November 2006, The CW announced that the show would be paired with 7th Heaven, Sundays at 7 p.m., beginning later that month. Reba encores are scheduled for Sundays at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT, with a new episode at 7:30 p.m. Reba became the top-rated sitcom on the CW, also surpassing the dramas Supernatural, One Tree Hill, and Veronica Mars. The final episode aired on February 18, 2007.

Reruns of the show are a part of Lifetime TV.

Soon after making the decision to cancel the sitcom, the show's ratings sky rocketed. The CW showed strong regrets for having cancelled "Reba".

Characters

Character Actor Description
Reba Nell Hart Reba McEntire Reba is a single mother who struggles with taking care of everyone in her house, after her husband divorces her for his dental hygienist. She is temperamental, and prone to sarcastic remarks. But Reba can also be kind and caring, and is usually the sensible one. She worked as a secretary for her ex-husband's dental rival, Eugene. She becomes a real estate agent after she got fired for calling her boss a monkey's butt. Relatives: Father- J.V. (Barry Corbin), Mother- Helen (Dorothy Lyman)
Brock Enroll Hart Christopher Rich Reba's ex-husband, a dentist and golfer, who leaves her for his much younger (and pregnant by their affair) dental hygenist, Barbra Jean. He is vain, and tries to convince everyone (including himself) that he is still young. Brock is also (in season 3) diagnosed with depression. His name is a play on "Rock & Roll". Relatives: Father- John D (died in season 1), Mother- Liz (Jenny O'Hara)
Cheyenne Hart-Montgomery Joanna García Brock and Reba's 17-year-old daughter, who initially is looking forward to her senior year of high school before learning that she is pregnant. She marries her boyfriend, Van Montgomery, and they move in with Cheyenne's mom, Reba. Cheyenne gives birth to their daughter, Elizabeth, after going into labor on graduation day. She can be somewhat air-headed and self-centered, but she can also be kind-hearted. She is very sensitive, especially when she is insulted (mainly by Kyra, her younger sister). She goes to college to study to be a dentist. Cheyenne later helps out at a homeless shelter, improving her shallowness greatly. She also finds out she is an alcoholic, which makes her change her mind about becoming a dentist and so she changed her major and decided to study to be a drug and alcohol counselor.
Van Montgomery Steve Howey The star cornerback of his high school's football team, Van is kicked out of the house when his parents find out that he plans to marry his pregnant girlfriend. He moves in with Reba, and his future in professional sports looks bright until an injury from an accident eventually reveals that he has narrowing of the spine. Later in the series he works as a realtor with Reba. Van is portrayed as a big goof and is not good with words, especially when it comes to Cheyenne. Relatives: Father- Dan, Mother- Sue
Kyra Eleanor Hart Scarlett Pomers The middle child, Kyra is often mean because she has the fewest emotional issues of the family. Many of her traits and looks come from Reba, although she's known to be more manipulative and difficult. In the final season, she decided not to go to college and focus on her music.
Jake Mitchell Hart Mitch Holleman The youngest of the Hart children, Jake is often teased by his sister Kyra. Jake is pretty oblivious of what goes on around him. He acts like normal boy for his age, although in earlier seasons he displays feminine characteristics that worry his father, Brock.
Barbra Jean Booker-Hart Melissa Peterman "BJ" was Brock's dental hygienist and had an affair with him as his marriage to Reba was deteriorating. The result was her getting pregnant, and marrying him after he divorced Reba. Barbra Jean is even more of a goofball than Van, and is often an easy target for Reba's sarcasm. While noisy and annoying, Barbra Jean is a kind-hearted person with good intentions. Her tendency to tell "over-the-top" results in her sharing many random and often bizarre facts about her childhood and past. The most that can be understood is that she was born in Friendly, Texas and at one point during her infancy was "the biggest baby in Juno County." She had a sister, currently married, a brother named "Buzzard" (played by Bryan Callen of MADtv fame) and a father ("Big Daddy") who enjoys drinking and hunting. Brock is afraid of both "Buzzard" and "Big Daddy" because he knows they don't like him. She also claims to have an aunt who spits professionally. In the last season, she lost a large amount of weight and became a weather girl (she told people she was Stormy Clearweather) . In the last episode, she got a job at the weather station as a news girl(she called her segment "Babs Janson:Street Walker)
Elizabeth Montgomery Alena & Gabrielle Leberger Van and Cheyenne's daughter
Henry Charles Jesus Hart Alexander & Jackson McClellan Brock and Barbra Jean's son
Lori Ann Garner Park Overall Reba's best friend. Introduced in season one in the episode "Every Picture Tells A Story". Lori Ann was married and divorced three times, presumably because all three husbands cheated on her. Lori Ann was Reba's confidant on her problems with Brock and Barbra Jean and even Cheyenne. During Lori Ann's guest appearances on the series, she is always cruel and evil to Brock, (who is just as cruel and evil back to her), as well as Barbra Jean (who seems to like Lori Ann). One can assume this is because of what Brock and Barbra Jean did to Reba, along with her own personal feelings for Brock. In one of the earlier season plotlines, it's revealed that Lori Ann and Brock once dated before his marriage to Reba. Perhaps the reason Brock's animosity towards Lori Ann are due to his own repressed attraction for her.) Lori Ann's voracious sexual appetite is seen in her continual quest to find a lover. In the episode "Every Picture Tells A Story", when Lori Ann says "men are pigs", Brock retorts with: "Well you must love bacon cause you keep marrying us." Even Reba herself describes Lori Ann as "a desperate, desperate woman" upon hearing that Lori Ann told a priest during confession that "he had nice eyes". In total, Lori Ann only made six appearances in the first season, and one in the second season. Her last episode was "Switch", after that she was never seen again, but was referred to in fourth season episode "Van's Agent", where it was mentioned Lori Ann was going to Jamaica with a man who left the priesthood for her. However, she was never seen or mentioned again after that episode, or in any of the final two seasons of the show.

Reba McEntire, Joanna García, Steve Howey and Christopher Rich are the only cast members to appear in every episode.

Main crew

Executive Producers: Kevin Abbott, Mindy Schultheis, Michael Hanel, Matt Berry. Co-Executive Producers: Reba McEntire, Pat Bullard, Chris Case, Patricia Carr, Lara Runnels, Donald R. Beck. Producer: Jason Shubb. Co-Producer: Sabrina Wind

Critical reception

Reviews for Reba were somewhat mixed. Entertainment Weekly gave the show a grade of "C-", saying that "only [Reba] McEntire... avoids looking furtively desperate in this seamy enterprise". Michael Abernethy of PopMatters was more forgiving in his review, calling the show "generally humorous, although far from perfect", and praising how the series "caters to its star's abilities and image" and "spreads the jokes and storylines equally among all its cast members".

Episodes

Opening sequences

The show's theme song, "I'm a Survivor," was written by Shelby Kennedy and Phillip White and performed by Reba McEntire. The song comes from Reba's album Greatest Hits Vol. 3: I'm a Survivor. Though the first part of the TV version's lyrics appear elsewhere in the song, the album version has a different chorus: "The baby girl without a chance / a victim of circumstance / the one who ought to give up / but she's just too hard-headed / a single mom who works two jobs / who loves her kids and never stops / with gentle hands and the heart of a fighter / I'm a survivor. The show's lyrics are as follows:
My roots are planted in the past,
Though my life is changing fast,
Who I am is who I want to be.
A single mom, who works too hard,
Who loves her kids and never stops.
With gentle hands and the heart of a fighter.
I'm a survivor.

In Season 1, the opening credits were black-and-white photos of cast members interspersed with clips of each cast member from the show, along with color video shots of Reba on a soundstage. The theme song, "I'm a Survivor", was slower and softer, very similar to the original album version. The first eleven episodes of season two featured a truncated opening sequence: Cast and crew names were shown during the first and second segments of the show. The song was re-recorded at a faster, more energetic pace, but only two lines of the chorus ("Who I am is who I want to be / I'm a survivor") were sung. New video inserts of McEntire were shot and played with a color photo of the entire cast at the end.

From the second half of Season 2 onwards, a full opening sequence was returned to the show. The fast-paced song played among the new shots of McEntire plus clips of cast members from previous episodes as their names scroll past the screen horizontally. In Seasons 5 and 6, the song was re-mixed again, with more accompanying instruments.

The series finale of Reba ended with a family photo, similar to the pilot episode and the season five finale "Reba's Heart". This marks the only time that Reba ended back to back seasons using the family photo of season one.

The final season of Reba was originally scheduled to debut in the spring of 2006, but returned in November 2006 following the cancellation of the CW drama Runaway.

The title of the show's theme song is referenced several times by the characters. For example, in a Season 2 episode when Barbra Jean is taking care of Reba's household while Reba is working, at one point she is seen singing the words "I'm a Survivor" while vacuuming. Also, in the Season 5 finale after Van and Cheyenne learn that Reba may have to have surgery, Van says, "She'll be okay; she's a survivor." It is also referenced in the series finale, when Reba says they're all survivors while taking the family portrait.

Awards

  • Emmy Awards
    • 2006 - Outstanding Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series - Bryan Hays for "The Goodbye Guy" Nominated
    • 2005 - Outstanding Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series - Bryan Hays for "Flowers for Van" Nominated
  • Golden Globe Awards
    • 2004 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy - Reba McEntire Nominated
  • People's Choice Awards
    • 2002 - Favorite Female Performer in a New Television Series - Reba McEntire Won
  • Family Television Awards

DVD releases

Seasons 1-4 have been released by Fox Home Entertainment.

DVD releases dates for the USA:

Cover Art
Title Season One Season Two Season Three Season Four Season Five Season Six
(Region 1) December 14, 2004 December 13, 2005 April 25, 2006 November 14, 2006 January 13, 2009 TBA
Episodes 22 Episodes 24 Episodes 22 Episodes 22 Episodes 22 Episodes 13 Episodes
Discs 3-Disc Set 3-Disc Set 3-Disc Set 3-Disc Set 2-Disc Set 2-Disc Set
Box Color Orange Green Blue Pink Green/Blue TBA
Format NTSC NTSC NTSC NTSC NTSC NTSC

Series' end

Midway through Season 6, word began circulating that the CW had ordered "the back nine," or the remaining episodes that would have given Reba a full-season order. But on January 19, during the network's TCA Press Tour, it was revealed that the series had been canceled, with no "back nine" on order.

The series finale garnered 4.44 million viewers in its final half hour. Rumors continued to float on the CW's message boards (but Reba fans said they want the show back) and Reba fan sites that the series might still have a chance at renewal, citing the possible removal of programming chief Dawn Ostroff, or that Lifetime may option to a Van/Cheyenne spinoff series. It was soon announced that Garcia and Howey had each been signed to new shows for CBS and FOX respectively.

An interview Reba McEntire gave as part of the press coverage of her upcoming duets album revealed that the show is not being shopped around and that the series was indeed finished. In an interview with Variety Magazine May 29, 2007, 20th Century Fox TV president Gary Newman said that he regretted The WB's handling of the show in later years, saying that he was sure the series would have been a hit for CBS or ABC.

Reba airings

All 125 episodes of Reba can currently be seen on Lifetime Television from 6-7 PM and 8-9 PM every Monday-Friday. Reba also airs Monday-Friday on CMT in Canada at 9:00 PM, 12:00 AM and 3:00 AM ET, and Saturday at 9-10 PM and midnight-1 AM ET and will also air on CTV's secondary network A in spring 2010.

U.S. ratings

Reba set a new all-time viewership record for any program on the WB's Friday night (best-ever Friday in women 18-49).

Reba's premiere on The CW Sunday averaged 4.02 million viewers, including 1.64 million viewers and 40 percent among adults 18-49 more than when Everybody Hates Chris and All of Us premiered in the same time slot, thus making Reba the highest rated sitcom on the network. With Reba as a lead in, 7th Heaven saw a season high of 4.51 million viewers.

Reba was averaging 3,630,000 viewers since the beginning of its sixth season , making it the seventh most-watched show and the most-watched sitcom on The CW throughout the 2006-07 television season. The new Reba episodes vary as being either sixth or seventh most-watched program on the network, sometimes ranking as high as #3 for the week.

Throughout The CW's inaugural season (2006-07), no other program had higher viewer turnout for repeat airings than Reba. As a result of the lackluster ratings for encores of the summer drama Hidden Palms, repeats of Reba returned to the CW's schedule in June 2007 after being absent for three months, and they immediately became the most-watched program of the night. Later in the summer, repeats of Reba were the most-viewed program on the CW network.

Season U.S. ratings Network Rank
1 2001-2002 4.2 million
The WB #129
2 2002-2003 4.5 million
The WB #127
3 2003-2004 4.0 million The WB
4 2004-2005 4.3 million The WB #117
5 2005-2006 3.4 million The WB #133
6 2006-2007 3.6 million The CW

References

External links

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