Reba McEntire—Riding High with The Hammer

Reba McEntire and Rex Linn on the red carpet at 2022 | Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Reba McEntire shouldn’t be this successful. By the unwritten standards of Hollywood, a woman’s career will have dried up and been forgotten by the time you turn forty. 

But not exactly being the kind of person who follows the rules, Ms. McEntire is looking at 2022 as one of her most productive and busiest years ever. 

First off is her forthcoming release of the film The Hammer on Lifetime. Shooting is also currently underway on David E. Kelly’s Big Sky on ABC, which features an episode with Reba. And add to that a concert tour launching in a few weeks, and you have one busy schedule. 

The Lifetime film is based on the real-life traveling circuit judge Kim Wanker. However, McEntire will be playing a more fictionalized version named Kim Wheeler in the screen version. Wheeler is an attorney, recently appointed as a traveling judge for the state of Nevada following the strange death of a previous judge. 

A Reba reboot?

There is also talk about reviving her popular series Reba, but she is quoted as saying that “many obstacles” keep that reboot from happening. The business of television, she says, fluctuates and changes so much that “sometimes reboots are hot and then they’re not.”

Furthermore, unlike most tv pilots, producers and showrunners have a lot of playing room for casting and character dynamics when developing a new show. With a reboot, you are locked into a core set of actors and scenarios that the audience might be willing to accept. So if, say, Steve Howey or Melissa Peterman were replaced by another actor, that would likely cut into the pool of fans who’d tune in to watch.

Reba herself acknowledges that the other actors of Reba are all busy with current projects, including The Hammer itself, which co-stars McEntire’s former Reba co-worker Peterman as her on-screen sister and the Madam of a local brothel. 

Peterman’s character gets into hot water when she becomes the prime suspect in the death of the previous circuit judge, and Judge Wheeler (McEntire) must work harder than ever to ensure justice is served. 

The premiere date for The Hammer has not been scheduled as of yet. 

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