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Reba McEntire’s New Drama Series Gets Pilot Green Light From ABC

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Reba McEntire has gotten the green light to film a pilot for a new one-hour drama series from ABC, the Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

The country icon and actor will play Ruby Adair, whom THR describes as “the sheriff of colorful small town Oxblood, Ky., who finds her Red State outlook challenged when a young FBI agent of Middle Eastern descent is sent to help her solve a horrific crime.”

The unlikely partners “form an uneasy alliance” as Adair “takes the agent behind the lace curtains of this Southern gothic community to meet an assortment of bizarre characters, each with a secret of their own.”

McEntire will also executive produce the pilot alongside series creator Marc Cherry, whose past shows include Desperate Housewives and Devious Maids. Cherry wrote the script for the pilot, which is the second pilot ABC has officially ordered for the new season. Cherry’s longtime producing partner Sabrina Wind will also serve as a producer for the duo’s Cherry-Wind Productions, with Acme Productions’ Mindy Schultheis and Michael Hanel also on board as executive producers.

See Reba McEntire Through the Years

McEntire tells Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper that the pilot is likely to start filming in March, meaning she will jump directly from promoting her upcoming gospel album, Sing It Now: Songs of Faith and Hope, to filming. That album is due on Feb. 3, and McEntire will support it with her first-ever solo show at Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium on Feb. 15.

The new show is a far cry from the light comedy of her previous shows, Reba and Malibu Country.

“It’s got funny times in it, but it is dark,” she tells the Tennessean.

McEntire tells Taste of Country Nights that from there, it’s a waiting game to see if the show gets picked up.

“Hopefully we’ll be shooting [the series] in the fall or January of next year. Before we start doing preliminary planning we need to get the go-ahead,” she says.

McEntire has done plenty of acting, but she admits it’s much harder to remember her lines than to memorize song lyrics.

“It is hard. Thank goodness they have a lot of characters in this script,” she says with a laugh. “What I do is repetition and try to make it as conversational as it can be and practice a lot.”

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