The WB network sitcom Reba afforded country singer Reba McEntire to display her unique flair for combining comedy with pathos. The star was cast as Reba Hart, who, as the series opened, was in the midst of a divorce from her dentist husband Brock Hart (Christopher Rich). That the breakup was wholly Brock's fault was implicit in the reason: Dr. Hart had to marry his hygenist-mistress Barbra Jean (Melissa Peterman) after getting her pregnant. Meanwhile, Reba's vacuous 17-year-old daughter, Cheyenne (Joanna Garcia), was also with child as a result of her romance with high-school football star Van Montgomery (Steve Howey) -- who, after being thrown out of his own house by his outraged parents, moved into Reba's house and made an "honest woman" of Cheyenne by wedding her (their daughter Elizabeth was born at the end of the series' first season). Despite all this sexual intrigue, down-to-earth Reba tried to make the best of things, as did her wisecracking younger daughter, Kyra (Scarlett Pomers), and easygoing son, Jack (Mitch Holleman). Whenever things got too sticky, Reba could count on her pragmatic best friend, Lori Ann (Park Overall), to put things in perspective -- and to get off a few zingers at the philandering Brock's expense.
Reba needed all the moral support she could get; running out of money for herself and her kids, she was forced to go to work for her ex-husband -- making Barbra Jean her boss! This went on until Reba found a new job with Brock's chief rival, Dr. Fisher (played by Dan Castellaneta, best known as the voice of Homer Simpson). As for Cheyenne and Van, they had plenty of problems of their own, especially when Van lost a football scholarship after banging up his knee in a car accident. Ultimately, however, Van recovered sufficiently to return to the college team. When Cheyenne's sister, Kyra, opted to move in with her dad Brock and his second wife Barbra Jean, it caused a rift between Kyra and her mom Reba. But as it turned out, Kyra exerted a positive influence on the insensitive Brock, helping heal some of the pain of his and Reba's breakup. Meanwhile, Barbra Jean bonded with Cheyenne, bringing the two separate Hart clans even closer together. Alas, things got a bit too close for Barbra Jean's taste when in the third-season cliffhanger she spots Reba and Brock tearfully embracing! One of the WB's highest-rated programs, Reba debuted on October 5, 2001. ~ Rovi
- Reba McEntire, Christopher Rich, (more)