The CW sitcom Reba, starring country-singing star Reba McEntire, is currently in its sixth season — though barely. The show was reportedly going to be cancelled last Spring but was saved at the 11th hour because the network didn’t want to pay a “kill fee” for not following through on a previous agreement.
Because of this, the popular sitcom was picked up for its sixth season but for just 13 episodes. Basically, the network feels that the show doesn’t fit their “desired demographic.” As a result, the new episodes of Reba didn’t debut until other CW shows had failed. When Reba finally did start it’s sixth season on November 19, 2006, it gave the network some great numbers. The sitcom even helped to boost the viewership of Seventh Heaven.
Ever since then, fans of Reba have been hopeful that the CW would realize the value of the show and order nine additional episodes (to complete the season) and to renew the series for a seventh year. It now looks like that’s not going to happen.
At last week’s Television Critics Association tour in Pasadena, CW President Dawn Ostroff reportedly declined to comment on Reba’s future. Later, it was quietly stated that the sitcom was done. Today, sources at TV Guide and MediaWeek are confirming that Reba has indeed been cancelled. There are four episodes left to air and word is that the CW will air the final two together on Sunday, February 18th.
Will there be some acknowledgment of the series ending? Hard to say. These episodes were shot in December when the cast and crew were unsure of the show’s future. Still, based on the experiences of 2006, I’m sure they may have considered they weren’t coming back.
There are lots of Reba fans out there so understandably there are tons of rumors floating around. One source at the CW reportedly said that the CW will indeed order the nine additional episodes soon (very doubtful now). There has also been talk that Lifetime (the cable channel that airs Reba reruns) has expressed interest in airing a Reba spin-off series. The spin-off would supposedly feature young married couple Van & Cheyenne moving into their own house and raising their new baby together. The rest of the Reba cast would appear as guest stars from time to time (and as a presumably smaller show budget would allow).
Is there still a possibility that Reba could be saved? Very doubtful but, like title character Reba Hart, this show is a fighter so you never know. Whatever happens, you can be rest assured, we’ll keep you posted. Stay tuned!
UPDATE: If there were any doubts, on January 26th, CW officially announced that Reba would end on February 18th.