It can be incredibly tough to keep a show on the air, and while all dedicated TV-watchers have had some of their favorite shows quickly come and go, the impact is even more severe for those who work on those shows. Country music star Reba McEntire established herself as a someone who also knew her way around comedy with her starring role on Reba for six seasons, but her return to the life of a full time TV star, Malibu Country, only lasted for one season. Now, though, McEntire has finally landed another starring role on TV, seven years after that series ended.
According to Deadline, Reba McEntire has signed on to star in a possible series for NBC from executive producer Norman Lear based on the book and film adaptations of Fried Green Tomatoes. Instead of rehashing the stories found in the previous tellings, though, the drama (which is being called a modernization of those tales) would focus on the lives of the descendants from the novel and film.
The proposed show would see McEntire play a present day Imogene "Idgie" Threadgoode, who's returned to Whistle Stop, Alabama after ten years away. Idgie now must deal with the failing cafe, her estranged daughter, the changed town, and a big, life-altering secret. The project will be written by Jennifer Cecil (Private Practice, Hell on Wheels), who will also executive produce, along with McEntire, Lear (who was an executive producer on the 1991 movie), Brent Miller, and Fannie Flagg, who wrote the novel and co-wrote the screenplay for the film.
Even though Reba McEntire (who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her work on Reba in 2004) hasn't been in another starring role on TV since the one season run of Malibu Country ended on ABC in early 2013, that doesn't mean that the singer has been absent from our television screens during the intervening years. She's kept her acting talents up by appearing on shows such as The Neighbors, Baby Daddy, and Last Man Standing, and had a memorable part of the most recent season of the CBS hit Young Sheldon.
McEntire has proven herself to be adept at comedy (especially) and drama over the years since her film debut in the campy but oh-so-much-fun big screen scare-fest, Tremors, with Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward, in 1990. She went on to lend her skills to a number of movies, TV shows and made for TV movies, including The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw, Frasier, Maverick, The Little Rascals, Buffalo Girls, and Charlotte's Web.
It's been quite a while, so it would be pretty easy to forget (or simply not know) what a big deal the original Fried Green Tomatoes film was once it was released a couple of days after Christmas in 1991. The movie (which starred Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Cicely Tyson, Mary Stuart Masterson, and Mary-Louise Parker, among others) told the story of an unhappy housewife who befriends an old woman in a nursing home and becomes enthralled by her tales of the people she used to know in her small hometown.
It might not sound like a big deal for the story of a movie, but it went on to gross $119.4 million, when the movie was made for only $11 million. Fried Green Tomatoes was also nominated for two Academy Awards, with Tandy getting a nomination for Best Supporting Actress and the story being nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Honestly, this potential series sounds like a very good fit for Reba McEntire, and while the possible show is still in the very early stage of development, it could do a lot to cement her as a dramatic star, as well as one who's capable of handling the rigors of TV comedy.
There will likely be more to come about Fried Green Tomatoes in the coming months, so be sure to stick with CinemaBlend for the latest on this and everything else in movies, TV and pop culture.