The new CW network will bring back Reba for a midseason run, thanks to a deal cut Thursday after the network’s upfront presentation at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
A network spokesperson confirmed late Thursday that the show would return in midseason, even though it was nowhere to be found in the network’s inaugural presentation to advertisers earlier in the day.
Before this season, The WB had picked up Reba for this season and next from 20th Century Fox Television. But reports for the last couple weeks had The CW leaning toward buying out of the second year of the deal.
It appears in the end the new CW decided to keep the show, or thought the $20 million it may have cost to get out of the deal wasn’t worth the financial hit, even though it could have been written into the shutdown costs for The WB.
The move to keep the show featuring 51-year-old country singer Reba McEntire may raise some eyebrows after The CW’s presentation to advertisers, which impressed many attendees with its strong focus on the 18-34 demo.
One industry executive recently told B&C that not bringing back Reba would have been a smart move for the network.
"They’ll bite a big bullet by killing off Reba, but it’s a strong strategy statement," the insider said before The CW released its lineup. "They won’t stand up in New York and say, ‘We’re young and hot ... and Reba McEntire’s back!’ It’s worth the financial hit to say, ‘This is the network we are, and here is where we are going.’"