12:30pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Reba McEntire to Star in ABC Soap From Marc Cherry
Marc Cherry and Reba McEntire are returning to ABC.
In a competitive situation with multiple networks bidding, the Disney-owned network has scored a hot script from the Desperate Housewives creator that is set to star the Malibu Country grad, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The untitled project, which is in development, landed at ABC with a script-plus-penalty commitment. The drama is described as a Southern Gothic soap opera that is set in motion after a suspected act of terrorism happens at a Fourth of July parade in the small town of Oxblood, Ky. The FBI sends a cocky agent of Middle Eastern descent to investigate. He teams with the mercurial local sheriff to uncover secrets far darker than either could have ever imagined. McEntire is attached to star in the potential series.
Cherry created the drama and will executive produce and serve as showrunner. Cherry's longtime producing partner Sabrina Wind will oversee for the duo's Cherry-Wind Productions banner, with Acme Productions' Mindy Schultheis and Michael Hanel also on board to exec produce. McEntire also will be credited as an exec producer.
The project brings Cherry back to ABC following Desperate Housewives and back to producers ABC Studios following Lifetime's Devious Maids. For McEntire, the effort marks her first dramatic role and latest for ABC following multicamera comedy Malibu Country.
Cherry is repped by Paradigm and Del Shaw; Wind is with Paradigm and Gendler/Kelly; and McEntire is with WME and Jackoway Tyerman.
The Cherry/McEntire drama comes as more projects are being set up this development season with stars attached in a bid to land top talent before the competitive rush of pilot season when more than 80 dramas and comedies are vying for the same stars.