EXCLUSIVE: In her first regular series gig since Murphy Brown, Lily Tomlin has been tapped for a lead role opposite Reba McEntire in ABC’s half-hour pilot Malibu Country. The project, from Reba showrunner Kevin Abbott, centers on Reba Gallagher (McEntire) who, after her “good ol boy” rock star husband cheats on her and burns through most of their money, divorces him and moves her family from Nashville to the only asset she has left — a little house in Malibu. There she’ll try to reignite her own singing career and keep herself and her three kids from being corrupted by the materialistic and rarefied Malibu world she now calls home.
Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated Tomlin will play Shirley, Reba’s classically Southern, warm and funny (not always intentionally) mother who joins the family in their move from Nashville to Malibu. Abbott and McEntire executive produce the pilot with Mindy Schultheis, Michael Hanel, Narvel Blackstock, Dave Stewart and Pam Williams. Tomlin has done two major broadcast series stints since Murphy Brown, recurring roles on ABC dramedy Desperate Housewives and NBC drama The West Wing. She most recently recurred on DirecTV’s Damages and Lisa Kudrow’s online/Showtime series Web Therapy.