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Reba Moves Toward Roseanne, 07.15.02 ...


It could be a country song title: Will you accept a Reba who's more like Roseanne?

That's what Reba McEntire and WB plan to offer in transforming her sitcom Reba next season.

"Our hope is to try to get that show more into 'Roseanne' territory than into broad comedy where the characters don't really respond in a realistic way to this set of circumstances," Jordan Levin, WB Entertainment president, told TV critics on their summer tour.

McEntire was "frustrated" by the show's depiction of divorce, teenage pregnancy and teenage marriage, Levin said. "She thought it was getting sort of broad and cartoony at times, and was inconsistent," he added. "Her attraction to [the show] at the beginning was the ability to do a reality-based family series."

Kevin Abbott, who worked on Roseanne and Grace Under Fire, will oversee the show next season. The first stories will deal with finances and the divorce.

Another WB hit, Gilmore Girls, will develop the triangle among Rory (Alexis Bledel), Jess (Milo Ventimiglia) and Dean (Jared Padalecki). To fans who despair that bad-boy Jess takes the show in darker directions, Levin said the stories would be about him moving into a better place because of Rory.

Levin defended the plot by saying it parallels what Rory's mom, Lorelai (Lauren Graham), went through in choosing a bad boy years before. "How it spins off for Lorelai and affects the whole family is real interesting," he said.


In other tour news, UPN announced that it will start season premieres Sept. 18 with Enterprise and a revamped Twilight Zone. Other series will return the week of Sept. 23. UPN Entertainment President Dawn Ostroff said Buffy the Vampire Slayer will go "back to its roots with storylines that remind people why they fell in love with Buffy in the first place." Fans have complained that the series turned too dark last season.
Credit: OrlandoSentinel.com


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