Reba McEntire soap from 'Desperate Housewives' creator scores ABC pilot pickup

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ABC is not wasting any time getting a jump on pilot season.

While most networks are eagerly waiting for scripts to come in following yet another late start to development season, the Disney-owned network has handed out its first drama pilot order of the season. Scoring that designation is an untitled soap from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry and starring Reba McEntyre.

The drama revolves around Ruby Adair (McEntire), the sheriff of colorful small town Oxblood, Ky., finds her Red State outlook challenged when a young FBI agent of Middle Eastern descent is sent to help her solve a horrific crime. Together they form an uneasy alliance as Ruby takes the agent behind the lace curtains of this Southern gothic community to meet an assortment of bizarre characters, each with a secret of their own.

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Reba McEntire speaks on stage at the iHeartRadio Music Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on Sunday, March 29, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision for iHeartRadio/AP Images)
(Credit: Rocky Mountaineer)
Reba McEntire performs in concert at the Sands Event Center on Sunday, May 18, 2014, in Bethlehem, Pa. (Photo by Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)
​(Credit: Rocky Mountaineer)
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 28: Reba McEntire arrives at Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night held at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on March 28, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 15: Honoree Reba McEntire poses with the NASH Icon Award in the press room during the 2014 American Country Countdown Awards at Music City Center on December 15, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Erika Goldring/FilmMagic)
​(Credit: Rocky Mountaineer)
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 15: Reba McEntire accepts the Nash Icon Award at the 2014 American Country Countdown Awards at Music City Center on December 15, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for dcp)
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 15: Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, and Kelly Clarkson perform at the 2014 American Country Countdown Awards at Music City Center on December 15, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for dcp)
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 15: (L-R) Recording artist Miranda Lambert, honoree Reba McEntire and recording artist Kelly Clarkson perform onstage during the 2014 American Country Countdown Awards at Music City Center on December 15, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for dcp)
NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 15: Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, and Kelly Clarkson perform at the 2014 American Country Countdown Awards at Music City Center on December 15, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for dcp)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 03: Reba McEntire during a press conference announcing the Reba, Brooks and Dunn 'Together In Vegas' residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on December 3, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 03: (L-R) Ronnie Dunn, Reba McEntire and Kix Brooks during a press conference announcing their 'Together In Vegas' residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace on December 3, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 07: Narvel Blackstock and Reba McEntire walk the red carpet during the 27th Annual Kennedy Center Honors at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on December 7, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
FLORENCE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 05: Reba McEntire (L) and Narvel Blackstock attend a private sunset reception at Minerva Beach celebrating Fight Night In Italy benefitting The Andrea Bocelli Foundation And The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center on September 5, 2014 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)
FLORENCE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 05: Ronnie Dunn and Reba McEntire perform onstage during the white party dinner hosted by Andrea and Veronica Bocelli celebrating Fight Night In Italy benefitting The Andrea Bocelli Foundation And The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center on September 5, 2014 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)
NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 13: Country Music Hall of Fame Member Reba McEntire talks and does a Q & A with Middle school students from Nashville, during the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum Presents All Access: Reba McEntire at the CMA Theater in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on May 13, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 06: Reba McEntire performs on stage during Keith Urban's Fifth Annual 'We're All 4 The Hall' Benefit Concert at the Bridgestone Arena on May 6, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum)
PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 12: Emcee Reba McEntire speaks onstage during Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XX held at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on April 12, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Celebrity Fight Night)
KELLY CLARKSON'S CAUTIONARY CHRISTMAS MUSIC TALE -- Pictured: (l-r) Trisha Yearwood, Kelly Clarkson, Reba McEntire -- (Photo by: Justin Lubin/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
OKLAHOMA, OK - MAY 29: In this handout photo provided by NBC, Reba McEntire performs during the Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert held at the Chesapeake Arena on May 29, 2013 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Photo by Brett Deering/NBC via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, FL - APRIL 19: Reba McEntire performs at Hard Rock Live! in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on April 19, 2013 in Hollywood, Florida. (Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 23: Singer Reba McEntire attends Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XIX at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on March 23, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Mike Moore/Getty Images)
KATIE - 2/13/13 - 'Katie Goes Country' with Reba McEntire on KATIE, on WEDNESDAY, FEB. 13, distributed by Disney-ABC Domestic Television. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/Disney-ABC via Getty Images) REBA MCENTIRE
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 01: Musician Reba McEntire attends the 46th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 1, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage)
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The logline marks a subtle change from when the drama was first announced a month ago, when it did not feature any sort of Red State or political affiliation reference.

The drama landed at ABC in a competitive situation. Cherry will pen the script and exec produce the ABC Studios drama alongside McEntire, Cherry's longtime producing partner Sabrina Wind, who will oversee for the duo's Cherry-Wind Productions banner, with Acme Productions' Mindy Schultheis and Michael Hanel also on board to exec produce.

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.

"I am thrilled to be coming back home to ABC," Cherry said. "What makes it all the sweeter is Reba McEntire is coming with me. And we can't wait to share with our fans this wonderful Southern Gothic soap opera we've been cooking up for them."

RELATED: Images of Reba McEntire's home:

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Reba McEntire lists her home
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Reba McIntire list her massive compound

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Reba McIntire list her massive compound

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Reba McIntire list her massive compound

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Reba McIntire list her massive compound

Photo credit: Zillow.com 

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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.

The drama marks ABC's second official pilot order of the season and joins comedy Felicity Huffman and Courtney B. Vance political family comedy starrer Libby & Malcolm.

Both pilots have broad appeal as networks scramble post-development orders to ensure their offerings reach a larger audience in a post-Trump America. ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey recently acknowledged that the rise of Trump and his blue-collar support forced her to question whether her programming was too focused on upper-income brackets.

Read more: TV Networks, Studios Shifting Program Strategies in the Trump Age: "Are We Telling the Right Stories?"


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