'Working Class': Melissa Peterman and Reba McEntire, together again
As Barbra Jean on the long-running WB and CW sitcom "Reba," Peterman played the wife of McEntire's ex-husband. It'll be the other way around on "Working Class," a Country Music Television show that premieres Friday, Jan. 28. In the last of the first season's 12 episodes, country icon McEntire guest stars as the current spouse of single-mom Peterman's ex.
"The minute the show was picked up, I was like, 'That has got to happen!'" Peterman tells Zap2it. "The writers were immediately writing it, and I get to say things like, 'What kind of woman would barge into her man's ex-wife's house like she owns it?'
"That's essentially what I did for six years on 'Reba,' and it was so much fun to have her in that role. I have to say she really seemed to enjoy getting back at me a little bit. And we leave it open for her to come back for more."
The link between Peterman and McEntire has been strong ever since "Reba," but they hadn't known each other previously. "Of course, I knew who she was, but she probably had no idea who I was," says Peterman, who's also a producer on "Working Class" and still the host of CMT's "The Singing Bee" (which goes back into production in February).
"We didn't meet until that first day on the 'Reba' set. The second season, the writers started giving us a lot of stuff together, because they could see that connection. We respect each other and trust each other, and with her comic timing, you don't get that kind of partner to work with very often."
Some of the "Reba" gang also reunited on Saturday, Dec. 11, at the wedding of co-star JoAnna Garcia -- now of ABC's "Better With You" -- and New York Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher in Palm Beach, Fla. "I was a bridesmaid," Peterman reports. "It was well-done and everything was perfect, and it just felt so warm. I danced all night long, I cried a lot, and it was just so much fun. Reba was there as well as Chris Rich, so [JoAnna's] TV parents and step-parents were all there.
"I was really glad that I got to be a part of it. I worked on Thursday, took the red-eye and had to be back to work on Monday, but you know what? I wouldn't have missed it for the world. She was a beautiful bride, and they're perfect together."