Reba McEntire and Melissa Peterman Reuniting in New Lifetime Movie ‘The Hammer’

by Suzanne Halliburton

Reba McEntire and Melissa Peterman are teaming up again. And unlike their last big project, the two will be related by blood and not through a husband.

Here’s another cool detail. Rex Linn, who is the real-life boyfriend of Reba McEntire, is in the movie. He’ll play a “mysterious cowboy.”

Lifetime announced Thursday that McEntire, the country music queen, and Peterman will star in Reba McEntire’s The Hammer. It’s a movie telling the story of a traveling circuit judge. And it’s based on a real-life judge named Kim Wanker. But in the movie, the judge goes by Kim Wheeler. Lifetime described Wanker/Wheeler as someone “who hands down justice unlike anyone else.”

Here’s more from Lifetime’s plot promo: Wheeler is “an outspoken, firecracker lawyer who is appointed Judge of the 5th District of Nevada and is one of the few traveling judges left in America. After the reigning judge passes away under suspicious circumstances, Kim finds herself covering a circuit that stretches between Las Vegas and Reno — a rugged, often desolate area where anything and everything can happen.”

Wait, we have more details from the plot summary. “With gavel in hand, she lays down the law with a no-nonsense brand of justice, that quickly earns her the nickname ‘The Hammer. As the investigation of the former judge’s death heats up, Kim’s sister Kris, who runs the local brothel, suddenly becomes the prime suspect, and Kim must work even harder to make certain the appropriate justice is served.”

Reba McEntire and the cast of Reba celebrate the 100th episode of the sitcom, which ran from 2001-06. (Photo by Marsaili McGrath/Getty Images)

In Movie, Reba McEntire and Melissa Peterman Play Sisters

While Reba is a judge, Peterman plays her sister, Kris, who doesn’t sound like she lives on the right of the law. If you recall, on McEntire’s sitcom, Reba, the two knew each other through the character Brock Hart (Christopher Rich). Reba was married to Brock, who is the father of her three kids. And Peterman portrayed Brock’s new wife, B.J. The show, which was based in Houston, ran from 2001-07. You can still watch it in classic TV reruns. It also featured Joanna Garcia Swisher, who played Reba’s daughter.

Getting back to The Hammer, this is the second collaboration between McEntire and Lifetime. The network broadcast Reba McEntire’s Christine in Tune. It was part of their 2021 holiday programming. McEntire starred in the movie and served as its executive producer.

It’s the third project for McEntire and Peterman. The two also appeared together in ABC Family’s Baby Daddy. Peterman now is a co-star on Young Sheldon, the Big Bang Theory spinoff. She plays a neighbor who lives down the street from Sheldon and his family.

Lifetime hasn’t announced a premiere date, as yet. We’re not sure if Linn plays a Reba McEntire love interest. As Bart Crawford, his motives are unknown. Kay Shioma Metchie will portray the bailiff and Kim’s good friend.