So CBS thinks Reba McEntire is good enough to host the Academy of Country Music Awards live on May 23rd. (It’s her 8th time.) But CBS’ Les Moonves doesn’t think the 51-year-old actress-singer’s show Reba is good enough for his new CW netlet — even though it’s the highest-rated sitcom on the WB. (Background, see my Finke/LA Weekly: Moonves Kidnaps CW.) I’m told the show’s producer, 20th Century Fox TV was shocked to hear the CW doesn’t want the sitcom. That’s because, last year, Reba was picked up by the WB for two years. When news broke about the WB/UPN merging to form CW, Reba‘s executive producers informed the cast and crew that Moonves had sent word that he expected the new netlet would honor that deal. So the series’ shooting ended on March 14th with everyone expecting to be back in the fall.

But I’m told that, in mid-April, the CW execs told 20th they wanted out of the deal — the reason being that the show doesn’t attract “the desired demographic” the new network wants tuning in. (Translation: no to Country-Western yahoos.) 20th said no way, and that is where things now stand. It’s my understanding that, because of the old pick-up deal, it could cost the CW lotsa loot to make the show go away. Some believe this might just be a negotiation ploy to lower the license fee and other costs. But I seriously doubt it. Officially, the show is not canceled yet. But the cast is devastated, and the crew have been told to grab any other work that’s offered. I’ve also learned from some Reba insiders that the show’s season finale, which airs this Friday, was originally scripted and shot as a cliffhanger. But they tell me it’s been re-edited to reflect Moonves’s kiss-off, so it may be the series’ finale.

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