Reba McEntire has holiday spirit with ‘Christmas in Tune’

Rick's Reviews

Reba McEntire (left) and John Schneider star in “Christmas in Tune.” (Photo courtesy of Lifetime)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (OPINION) — There have been a few clues popping up to suggest that the Christmas holiday is getting closer. The first is all of the holiday commercials that started airing before Halloween. Then there are the neighbors who left their lights up all year who can now turn them on without guilt.

The final big clue is that Reba McEntire is going to be involved with some kind of holiday program on television. Her seasonal work has ranged from hosting “The CMA Country Christmas” production to starring in a holiday movie.

It’s a movie this year as McEntire joins John Schneider to star in “Christmas in Tune” scheduled to debut at 8 p.m. Nov. 26 on the cable channel Lifetime.

Years after their personal and professional breakup, the singing duo of Georgia (Reba McEntire) and Joe Winter (John Schneider) agree to reunite. Their daughter, Belle (Candice King), has asked them to participate in a Christmas Charity concert because she is worried that she might lose her job.

 McEntire is always in the spirit to be part of a holiday program.

“I love it.  I think it’s a warm, wonderful way to express your feelings,” McEntire says. “Music goes a long way with getting everybody in the holiday mood, and it’s also given us a chance to reflect on the year that we’ve had, all the wonderful things that have happened and our many blessings, and we remember the reason for the season.

“So, I love to be a part of television during the Christmas holidays.”

McEntire got an additional holiday present with this production by getting to sing and act with Schneider. She was happy that they got to perform some of her favorite holiday songs while he was happy to get to go back into a recording studio.

It is a good thing that McEntire likes making movies with Lifetime as she has signed on to star in and produce another film for the cable network. The difference will be that the next film won’t be a holiday movie.

McEntire has been an entertainment mainstay for more than 40 years. The Country Music Hall of Fame member and Kennedy Center Honoree has picked up three Grammy Awards, 16 Academy of Country Music Awards, 15 American Music Awards, 9 People’s Choice Awards, 6 Country Music Association Awards and countless other honors. She also has a clothing line and western footwear collection.

Schneider is best known for his work as an actor for “The Dukes of Hazzard” to “Smallville.” At the same time, Schneider was working on a music career that resulted in several No. 1 hits.

“Christmas in Tune” brought together both worlds for Schneider.

“Before we filmed, we got to hear all the music and work on the music, and then we got to come to the set and sing that music again,” Schneider says. “So we really kind of had the opportunity to do everything that in the music world we’d been doing for decades, dare I say it, and it was so wonderful to sing with Reba.

“I’ve never sung with Reba before, at least she didn’t know.  This is actually the biggest musical production that I’ve ever done on camera.  So I very much looked forward to it.  It didn’t scare me.  It kind of wrapped itself around me like a warm, Christmas blanket.”

Schneider knew early in the production that he was going to enjoy working with McEntire. He saw the connection they had while filming a scene where they were being interviewed. Their timing in the scene was so perfect it was as if they had actually been a singing duo at one time.

The only negative for McEntire was trying to film a Christmas movie in the heat and humidity of a Nashville summer.  McEntire got through it because she loved the project so much.

Schneider adds, “It was hot, obviously, but you always do a Christmas movie in July, as you always do a beach movie in November and December.  I didn’t have any difficulty with anything except maybe not eating all the snacks, because they were great.”

If the film with McEntire and Schneider doesn’t fill your holiday movie watching wish list, Lifetime will also present “Miracle in Motor City” at 8 p.m. Nov. 28.

Amber Dupont (Tia Mowry) finds herself with more work than she can handle she agrees to be in charge of her church’s annual Christmas pageant. The woes get bigger when she promises a special performance by Motown Legend Smokey Robinson.  Amber reconnects with her former flame Eddie (Mark Taylor) in a quest to find Smokey and convince him to appear. With time running out Amber must convince Robinson to be part of the most special pageant yet.

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