Reba: 12 Similar Shows You Must Not Miss

Created by Allison M. Gibson, ‘Reba’ is a sitcom about a mother of three, Reba Hart (Reba McEntire) as she tries to raise her three children in the aftermath of a recent divorce. The story follows her after Brock (Christopher Rich), her husband of 20 years, gets his much younger dental hygienist, Barbra Jean (Melissa Peterman), pregnant and has to leave her. Reba is left to contend with the responsibility of taking care of their three children on her own, with a further complication arriving when her eldest daughter, 17-year-old Cheyenne (JoAnna Garcia), gets pregnant by her boyfriend, Van Montogomery (Steve Howey).

On top of that, she has a younger daughter Kira (Scarlett Pomers) and an 8-year-old son Jake (Mitch Holleman); thus, her life becomes nothing short of a mess. Premiered in 2001, ‘Reba’ was received favorably by both audiences and critics. Over the years, it has garnered a decent fan following. The light-hearted show dives into the world of single parenthood, teen pregnancy, dysfunctional family dynamics, and a crumbling marriage, all with a wisecracking mother as its protagonist. If that’s right up your alley, here are 12 shows like ‘Reba’ you should watch.

12. One Day at a Time (1975-1984)

‘One Day at a Time’ is a sitcom about divorced mother Ann Romano (Bonnie Franklin) as she moves from her home in Logansport, Indiana to Indianapolis with her three teenage daughters. Burdened with the raising of her rebellious kids, Ann struggles to find the balance in her life as a mother who’s firm but also loving. Created by a husband-wife duo of Whitney Blake and Allan Manings, the show delves into Whitney Blake’s life as a single mother raising three kids after her divorce from her first husband. The similarities to Reba Hart’s struggles as a single mother in ‘Reba’ can be seen in Bonnie Franklin’s portrayal of Ann Romano in ‘One Day at a Time.’ It acts almost like an adjacent puzzle piece after watching ‘Reba.’

11. Roseanne (1988-1997)

Crafted by Matt Williams, ‘Roseanne’ is a sitcom centered around Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr) and her family, who live in the fictional town of Lanford in Illinois. While ‘Roseanne’ departs from the single mother situation depicted in ‘Reba’, it still portrays a realistic picture of a working-class family and the dynamics that arise within those interactions. With a cast comprising of John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Fishman, and some recurring appearances by George Clooney, ‘Roseanne’ is a show that still garners massive interest because of the on-point acting performances, relevant family-based themes, and its humor.

10. Single Parents (2018-2020)

Single Parents Season 3

‘Single Parents’, created by Elizabeth Meriwether & J. J. Philbin, is about a group of single parents and their constant struggles with raising their kids. The story follows Will (Taran Killam), a 30-year-old divorced man, who gets so wound up in raising his daughter that he has lost sight of important things. The other single parents recognize this and help him return to the dating world with a new perspective. The familiar undertones of single parenthood from ‘Reba’ are present in ‘Single Parents’ but in a colorful new wrapping. Light and sunny, it shows the exhaustive effort of raising kids from a goofier angle and acknowledges the fact that there’s a funny side to it despite the hard work.

9. The New Adventures of Old Christine (2006-2023)

‘The New Adventures of Old Christine’ follows the exploits of Christine Campbell (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) as she tries to maintain an even keel with those around her while battling her narcissistic demons. Like Reba Hart in ‘Reba’, Christine keeps a close relationship with her ex-husband Richard (Clark Gregg) despite their divorce. Created by Kari Lizer, ‘The New Adventures of Old Christine’ dives into Christine’s insecurities and complexes as she struggles to keep parts of her life intact while trying to steer clear of the absurd. If not that then it’s always fun to see Christine’s antics as she tries to maintain a life as a women’s gym owner. It is a dry, charming retelling of the family sitcom.

8. Mom (2013-2021)

Created by Chuck Lorre, Eddie Gorodetsky, and Gemma Baker, ‘Mom’ is a sitcom based around the mother-daughter duo of Christy Plunkett (Anna Faris) and her mother, Bonnie Plunkett (Allison Janney). Christy is a single mother who is restarting her life after battles with alcoholism and drug abuse. Christy’s mother, Bonnie, is a recovering addict herself, while Christy’s teen daughter, Violet (Sadie Calvano) has become pregnant by her boyfriend, Luke (Spencer Daniels). If the mother-daughter dynamics in ‘Reba’ are engaging in its dysfunctional overtones, then ‘Mom’ portrays those same relationships with a new lens. It’s not always easy to do so but the show manages to keep a hearty attitude so that things never get too dark.

7. Better Things (2016-2022)

‘Better Things’ is a comedy-drama show created by Pamela Adlon and Louis C.K. depicting an actress and a single mother, Sam Fox (Pamela Adlon) as she raises her three daughters in Los Angeles. Cut from the same cloth as Reba Hart in ‘Reba’, Sam’s day-to-day work paints a different picture of motherhood than Reba’s perhaps, but it also brings a sense of familiarity to the situation of both these single mothers. Praised for its energy and verve, Pamela Adlon’s portrayal of Sam Fox is deserving not only of its accolades in terms of the wit and humor of the script but also its close examination of what it’s really like when you’re trying to manage all the scales and balances of being a working mother on your shoulders.

6. Parenthood (2010-2015)

Developed by Jason Katims, ‘Parenthood’ is a comedy-drama show that delves deep into the Braverman family and their exploits. The show focuses on two older couples, their children, and their corresponding families. It’s a loose adaptation of Ron Howard’s 1989 film of the same name. Intending to update the film for newer audiences, Katims created the TV show with a deeper emphasis on the familial dynamics between different generations of the Braverman clan. Despite moving away from the single-parent roots of ‘Reba’, ‘Parenthood’ explores the same familial dynamics that will appeal to fans of both shows in different ways.

5. Malcolm in the Middle (2000-2006)

‘Malcolm in the Middle’ is a sitcom about child prodigy, Malcolm (Frankie Muniz) and his interactions within the dysfunctional lower-middle-class household he lives in. Created by Linwood Boomer, the show uses a single-camera setup and uses dark humor to alleviate its protagonist’s eccentricities. With a cast comprising of Jane Kaczmarek and Bryan Cranston, who play Malcolm’s parents, and its unique blend of over-the-top comedic routines mixed with the script and protagonist’s intellectual maturity, it’s easy to see why ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ holds high status among the family sitcom genre. It may be different in its tone to ‘Reba’, but it still offers something complementary that’s unmissable.

4. Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)

‘Gilmore Girls’ is a dramedy TV series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, about a single mother Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her daughter Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel). The 32 and 16-year-old pair engage in witty banter throughout the show and because of their deep-seated ambitions of wanting to achieve their dreams, we get a warm and charming portrayal of the bond between these two women. If you enjoyed Reba Hart’s relationship with her eldest daughter Cheyenne in ‘Reba’, then see that taken to another level as Lorelai and Rory chew up the scenes with their engaging and lively interactions, all while Lorelai is trying to set up her own inn, and Rory is striving to get into Harvard.

3. Modern Family (2009-2020)

Created by Christopher Lloyd and Steven Levitan, ‘Modern Family’ is a sitcom that delves into the lives of three families living in Los Angeles, California. Funny, witty, sharp, and reflective of the familial dynamics existing within the suburban scene in Los Angeles, the show is a perfect accompanying piece to those dysfunctional family elements shown in Reba Hart’s daily affairs with her daughters in ‘Reba’.

‘Modern Family’ twists the door open on those intimately raw and perfunctory moments we have with our loved ones regularly. The humor is always on point and rarely misses the mark and even if it does, it’s almost by design. From the characterization of the adults within the show who suffer from their own insecurities to the kids who go through all the phases of growing up, the story encompasses almost everything to look out for in a family show.

2. Shameless (2011-2021)

‘Shameless’ is a comedy-drama TV series developed by John Wells and adapted from the British show of the same name. It depicts the poor dysfunctional family of Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy), a neglectful father whose children have taken account of their own lives. While Frank spends his days as an alcoholic and a wastrel, his six children have to learn to fend for themselves while also taking care of their father. Its deep dive into how dysfunctional a family can get when you don’t have a strong parental figure is both hilarious and at times a sad indictment of the situation Frank’s kids constantly find themselves in. It cuts a contrasting image when comparing Reba Hart’s sensible, kindly, and caring nature towards her children against Frank Gallagher’s absent nature in ‘Shameless’.

1. Arrested Development (2003-2019)

Created by Mitchell Hurwitz, ‘Arrested Development’ is a sitcom that follows the highly dysfunctional Bluth family. The story follows Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman), a straight-laced, unassuming, single father and the new head of the Bluth family as he tries to keep his family of eccentric relatives from breaking it apart. Where ‘Reba’ dives into the strange absurdities of a single mother dealing with the challenges of raising children while maintaining her own life, ‘Arrested Development’ takes those same elements and dials them through the lens of a hyper-aware satire. Hilarious, wild, outrageous, and uncomfortably awkward at times, it’s a shining gem within family sitcoms and a definite must-watch.

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