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Lily Tomlin Plays Reba’s Mom In Malibu Country Pilot

Lily’s mother and brother lived in Nashville, so the Southern accent was second nature.

Lily Tomlin by UPI/ Phil McCarten/LANDOV; Reba McEntire by Alexa Sullivant/CMA

Veteran actress Lily Tomlin tells The Tennessean that she played Reba McEntire's mother in the pilot for Reba's new TV project, Malibu Country.

“Mothers, a lot of times, are the best characters,” said Lily, 72, who plays washed-up baseball pitcher Kenny Powers' mom in HBO's Eastbound & Down. “As long as they are funny or interesting, I love it.”

Lily says Reba is "funny" and "adorable," and Lily's family has lots of ties to Nashville, where her brother still lives. "Part of me feels like I've lived there, too," she says, adding that the Southern accent was second nature to her.

Lily named the character Lillie Mae, which happens to be the name of her mother, who lived in Music City and is buried there.

“My mother was really a very funny woman—and witty and charming,” Tomlin says. “Funny in a really crisp way. Never mean and ridiculing, never sarcastic.

“People just adored her.”

No air date for the pilot, which for now has been picked up by ABC.

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