Reba McEntire Reunites With Melissa Peterman! Find Out When 'The Hammer' Premieres and Watch a Sneak Peek

New Lifetime movie, The Hammer, is based on a real-life traveling judge.

Lifetime is teaming up once again with country music superstar and award-winning entertainer Reba McEntire for Reba McEntire's The Hammer, a new movie inspired by real-life traveling circuit judge, Kim Wanker.

McEntire previously teamed up with Lifetime when she starred and executive produced Reba McEntire's Christmas in Tune. The Hammer also reunites McEntire with her Reba co-star Melissa Peterman.

What is The Hammer about?

Reba McEntire’s The Hammer follows Kim Wheeler (Reba McEntire), 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. 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 (Melissa Peterman), who runs the local brothel, suddenly becomes the prime suspect, and Kim must work even harder to make certain the appropriate justice is served.

Is The Hammer based on a true story?

The Hammer is inspired by real-life Nevada circuit court judge Kim Wanker. The real-life Judge Wanker (pronounced "Wonker") is actually known as "The Hammer" and still serves as a traveling circuit judge in Nevada. Due to threats from those who don't agree with the verdicts and sentences she hands down, Wanker keeps self defense as a top priority—she packs a 9mm, drives an unmarked car and is usually accompanied by a bailiff!

With training as a professional race car driver, Wanker sometimes also has a bit of a lead foot when driving from court to court, which does lead to unforeseen delays in getting to her next session when she is pulled over for speeding!

Is The Hammer a movie or series?

While The Hammer is a standalone film, there is potential for additional movies revolving around new cases and mysteries for McEntire's character, Judge Wheeler.

Who is in The Hammer cast?

Reba McEntire (Judge Kim Wheeler)

Country music superstar Reba McEntire currently stars in the current season of Big Sky, playing Sunny Barnes, the season's main antagonist and the owner of the glamping outfitter, Sunny Day Excursions.

Follow Reba on Instagram and Twitter @reba.

Melissa Peterman (Kris)

Peterman recently starred in Hallmark Channel's Haul Out the Holly with Lacey Chabert and Wes Bentley. She previously co-starred with McEntire on the sitcom, Reba.

Follow Melissa on Twitter @followtheblonde and on Instagram @melissapeterman.

Kay Shioma Metchie (Vicky)

Kay Shioma Metchie stars as Vicky, the tough talking bailiff who serves as Kim's right hand and trusted friends. Metchie's previous credits include Siren and Totally Normal.

Follow Kay on Instagram @kay.s.metchie.

Rex Linn (Bart)

Linn plays Bart, a mysterious cowboy with unknown motives on The Hammer. He is currently starring opposite of McEntire on Big Sky as Buck Barnes, Sunny's husband. His previous credits include Better Call Saul and Young Sheldon.

Follow Rex on Instagram @rexlinn13.

Fun fact: McEntire and Linn are a real-life couple! The two met over 30 years ago, but only recently started dating. The pair celebrated their two-year anniversary back in March of 2022.

When does The Hammer premiere?

The Hammer premieres on Saturday, Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.

Does Parade.com have a sneak peek of The Hammer?

We sure do! Check out this Parade exclusive sneak peek of The Hammer featuring Reba McEntire and Melissa Peterman.

Is there an official trailer for The Hammer?

Yes, check out the official trailer for The Hammer.