The 45-year-old actor reveals what he thinks needs to happen to bring the beloved sitcom back on the air.
It was a "family reunion" at Reba McEntire's Hollywood Bowl performance on Saturday, with Reba co-stars Steve Howey, Melissa Peterman, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Christopher Rich and longtime director Will Mackenzie sharing a night out in support of their longtime pal.
Peterman shared a series of photos and videos from their sweet gettogether, complete with a giant cardboard cutout of the singer's face and big smiles all around from the group. Howey, Peterman and Garcia Swisher even posed arm-in-arm with the "Fancy" singer for a backstage photo, but Howey told ET that McEntire shut down his idea for an on-stage reunion.
"She shot me down," he said on the red carpet of Sunday's CMT Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. "I was like, 'What if I go on stage and I'm like, 'Hey, Mrs. H! I'm looking for Cheyenne.' She's like, 'There's not enough time! I gotta change, there's not enough time.'"
Howey gushed that it was "really cool to see her" and revealed that he's still in regular contact with his former castmates. Reba debuted in 2001 on The WB and aired its final season in 2007 on The CW. Since then, fans have been clamoring for a reboot with the cast largely agreeing they'd be on board.
On Sunday, Howey seemed lukewarm on the prospect while revealing what might need to happen to bring Reba back on the air.
"Maybe, I don't know," he mused. "Do we really want to see Van all these years later?"
Howey hinted that the pressure would be on the writers to create a worthwhile storyline for McEntire to lend her star power to, saying series creatives would need to "tell a new story that would be beneficial for Reba. For her to take the time away from touring and her life, it would have to be a really good story."
This certainly isn't the first time Howey has opened up about returning to the iconic series. Last month, he told ET "I would do anything. Reba says, 'Jump,' and I'll say, 'How high?'"
On Sunday, the 45-year-old actor doubled down on singing McEntire's praises.
"She's amazing. She's an angel," he enthused. "She's an American treasure."
Howey currently stars in the action-comedy True Lies reboot, airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on CBS and available on the CBS app and streaming on Paramount+.