March 4, 2012 – The Dramedy Series GCB Premieres on ABC
“Do you think Grandma will like us more now that Dad’s dead?”
On March 4, 2012, the dramedy series GCB premiered on ABC. It was based on the novel Good Christian Bitches by Kim Gatlin. The series received mixed reviews from critics, and after ten episodes, the series was cancelled on May 6, 2012. It was created by Robert Harling, and starred Leslie Bibb as Amanda Vaughn, Kristin Chenoweth as Carlene Cockburn, Jennifer Aspen as Sharon Peacham, Marisol Nichols as Heather Cruz, Miriam Shor as Cricket Caruth-Reilly, David James Elliott as Ripp Cockburn, Mark Deklin as Blake Reilly, Brad Beyer as Zack Peacham, and Annie Potts as Gigi Stopper.
The pilot episode begins with Amanda Vaughn’s husband Bill grabbing cash from a safe in his office and leaving his home with his mistress. As they drive, she distracts him and he drives over the side of a cliff, killing them. Three months later, FBI agents are raiding the Vaughn residence as Bill was found running a Ponzi scheme. As the news outlets camp outside Amanda’s mansion, Amanda decides that she and her two kids need to move away from California, although she refuses to move to Texas to be near her mother Gigi. However, when faced with an empty house, she reluctantly calls home and makes plans to return to Dallas. Upon arriving, the Vaughns are given a “warm” welcome from Gigi’s pet Dobermans. Amanda is also unaware of how quickly the gossip of Amanda’s return has spread. Amanda’s daughter Laura flips through one of Amanda’s old yearbooks, and Amanda and Gigi recount the horrible things Amanda did to her fellow students, as she was the Queen Bee in high school. Later that night, Amanda tries to figure out what to do with her life, and decides to try and get a job as an interior designer.
The next morning, however, Gigi demands that Amanda go to church, which Amanda vehemently does not want to do. Amanda then sees the people she knew (moreover, tormented) in high school, and is surprised to see how they’ve changed. She is also surprised at how much people hate her, as she thinks she’s changed. The next day, Amanda has several interviews lined up thanks to an old high school friend, although she isn’t pleased about the influence her mother is having on her kids. As she gets them ready for school, the whole family finds a new car in the driveway, addressed to Amanda from a secret admirer. Carlene Cockburn, who has been spying on Amanda from across the street and was one of those tortured by her, reports back to her friend Sharon Peacham, revealing that the car came from Sharon’s husband’s dealership, as evidenced by the vanity plate tag. Carlene and her band of girls decide to do a search on who gave Amanda a car. Zack Peacham calls Amanda, asking her over to talk about who gave her the car, and Amanda agrees. When she gets there, he reveals that he doesn’t know, but he considers her the love of his life. Carlene, who has continued to spy on Amanda, sees the conversation through Zack’s office blinds, and thinks that the two are having an affair, unaware of Amanda’s attempts to fight Zack off.
Amanda continues to butt heads with Gigi about how to treat the kids, but this is interrupted when more gifts arrive for Amanda, including racks of clothes. Amanda refuses to accept it, and refuses to go to the Longhorn Ball with her mother. She also has frustrations when dealing with realtor Heather Cruz, who has been showing Amanda run-down houses on purpose in retaliation for past abuse. Amanda confronts her, and Heather admits the truth and accepts Amanda’s apology. Heather then tries to warn her about something, but is interrupted by Carlene and the girls with a welcome basket. Heather tries to tell Carlene that Amanda has really changed, but Carlene refuses to accept this and threatens to take business away from Heather. Carlene and others start digging around for information, but Amanda feels overwhelmed. After the girls leave, Carlene tasks Sharon to find out who has been sending Amanda gifts. Unfortunately, Sharon botches the mission. Amanda is still struggling to find work, unaware that Cricket Caruth-Reilly, another of Carlene’s cronies, has been sabotaging all of her efforts. Out of options, Amanda decides to ask for work at a Hooters-style bar called Booby-licious. That night, Amanda has dinner with Cricket’s husband Blake, who was a good friend of hers in high school, and accidentally discovers that Blake is gay and having an affair with his ranch foreman.
Amanda’s new job is soon revealed to everyone, unbeknownst to her, and Carlene lets her know. Amanda refuses to be intimidated by Carlene and her friends, and the two have a confrontation. When Carlene reveals details from Bill’s death in front of Amanda’s kids, Amanda decides that it’s time to leave. At home, Gigi finally reveals that she is the one that has been leaving gifts for Amanda. Later, Amanda realizes that Carlene, who touts herself as a righteous Christian woman, owns the bar where Amanda works, exposing her hypocrisy. At church that Sunday, Amanda not only outs her new job to the entire community, but that Carlene owns the company. Amanda then realizes that she can hold her head high in this community.