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It's Official - Tracee Ellis Ross Leaves BET's 'Reed Between The Lines'

by Tambay A. Obenson
August 17, 2012 8:11 PM
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Cast Of 'Reed Between The Lines'
Cast Of 'Reed Between The Lines'

Confirming what yesterday's casting additions already suggested (read that post HERE), it's now official that Tracee Ellis Ross has left BET's freshman scripted series Reed Between The Lines.

Specific reasons weren't given, but, in a released statement, Ms Ross expressed her love for the series and its cast, calling it one that "I believe in and care about."

I'd guess that her casting in the in the new NBC women's prison drama Bad Girls, adapted from the UK ITV series of the same name, might have something to do with it. Although I couldn't confirm that NBC has even picked up the series, or when the pilot might air.

I wouldn't completely write her off Reed Between The Lines however; don't be surprised if her character does return in the future - assuming the series is even still around if/when that happens. A second season is certain, and, as we reported yesterday, Tony RockCharlie Robinson and Michole White have joined the series' cast as regulars, with star Malcolm-Jamal Warner.

When season 2 begins, the couple (as played by Ross and Warner in season 1) will be separated. In short, Carla (Ross) will be offered a dream job offer she can't refuse; she wants the family to move across the country with her so that she can take the job; but Alex (Warner) isn't feeling the idea, so he and the kids stay put.

Obviously the door is being left open for an easy enough return down the road, if that eventually happens.

I response, BET's prez of original programming, Loretha Jones, said, "We wish her nothing but the best and hope to work with her again in the future."

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  • D.A. | August 18, 2012 5:55 PMReply

    I thought the show was 'better than most' meaning I wouldn't jump out of my chair to watch it, but if it were on, I'd change the channel in favor because overall it was a positive presentation because I, like many, was tired of seeing black actors typecast in inferior, degrading, or stereotypical roles in television and film like we are like that 24 hours in a day (of course that isn't anyone's problem, and is not a necessary need, people will take things however they want). I'll say that at least it was relate-able, and more than bearable to watch (unless you have discriminating taste), and I, for one, didn't dare compare it to 'The Cosby Show' (purely classic American television, you'd be a fool to do so).

    Wasn't expecting it to last, but hey, hooray for season 2, not passing judgement until I actually see the pilot.

  • mark | August 18, 2012 4:36 PMReply

    Why not just recast the role? There are plenty of other actresses who could slip right into the part.

  • Geneva Girl | August 18, 2012 3:47 PMReply

    She WAS the show. While the show has many flaws, it was good family viewing. Writing her off by leaving the kids with the step dad makes NO sense. The biological dad would come get them. Just kill the show.

  • Nadine | August 18, 2012 12:09 PMReply

    Honestly, the quality of this show (production/lighting was problematic too) was not ready for Tracee, who is such a natural talent...SUCH a natural talent. Also, this focus on "teens" is always so boring... just my opinion. They honestly should have just kept the youngest daughter, had a pregnancy 1 season in, had Tracee and Malcolm as new parents, again, interesting storylines to follow, etc...

  • totrue | August 18, 2012 12:06 PMReply

    The show was just bad. Id leave BET in a heart beat too if NBC came calling. DC is right BET is the worst cable network to work for as an actor.
    Tracee and malcolm weren't a good match. She has a strong comedy background and Malcolm is just not funny. If your trying re boot the "Cosby " idea at least be funny. The writing didn't help either. I have a feeling this new story idea is gonna turn the show into a dramedy rather than a comedy.

  • Dionne | August 18, 2012 11:33 AMReply

    I could of sworn that she was doing a pilot for network TV. I thought that was reported a couple of months ago, so I'm not surprised she's leaving. It's called Bad Girls and supposed to be on NBC.

  • blake | August 18, 2012 4:37 PM

    Bad Girls was not picked up. Didn't you read this article or did you just rush to comment?

  • sandra | August 18, 2012 10:20 AMReply

    Tracee appeared to be fully committed to this show. She always comes across as a professional with a strong sense of responsibility. I don't know what happened here, but it must be serious for her to bounce. BET is the one I'd eye suspiciously in this case given their track record.

  • Rock | August 18, 2012 5:56 AMReply

    This is an independent cable series producers worst nightmare! You give an actor an opportunity at a comeback and then they bounce for a new series on a broadcast network that's almost guaranteed not to survive past one season. This is exactly why Black film & tv is in such bad shape, no dedication and no loyalty!

  • Akimbo | August 19, 2012 11:32 AM

    Please. The reason why black film/TV is in such bad shape is because or poor quality. This show is a shining example of that. It has nothing to do with loyalty and everything to do with the low expectations we have for black programming. Why, as an actress should she continue to do good work for writers/showrunners who can't/won't do the same? Everyone should strive to be and surround themselves with the best and we all know this wasn't it. Even the worst episode of Girlfriends is better-written and more entertaining than this show. Hell, the Lyricist's Lou ge Show was ten times funnier than this! Hopefully, this change will inspire the team to actually...write.

  • NO BRAINER | August 19, 2012 1:52 AM

    "This is exactly why Black film & tv is in such bad shape, no dedication and no loyalty!" I think you brought down the house with this one. This is the ugly truth nobody wants to talk about. And it's true for all levels of black films/TV/webseries, from the lowest budgeted black short film to Red Tails (2012). The talent in front of and behind the camera on almost all of these productions don't seem to get it, and they wonder why they have been acting for over a decade and haven't gotten into the big time yet. I call it the loser's mentality. Case closed.

  • Charles Judson | August 18, 2012 9:15 AM

    Comeback? One, her show's only been off the air for a few years. The cast of FRIENDS have been bouncing around from failed show to failed show for years. Perry is on his umpteenth post-Friends show this season. Two, Black Film & TV is in bad shape for various reasons more important than lack of loyalty. At times I'd argue that too much loyalty to a creator on a project no one is fully invested in or hasn't been fully thought out is more an issue than people pulling out. Three, actors, producers and directors do it all the time. Producers have even backed out of shows they created during the first season for reasons other than Network interference. Why place the extra burden of "loyalty" on the back of Black actors who are already struggling to have the freedom to direct their careers and work on a multitude of projects?

  • ALM | August 18, 2012 12:41 AMReply

    Yep, great way to affirm that "strong, Black Cosby-like family unit" BET......SMH

  • ChgoSista | August 17, 2012 11:12 PMReply

    Tracee & Malcolm have no chemistry, those kids are the "worstest" acting kids in Hollywood, and Malcom JW just has the worst case of post-Cosby jinx EVER. Kill the show. Let it go.

  • the black police | August 17, 2012 9:56 PMReply


  • hillmangrad | August 17, 2012 9:04 PMReply

    BAD GIRLS was not picked up to series. So that had nothing to do with her departure.

  • totrue | August 18, 2012 12:10 PM

    She left the show to go shoot BAD GIRLS. So she had to leave but Theres more to this story we aren't being told.

  • SHEBABABY | August 17, 2012 8:37 PMReply

    This makes no sense. I saw a few episodes and if I remember correctly the two oldest kids were his step kids. What mother would separate from her husband and leave the kids behind? They might as well had recast Tracee's character.

  • NO BRAINER | August 19, 2012 1:43 AM

    "...if I remember correctly the two oldest kids were his step kids. What mother would separate from her husband and leave the kids behind?" -- LOL! You said it. Sure GHOST, it's been done before. But it's an ugly, gaping plot hole that lacks plausibility. It didn't work then and it's not going to work

  • Ghost | August 17, 2012 9:00 PM

    That's So Raven had no trouble writing out Mom with the dream job in another part of the world. So this is nothing new. At least she wasn't killed off.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | August 17, 2012 8:18 PMReply

    Why do so many black family sitcoms lose their female leads at some point?

  • D.C. Kirkwood | August 17, 2012 9:00 PM

    Funny you should bring that up Ali. Tracy and Malcolm are both executive producers on this show. What that says to me is you have no confidence in the show yourself if you willing to bounce that easily. You as the lead actress were not willing to stick around and make improvements on a show that you attached your name to as a producer. So sad and very unprofessional. I do agree the show was bad from the start and they should have just canceled it altogether. Bet is known for not paying people a competitive salary and many leave for better opportunities just ask D.L. Hughley.

  • Ali | August 17, 2012 8:27 PM

    Because they get fired because they weren't valued, they get fed up with being underwritten and quit, or they get MUCH better opportunities and say "PEACE OUT!"

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