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Tracee Ellis Ross Explains Her Sudden 'Reed Between The Lines' Departure

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 24, 2012 at 11:37AM

"It was that BET hadn't decided if they were picking up the show yet or not [...] During that time when they didn't know, I was offered a really amazing pilot for NBC, and BET graciously allowed me to go and do it [...] Then the timing got complicated and there was a need to move forward. [BET] had to figure out how to deal without me because I wasn't available. But it's not because I wanted to leave."
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Cast Of 'Reed Between The Lines'
Cast Of 'Reed Between The Lines'

"It was that BET hadn't decided if they were picking up the show yet or not [...] During that time when they didn't know, I was offered a really amazing pilot for NBC, and BET graciously allowed me to go and do it [...] Then the timing got complicated and there was a need to move forward. [BET] had to figure out how to deal without me because I wasn't available. But it's not because I wanted to leave."

Words from Tracee Ellis Ross addressing her sudden exit from BET's Reed Between The Lines, in an exclusive with Essence magazine.

It was exactly 1 week ago when we confirmed that Ms Ross had left BET's freshman scripted series.

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

My guess was 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 had something to do with it. And it looks like it did in some part; however, as Essence reports, NBC actually DID NOT pick up the pilot for Bad Girls, which means it's likely dead. But we'll see.

Recall that Kym Whitley and Jurnee Smollett were both cast in Bad Girls as well.

So what does this now mean for Tracee, since season 2 of Reed Between The Lines is moving on without her, as Tony RockCharlie Robinson and Michole White have joined the series' cast as regulars, with star Malcolm-Jamal Warner, AND, NBC didn't pick up Bad Girls

Her IMDB page doesn't list any upcoming projects (at least, non that's been announced); however, don't completely write her off Reed Between The Lines; don't be surprised if her character does return in the future - assuming the series is even still around if/when that happens.

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.

As she said, "I love Reed Between the Lines, I believe in it. There is a chance I'll go back, always. There's nothing weird about it."

Alright. Case closed.

This article is related to: Tracee Ellis Ross , Television, TV News


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