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Tracee Ellis Ross Explains Her Sudden ‘Reed Between The Lines’ Departure

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

“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.

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Tiffaani Hamilton

First of all Reed Between The Lines IS a GREAT show and secondly Malcolm Jamal Warner CAN act so yall NEEDA SHUT THE FUCK UP .


I agree with what everyone here said about Malcolm JW – he is just…. I have TRIED to look through/beyond his staleness but I can't.


They need to end this debacle of a show and start fresh. The leads had ZERO chemistry and that killed for me from the start. Martin and Gina, Cliff and Claire, George and Weezy all had it and you rooted for them because of it. Just seemed slapped together cast wise and an insult to viewers looking for something that might resonate.


If they want to keep this show on the air, they need to get rid of Malcolm J-W. The man cannot act PERIOD, especially in a comedic role! He is corny as f***. He appeared on a few episodes of Community and even managed to dull up that hilarious show.

Vann Digital Networks

lets get this out the way…RIP Reed Between The Lines 2011-2012


@Kenneth – was thinking the same thing. That doesn't sound like Careycarey. Back to the issue, I'm confused. They're filming now; she's available now – what's the problem? Why can't she be part of the show? Are they saying that they've already filmed another season? Given how unpopular the new direction is, they should reshoot – to save the series. They should have recast her role in the interim if they were leaving the door open. Overall bad planning!


Stirring up a little mess. As I look at the picture of Tracee Ellis Ross, I wonder why she's even considered a lead character? I mean, what has she really done to be considered a lead? Well, is it because of her light skin or the fact that she looks like her daddy? Y'all know she was born Tracee Joy Silberstein. Yep, her daddy is a jewish fellow. Anyway, another look at the above picture and I see a woman who has been doing the damnn thang for nearly 35 years. The dark-black and HEALTHY Anna Maria Horsford has been in wonderful black sitcoms… putting in work as far back as the ground breaking series Amen (1986-1991). In the ninties she was a regular on the super popular Wayans Bros series (1995-1999). Also during those years, who can forget her characters in Friday and Set It Off and Friday After Next and Nutty Professor II: The Klumps? Come on now, Ms Horsford should be a case sturdy of perserverance and flying under the radar. ** I'm standing up and giving her a minute of applaush** OH… and btw, she's dark chocolate.


Tracee proves once again to truly be a class act. BET continues to fumble around deciding on whether they want to renew shows or if they want to properly pay their casts. BET dropped the ball. Looks like the possibility of a return is there, but BET needs to be the one to make the move to bring Tracee back. Tracee shouldn't have to reach out to BET.


Well that explains everything, I can understand not being 10 sure if a show is going to return. It just seemed out of character for Tracee to up and leave a projevt necuase her track record has typically been to focus on a project no matter what. It just didn't make sense to me. I do recall gossip where BET wasn't sure if they were going to bring it back, even.go as far as saying that it was cancelled. I hope the show lives long enough for us to see her return, becuase again, I felt it was way better than most of the crap on tv. IMO

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