accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

BET’s ‘Reed Between the Lines,’ shot in Atlanta, loses Tracee Ellis Ross

[Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Alex Reed, right, a New York University professor and stay-at-home dad. Tracee Ellis Ross plays the role of Carla Reed, a successful psychologist. Carla and Alex Reed get some alone time before the kids impinge on their quiet time in a scene from BET's first season of "Reed Between the Lines." CREDIT: BET

Malcolm-Jamal Warner as Alex Reed, right, a New York University professor and stay-at-home dad. Tracee Ellis Ross plays the role of Carla Reed, a successful psychologist. Carla and Alex Reed get some alone time before the kids impinge on their quiet time in a scene from BET's first season of "Reed Between the Lines." CREDIT: BET

BET’s “Reed Between the Lines,” a family-friendly sitcom which has just begun production of season two at EUE Screen Gems in Atlanta, has lost a key member of the show: Tracee Ellis Ross, best known as a star on “Girlfriends.”

The show did surprisingly poorly its first season, barely drawing 1.2 million viewers per episode, a far cry from the numbers of its other sitcoms “Let’s Stay Together” and “The Game,” also shot in Atlanta.

But BET, hearing enough positive feedback, gave it a second season anyway.

Ross’ surprise departure will force a major restructuring of the show.

In a story in the Los Angeles Times:

Ross said “Reed Between the Lines” was a show “I believe in and care about” and that there was a “chance” she might return at some point. Loretha Jones, BET’s president of original programming and news, called Ross “an amazing talent,” adding, “We wish her nothing but the best and hope to work with her again in the future.”

Ross played Carla, a psychologist happily married to a professor played by Malcolm-Jamal Warner (best known for his time on “The Cosby Show”).

Her unexpected departure obviously throws a wrench in that set up. (It’s unclear why Ross, who was cast on an NBC pilot that was not picked up this spring, decided to go. Possibilities: she was unhappy with the scripts or the work environment, demanded too much money and/or didn’t like shooting in Atlanta.)

To get her off the screen, the writers have decided to ship her character off to Los Angeles for a new job opportunity while Alex chooses to stay in Atlanta with the kids. They effectively are separated.

To fill her comedic void, BET has hired three new cast members — Michole White, Tony Rock (Chris’ brother)and Charlie Robinson. As friends, White and Rock will help Alex deal with his marriage as he raises the three children solo while Robinson will play his dad.

A spokeswoman said Mara Brock Akil (”The Game”) will be coming in to help out as an executive producer.

Join my Facebook fan page and Twitter.

By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk

13 comments Add your comment

BigTickles

August 23rd, 2012
4:28 pm

There are so many things wrong with this.
#1 – Those are her kids. Why would she leave her kids?
#2 – Why are they breaking up the family? Why don’t they just replace her. We rarely see any complete, positive black families on television. BET should know better (oh wait, this is BET…why are my standards that high? smh)!

Soke

August 23rd, 2012
4:28 pm

Tracee

Aside from the negative speculations – The press of your departure seems to have been handled professionally. Good luck.

Pari

August 23rd, 2012
4:30 pm

I agree with BigTickles – it doesn’t make sense for her to just leave her kids behind with their step dad no matter how close they are. Just replace her like they did Aunt Viv in Fresh Prince. It worked for them!

Stella

August 23rd, 2012
7:35 pm

It only makes sense to replace her. The other scenario is old.

liberalefty

August 24th, 2012
3:48 am

this show is incredibly boring

Dramamama

August 24th, 2012
3:57 am

I generally love family-friendly shows, but I have to agree with “liberalefty”–this one was incredibly boring. I believe the writing is mostly to blame for this. Additionally, it took a long time for Ross and Warner to get any “chemistry” going. They did not appear to be a married couple until a long time after the season got going. Lastly, I would rather just see another mother cast in Tracey’s role (and I wish her the best of luck in her new ventures).

Huh?

August 24th, 2012
4:44 am

Why is this show still on the aire in the first place, when soooo many other quality shows get canned? Tracee Ross is a talented actress, great writer and producer. She didn’t need to do this show in the first place for she has already graduated from the university of television only to go backwards to preschool with doing this show.

What BET should do is pick up great informative and entertaining shows like TV1’s UNSUNG!

With so many channels all offering 24×7x365 programing, who cares what BET does, i didn’t even miss them during the time they weren’t on the aire due to the contractural problems between them and Direct TV-

pebblebeach

August 24th, 2012
9:35 am

This was a show that took every ounce in my body to watch, incredibly boring the periodic times I managed to get through most of them….now to hear she is leaving her kids with their step dad…

I will admit Ross is a great actress and Warner beyond Cosby is simply boring….

BET obviously have no clue…

DNG

August 24th, 2012
10:05 am

I love the concept behind the show, but the show needed lots of work. People watch television to be entertained, and that show did not come close. For more about relationships and dating, please join us at http://www.datenightgurus.com

barry

August 24th, 2012
10:50 am

Tracee probably left because the writing was terrible. It was a very boring show that basically repackaged the same story lines we’ve all seen numerous times before. And those kids were not really that good. I would have rather just seen Tracee’s character from “Girlfriends” move from LA (away from her girlfriends) to Atlanta to start a new life.

Gifted and Talented

August 25th, 2012
3:01 pm

Technically, I liked the show the way is was. Many say it was boring because there weren’t any drama like other so called family shows. This show tackled real life TODAY! However, I have to agree with the rest; why in the world would BET write her character out in lieu of replacing Ms. Ross. There are many really talented actresses (not singers and rappers) that can replace Ms. Ross. Who is the counselor on the set or the advisement team to the writers. Please get back in touch with the African American Society and fix the script. Where is Sanaa Lathan; Nia Long; Thandie Newton; Shari Headley; Malinda Williams; Regina King; and so many more! It is time to clean up the African American stereotypical portrayal and show the real deal. Mom goes to Los Angeles script is not an option! Please listen to your viewers.

Misa

August 25th, 2012
3:54 pm

I agree with so many post…but I must admit I can’t see Tracee in anything else but Girlfriends….no matter what other prospects she has, she was part reason Toni’s role ended in Girlfriends……she now will experience what Jill Marie Jones, Persia White (well she’s in some vampire show I heard) and Golden Brooks experienced…..lack of work…..sorry I guess I’m still having Girlfriends withdrawal and have yet to recover….but it was a good show…until Toni left :(

Just saying

August 26th, 2012
7:00 pm

I am really surprised the show was picked up, BET is just forcing it because maybe nothing else was pitched to the network. The show is and will be boring.