No Need To Read Between These Lines: Tracee Ellis-Ross Out At ‘Reed’

August 18, 2012  |  

The rumors had been swirling for months and now it’s official: Tracee Ellis-Ross will not return to BET’s “Reed Between the Lines.”

In a very brief statement released on Friday, Tracee stated that “Reed” is a show that she cares about and believes in and there’s a chance she might return at some point.  Loretta Jones, president of BET’s originally programming and news, sung her praises, wished her the best and said she hopes they can work with her again in the future.  Tracee signed on a few months ago for an NBC pilot but the show didn’t get picked up.

The statement was released almost immediately after it was announced that  Tony Rock, Michole White and Charlie Robinson would be joining the cast as Alex Reed’s (played by Malcolm-Jamal Warner) friends when season two starts. The storyline will pick up with Alex in the midst of an unexpected separation from Carla (Tracee’s now former character) and finds himself as a single father to three children.

This news is a little unfortunate to hear because ‘Reed’ showed really great promise within its first season. During promotion of the show, the focus was always on how it was to be a modern day version of “The Cosby Show” and show that there are Black family units out there who love each other and love spending time together.  Although the divorce rate in America steadily climbs, this is television and it is okay to keep a family together.  The entire purpose of the show has sort of been defeated.

I have to wonder why Ellis Ross’ role wasn’t just recast? The show is still very young and I’m sure there are plenty of actresses out there who would be quite an easy fit.  I can think of at least five women right now who could at least try out for the role.  I wonder if executive producers Mara Brock-Akil and Salim Akil have even considered this.

There are also questions of how they’ll explain how “Carla” left her children behind with Alex when he’s not the biological father of two of them. How that will work out is a mystery to me because it is pretty unrealistic.

So many questions, so many months to wait to get answers (the show isn’t due to come back until July 2013).  I guess we’ll have to just see how it all unfolds.

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