By// Kelley L. Carter
Last week, actress Tracee Ellis Ross revealed that she wouldn’t be returning to Atlanta to shoot her BET series Reed Between the Lines.
Last season, she co-starred alongside Cosby Show alum Malcolm Jamal Warner — they both executive produced the Cosby-like series, too.
“I think that show is still representative of classic television, so Tracee and I, along with (President of Original Programming for BET Networks) Loretha (Jones) share a vision for the kind of show we want. It’s our deepest desire that this show has even a fraction of the social impact that Cosby had,” Warner told JETmag.com last year before the show’s premiere. “But it also takes a certain level of knowing what goes into making that kind of show. It’s one thing to have ideas and desire to do it, but there’s another energy to really make it happen. So it’s really important for both of us as producers to really bring our expertise to the table, because we’re also bringing our brands to the table as well.”
Ross revealed to Essence.com that she wouldn’t be coming back because she landed a new gig.
“It was that BET hadn’t decided if they were picking up the show yet or not,” she told the site. “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.”
The show will have to rejigger itself — next season we’ll see the characters have separated and Warner will be navigating a new role as single dad. Ross says that the door isn’t completely closed, though.
“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,” she said in her Essence.com interview.//