Tracee Ellis Ross and Malcolm-Jamal Warner on "Reed Between the Lines." (Picture Group / BET )
Tracee Ellis Ross, star of BET's family comedy "Reed Between the Lines" and one of the cable network's biggest stars, is leaving the series.
Ross' exit comes several months after she joined the cast of an NBC fall pilot, "Bad Girls," about women in a federal prison, that was ultimately not picked up.
Ross in a statement said that "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."
In "Reed Between the Lines," Ross and Malcolm-Jamal Warner played Carla and Alex Reed, an Atlanta-based couple juggling their busy professional lives with raising their three children. Their marriage was presented as stable and loving.
When the second season launches next July, the couple will be separated. Carla, a psychologist, has moved from Atlanta to Los Angeles to take a "dream job" and hopes the family will join her. But Alex, a university professor and stay-at-home dad, doesn't feel a move is right for the children and chooses to stay in Atlanta.
BET has announced three new cast members — Michole White, Tony Rock and Charlie Robinson. White and Rock will play old friends of Alex helping him deal with his troubled marriage and raising the couple's three children, and Robinson ("Night Court") will play his father.