Exclusive

Brothers & Sisters Exclusive: Find Out What Would've Happened to the Walkers in Season 6

Somewhere, the Walkers are drinking a lot of wine — as are their fans.

In early May, ABC dropped the axe on Brothers & Sisters amid reports that a shortened sixth season of the veteran family drama was being considered. In the end, budgetary issues brought the Walkers’ journey of secret siblings, partnership issues, lost love and family ties to an end.

Below, executive producer David Marshall Grant tells TVLine what he would have changed about the de facto series finale, hints at what was in store for the Walkers — another health scare for Kitty? — and reveals what it was like saying goodbye to the show’s on and offscreen family.

TVLINE | What was your reaction when ABC told you the show had been canceled?
I was, of course, sad. But everything must come to an end at some point. We had five great years. That’s a long run on television. I am so grateful for those years, and I’m so glad that we could tell as many stories as we could.

TVLINE | Did ABC give you a reason for the cancellation?
It really ends up being a budgetary situation. Our show was very expensive to produce and there are ways that we were saving money along the years. I think that there was an attempt to find a way to hit that magic number that [ABC] could produce the show at. And I think they just finally were unable to do it.

TVLINE | Over the years, you’ve had to say good-bye to a number of castmembers. Was it a relief, in a way, because now you wouldn’t have to trim the cast further?
I don’t think anybody was going to get cut, but [we would've had to] lessen the number of episodes that people were going to be in. I think that we could have augmented some of that with new faces. But yes, the truth is we were a family drama and at some point if you start to lose more and more of the family, it becomes less and less of what it was in the beginning. I think that as was said at the end of the finale, families change and they adapt and they become something else. I think that’s true of all families. So I think you could choose to look at the possibility of a different kind of evolving family and keep going. So I don’t think that it’s a relief that way, but you’re correct to point out that the original stories of just that family had shifted.

TVLINE | Speaking of the family, have you talked to any of the cast? How are they handling the news?
I’ve spoken to some of the cast, and I’ve exchanged e-mails. Brothers & Sisters was a family show, and I think it was a family that put it together. Starting from Robbie Baitz, who created it. His creation and his imprint on the family has lasted all the way through to the the finale. Likewise, [executive producers] Greg Berlanti, Allison [Schapker] and Monica [Breen], [director] Ken Olin… I bring up all these names because television is such a collaborative art. I think especially when you are doing a family drama, it really becomes sort of the essence of collaboration because people bring to the table their stories. And the actors brought their stories and their views of the world and that always made an impression on the writers. … You see it on the screen, and the truth is that their contributions really are parts of a whole. It’s all part of this family dynamic that intersects and creates this larger thing, which is larger than the brother, or the sister, or the uncle, or the mother. It’s the family.

TVLINE | In the finale, there were a lot of storylines that had closure. Did you see the writing on the wall?
I felt that we had a chance of getting picked up, but we also had a chance of not. I have to be honest: I thought it was a possibility. It came down to the wire. With that in mind, I felt I needed to do two things. What we tried to do was create a finale that had some closure in the sense that we had Scotty and Kevin with their family, Sarah getting married to Luc and discovering that Beau Bridges was her father, Nora falling in love with Brody, and Justin reconnecting to the girl he met in Season One…  These are ways of trying to give closure to this family, but at the same time the closure also represented the beginning of a new family, which was Brody’s daughter, who showed up in that finale; and Kitty being pregnant with Seth’s baby and the idea that that had some kind of medical jeopardy for her. And the fact that the girl that Justin reconnected with was married. Also, if Brody and Nora were going to live together, they had a new, larger extended family now to deal with because Brody clearly, as he says, has five children, if you count Sarah. So it was both closure and, at the same time, we were hoping that we were opening the door to a new world where there was a new family, a larger family.

TVLINE | Is there anything you would have changed about the episode had you known going in it was going to be a series finale?
I would have probably not had a medical problem looming for Kitty and her pregnancy. And I think I probably would have taken Justin’s relationship with [Tyler] further. The fact that she was married was setting up conflict and problems for him next season.

TVLINE | Were there any storylines you already had in the idea bin for next season?
We were definitely interested in Brody’s kids. I thought that his daughter would have been a great character. … Sarah had new brothers and sisters. So we were really interested in exploring Sara’s new family with Brody and how that could present conflict with the Walkers, because she now would have one foot in two worlds. Kevin and Scotty had finally created this family that they always wanted, so we were looking forward to telling the story of a gay family with two kids and what that means in terms of the world that we live in today. There was always the possibility of trying to think of that series ending [with] big drama. Something that would have been big for Nora. For Kitty, we were thinking seriously about whether or not we were going to put her in real medical peril because of the pregnancy and give her a choice  – a choice that she clearly made: Her unborn baby was going to be more important to her… Kitty was going to, obviously, refuse the chemo or whatever therapy she needed so that she didn’t harm her baby. And then the baby was going to be born fine and then we were going to decide what happened to Kitty.

TVLINE | Was the plan to have Seth back next season?
Yeah, we were going to bring Seth back.

TVLINE | Was there any thought about bringing back Emily VanCamp or Patricia Wettig if there was another season?
We would have loved to have brought Emily back and Patty. The Harpers were part of the show for so long, so it would have been so great to have had them come back for a few episodes.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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640 Comments
  1. Margaret says:

    Hello from the UK. I am devastated to learn that B and S has been cancelled; we have loved being part of this family who love each other.

  2. Gracey says:

    Every episode of Brothers and Sisters made me cry and my husband would always wonder why there were tissues on the sofa…
    They’re wondering why they have lesser viewers??? Coz they keep cutting one brother or sister from each season! It doesn’t make sense. I mean, what show would it be if the brothers and sisters are not there??? They want to cut Kitty off Season 6 and Sarah’s already a half sister? They should probably change the title altogether then. Brothers and a Half a Sister!
    Anyway, it doesn’t matter how they turned everything around but I hope that ONE, they push through another season and TWO, they bring all the brothers and sisters back on every episode. This tv series brings out the value of families, trust, truth and love. They’re helping other families to cope up with issues and maintain a strong bond…
    Im really hoping to see more of Brothers and Sisters…

  3. Kathy says:

    I had a glimmer of hope when I heard there would be a sixth season although it would be shortened. Now, it seems the show has been cancelled.
    There are so few series with great actors. It’s too bad ABC didn’t consider cancelling one of their reality series!

  4. JuanCarlos says:

    Sad indeed, I love the Wlker family since season one, and the las season wasn’t the best, but on the last episodes you culd feel the improvement, so the fact taht ABC cancelled the show without givin us a proper godd bye is not fair not to the actors, the crew, and specially not to the viewers!!! ABC you did wrong give us a proper finale, please, is the least you could do!!

  5. barbara says:

    I, too, am sad that B&S has been canceled. I loved the show and followed it from its first episode. I’ll miss the great cast and their interesting, complex storylines. So much more potential for a 6th season left untapped. I’ve been a huge fan of family dramas for decades, but realize that these shows have a limited life span. Cast members leave, the writing’s direction changes, the schedule makes it difficult for many fans to stay connected and invested, the network suits stay focused solely on profits, etc. etc. then cancellation. After watching the finale, I knew deep down that this was really the end, even though there was talk of a shortened 6th season. For me, the show ended on a positive note. As much as I’ve loved the trials and tribulations of the Walker’s and will miss my Sunday night fix, I am ready to move on. I wish all the actors well and look forward to seeing them in new tv and/or film projects.

  6. Barbara says:

    I am a “Baby Boomer” and I find it more and more difficult to stay interested in today’s programing.
    Brothers and Sisters was my favorite show, mainly because I could relate to Nora(Sally Fields) as a sixty something mother.

    What am I going to watch now? Reality TV?

  7. Ester says:

    My FAVORITE show gone so sad I’m going to miss the Walkers hope another network picks it up

  8. elaine says:

    sorry to see it go. find a way to bring it back. just about the only decent thing on tv these days. my husband watched it also.

  9. faith says:

    I love B & S AND AM VERY HEARTBROKEN IT WAS CANCELLED. i HAVE READ THE COMMENTS ON HERE AND THERE WERE A LOT OF MENTIONS ABOUT HOW RIDICULOUS IT WAS TO CANCEL BROTHERS AND SISTER AND KEEP DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. i LOVE BOTH SHOWS AND HAVE FOLLOWED EVERY EPISODE ON BOTH. although I DISAGREE WITH SOME OF THE COMMENTS ABOUT DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES I AM vERY SURPRISED THEY CHOSE TO KEEP dh RUNNING AND NOT B & S. i HATE TO SAY IT BUT HOUSEWIVES IS BORING ME TO DEATH. iT MUST HAVE A LOT MORE VIEWERS THAN B & S. i FEEL LIKE B&S RELATES TO MORE PEOPLE THOUGH. I AM IN MY EARLY 20′S AND ANOTHER LADY ON HERE IN HER 60′S WAS TALKING ABOUT RELATING TO NORA. i AM GOING TO STOP BABBLING NOTHING IS COMING OUT. I THOUGHT THIS WOULD MAKE ME FEEL BETTER BUT IT DOES NOT =(

  10. Chris says:

    What a shame. I’ve loved this show from the start. It did lose a little when Rob Lowe departed. It has picked up since with some new characters and plot lines. I’m sure another netw

  11. Mardi says:

    This is crazy. A good program comes on and develops it’s storyline, hooks people in, addresses topical and important issues in an entertaining way and employs top actors – then POOF off it goes. It an example of modern society’s illness: a short attention span and no regard for quality gone mad. B & S was an intelligent program and those responsible for taking it off should search their souls for some intelligence and more importantly, some humanity.

  12. carol says:

    oh i am so sad to see this show go of i never missed it i love sally field i used to watch her in the flying nun i will really miss it all the best to the cast

  13. Miranda says:

    I think ABC suck. Thanks for taking away something we loved. You suck.

  14. Linda sinclair says:

    So upset to find out that in austrailia we will be watching the last episode of bothers and sisters next week. It has been one of my favorite with sad times and a lot of laughs around the table. This show will be saddly miss in my house. It was the best show about families ups and downs and how important family is.

  15. Sue Walker says:

    Oh my god. I was so upset when I heard that the show had been axed. It was truly my favourite show ever. Why on earth would they axe such a popular show. Hopefully they will get enough complaints so that they change their mind. Absolutely adore Sally Field. She is the best actress ever. You Walkers will be missed. Please come back.

  16. Gerhard van Deventee says:

    It is so sad to say good bye to B&S!! Now just fonding out, leaked a tear… I had just finished up with it all and heard a rumour today, now is the realisation that it is true… I felt like a part of the family after, Ironicly, growing up on a house of 5 children and me, being they only gay guy in the family. This program made me feel what I have felt and relive qhat I have went through in life and gave me hope of what the future may hold. Its really sad to have my good byes woth the show, but as they say, every good thing comes to an end sometime… Thanks for the entertainment night after night!!

  17. Tracey says:

    Really Really sorry to see this show cancelled, loved it, actually one of the few shows I never missed. Loved all the characters, and the story lines,it was a great reason to stay up late on a Sunday night.

  18. dee 123 says:

    a show with excellent characters, excellent acting and well loved by many in the U.K.
    cannot believe its been cancelled!!!
    we as adults enjoy decent shows that not only entertain us but also feature topics we can relate too!!
    not everyone wants to be entertained by reality show after reality show!!! BRING BROTHERS AND SISTERS BACK!!! for so many people who enjoy a show that not only entertains but also makes us look forward to the next episode!!!

  19. dee says:

    hi really sad B and S ending i am an english viewer and loved watching this from episode 1

  20. Lindsey says:

    I am totally shocked, I cannot believe they have axed this. Honestly I love a lot of big American shows but this beats them all hands down, it had heart depth, everything. It got me through the hardest times of my life, through pregnancy, mourning, hard hard times. I’ve literally cried, it feels like a death, no real closure or ending I am so angry! I did not think I would love brothers and sisters as much when Robert died, that broke my heart because I loved him and kitty, but they pulled it off and brought some genius story lines to us. So annoyed and I felt I was a part of those walkers!

  21. Linda cole says:

    So So Sad the series of b&s has been axed,watching this show on tv gave a nice feeling that familes are great still.Looked forward to watching every programme,took me out of my real life into someone elses,all the trials and tribulations that occured,family solves everything,it was a great show,i could cry its not with us anymore.Please re-think ABC WE LOVE THIS SHOW BROTHERS AND SISTERS!!! We want it back!!!!

  22. Gillian Turner says:

    Only just found out that the series has been axed (I live in England)really gutted and sad because another great USA tv show gets dropped because it fails to hit the ratings. But let’s face it the advertisers are only interested in capturing a predominantly young viewing audience…I expect in a a couple of seasons the same will probably happen to Mad Men, as it fails to completely capture the only viewing demographic companies are interested in – young people! Not that I wish to sound ageist – heaven forbid – I’m just sick of decent drama being pulled because of who does and doesnt watch it. Shame on you American TV, it’s about time you got back to the art of entertaining people for the sake of entertaining – not what products you can shift. But then, hey, isn’t that what American tv was founded on. Thank god for the BBC!!!! RIP Brothers & Sisters.

  23. Jodie says:

    Not happy, it was the best show around with a FANTASTIC cast.. Real Shame ABC should look at what the viewers want! Hope someone else pics up their loss

  24. Deborah says:

    I watch B&S in the U.K and we have not seen the finale yet but I have only just found out there won’t be a season 6 and I am gutted. This is the best thing on t.v and I absolutely love it (I cry buckets every week. I love Scotty and Kevin (Matthew’s american accent is fab. He’s so totally welsh in real life). I also wanted Justin and Rebecca to stay together and I think Luc is just gorgeous. I am going to watch it from the start on my box set. I will miss it like crazy!!!

  25. Michele says:

    First i will say I don’t watch tv, because of the mindless fluff that usually is on. I actually just found Brothers and Sisters on Netflix and fell in love with it. How refreshing to have a show with great actors and actresses that mesh so well, and fit the story. I felt that I had found something I could look forward to as I watched each episode, this family had such a diverse and real relationship with one another, and so many times I could find an element that mirrored a situation in my own life. I was beside myself when season 5 wasn’t on netflix, but I found and bought to only find out now it was cancelled. I am disappointed, ok that is an understatement, finally something with some real in it, and now it is gone. Well I hope that the words of folks count and it would somehow be resurrected, but I loved all of the characters and will follow their endeavors.

  26. Christine Jones says:

    How can they cancel Brothers and Sisters… what are they thinking about, this is the best program on my t.v. on a Thursday night…
    I am so upset about this, please please don’t do this to all of us who love the program…CANCEL something else instead…

  27. Sarah says:

    I have really enjoyed watching Brothers and Sisters. I haven’t missed a single episode. Excellent writing, cast, and high quality drama. I am so disappointed that it has been cancelled. I hope that perhaps someone will reconsider and it will continue. I haven’t seen the final episode yet but it feels like the end of an era. Congratulations to the cast and the writers for such a consistently excellent programme.
    I am sure that American TV is going the same way as British TV in that if it’s not some cheap reality show or something where you have to phone in and vote then it’s not considered worthy. Consequently good drama gets pushed to one side.

  28. Sharlene says:

    I cannot believe that the show has been cancelled! It brought me so much laughter and tears. I always appreciated how down to earth the characters and the storylines were…life willl not be the same without the enjoyment of Brothers and Sisters.

  29. Noeleen says:

    I am devastated that Brothers and Sisters has been axed. Was best show on tv.Sally Field is a legend and if she wasn’t in show it would not be worth watching. I am an Australian will not watch another show from ABC. Take off great show for all the new reality garbage that is coming on SHAME on you

  30. Mel says:

    So truly upset about the cancellation.. Really looked forward to Monday nights (Australia)… The stories were real – I have laughed & cried over the years…

  31. Lauren says:

    All I can say is silly silly silly mistake! Brothers and Sister is one of the best shows to be aired in YEARS! All this rubbish reality TV is getting boring! I think that the cancellation of the show is awful news and if ABC had any brains it would reconsider this decision. I think there are going to be alot of viewers who move away from ABC on principle! I have to ask what this world is coming to that nothing of substance and meaning is worth keeping anymore. I know this is just TV we are talking about but just goes to to show how fickle this world is becoming! Brothers and Sisters you will be missed!

  32. mike says:

    bring back the show now! a 6th season is needed. Is one of the best shows I have ever seen, if not the best. Some very goo actress and actors. In is incongrous that Kitty is pregnant orm Seth and the future unknown; justin returns to his previous tyler gf who is married and nobody knows what is ging tto happen. Too many loose ends.This series is seen worldwide, and such an abrupt end is creepy!

  33. rachel says:

    If I were on the abc staff and money were an issue I would get rid of every other show and keep bros and sis. There was nothing I looked forward to more than sundays. Uch this stinks. :-(

  34. kelli says:

    No more ABC for me!

  35. marilyn anderson says:

    Please bring back Brothers & Sisters, I felt like I was apart of the Walker’s family. Who will I drink wine with on Sunday nights?

  36. Susan says:

    Have just watched the final episode…. am GUTTED. Someone please bring us season SIX!

  37. Daphne Walker says:

    This is madness, bring it back,thursday nights will never be the same. Actors brilliant, sally fields is a legend. This a true family show,please please bring it back xx

  38. Natalie says:

    My sister and I are devastated its finished, how much begging do we have to do to bring it back??? tv will not be the same without u.

  39. Christine says:

    I really enjoyed this programme, so sick of not having anything to watch on T.V., then they go and axe one of my favorite progs that I have watched each season, does anyone really care about what the watchers want?

  40. juzjeans says:

    Myself, family and friends have watched Brothers & Sisters since the first episode aired in Australia and have not missed one episode since!! Shocked yet another fantastic show with real life situations has been canned!! espeially as there was no formal announcment just at the end of last weeks show the preview for this weeks saying FINAL SHOW EVER wth? Such a shame…todays TV is just getting over run with brain dead shows and reality programs conveniently edited to pull in the big ratings. Watch out ladies next will be DESPERATE HOUSE WIVES and PARENT HOOD etc they are good shows no naturally they will have to go too! :P

  41. leigh says:

    to be honest was gutted to hear the brothers and sisters was no more, my mum and i both loved it and going to miss it !

  42. Beverly says:

    I too am very saddened that Brothers and Sisters has been taken off the Fall schedule. I looked forward to every single episode. The show was so real about how a real family has happy times, sad times, and angry times it was like a real family. Why didn’t you take off Desperate Housewives? That is so unreal. Is there a chance that they can reverse their decision?

  43. Juan Aurelio Ramos says:

    Im a very sad that Brothers & Sisters is cancelled.. I have watched this show from the beginning and i looked forward to every episode. The past 5 years have been great. Its almost like you are apart of the Walker family.. So seeing it end is heartbreaking :-(

  44. Katie says:

    I feel like crying, it must come back.
    Even if they spent time coming up with good plots & storylines, and bring it back. Pleasee

    If they don’t I swear I will have to destroy Abc.

  45. marit says:

    This show had some toughtfull episodes.It come up with betrayal,divorce,homosexuality,adoption,canser,war,education,politics..Life as it is for most of us living on this planet.Why would they stop this show ?? I do love this family histories.Please dont stop this very good show !!!!!

  46. julie Smith says:

    ABC get real so many people want this show..so bring it back…Bottom dollar is that what it’s all about? be honest…tell the fan’s the truth we are so sick of your lies…Tell them really why you are cancelling..Honesty the best policy out there..

  47. Brendan says:

    It’s sad for me to say that I just got into this show a season ago. BUT, my parents have been watching it from the beginning. I would always catch glimpses of it, & I thought it was interesting. SO, I decided to go ahead & watch some episodes.
    I got hooked.
    But wanna know why…?
    Because of Kevin & Scott, one of, if not the BEST gay relationship I have ever seen debuted on TV. I’m not going to get too personal about this, but they just made me feel like I had a little glimpse of hope in finding a relationship like theirs. It was just an amazing relationship, and I admired them so much.
    So, ABC, do me a favor….
    Bring back Brothers & Sisters, AKA the BEST show that I have EVER watched on your network.

  48. Wendy says:

    I too can’t believe they have axed Brothers & Sisters – I have watched every episode and re-watched each series on DVD. It is commical and funny at the same time, and Sally Field played an amazing role. I agree with other comments like “how do soaps like Days of Our Lives and The Young & The Restless go on for years when they have ridiculous story lines and fake props.
    Surely someone will have the insight to pick this up and continue running with it.
    BRING BACK BROTHERS & SISTERS PLEEEAAASSSEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. Yvette says:

    I am gutted!!! PLEASE bring it back!!

  50. marai says:

    i am from lakemba nsw and i totally enjoyed watching brothers and sisters it was a very realistic and enjoyable show and i was most upset it was axed i feel it should have got the financial backing it was a show that i am my family enjoyed watching and will miss it.
    PLEASE RECONSIDER YOUR CHOICE BRING IT BACK

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