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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639 Comments
  1. Nicole says:

    Ridiculous!! B&S was a GREAT show and this panam show or whatever is that your replacing brothers and sisters with looks like a dive… I am soo disappointed..ABC you guys are a joke.,..Just lost one of your best shows!!! Shame on you!

  2. Jo Ann says:

    I always waited impatiently for Sunday to arrive with my favorite show, “Brothers and Sisters”. What a disappointment to find that they are no longer on the air. How is this possible? Finally, a show that was worthwhile seeing. The cast was great, etc. BRING BROTHERS AND SISTERS BACK.

  3. Ellen says:

    Was searching and searching to see if I could find the start date for Season 6 of Brothers and Sisters only to find out it was cancelled. I am really disappointed. I think ABC needs to find another method of gauging a show’s popularity other than the Nielsen ratings as I think you’ll find this show was very popular across all demographics. I am not a person who subscribes to cable but boy-oh-boy ABC, you’re making it tough to not go that way.

  4. julie s says:

    I’ve been catching up this past month watching past episodes of this wonderful show…and am just learning now that’s it’s done. I just watched Robert die in a car crash. His character and his relationship with Kitty was absolutely the best part of this show! I am so sad that Rob left the show and wish he would be in season 5 which I will start watching soon. I have so very much enjoyed watching his performance over these past seasons….very sad.

  5. Carole says:

    I can’t believe the series is over! I have watched it from the beggining. Sunday was my night to watch TV. Desparate Housewifes, then Brothers and Sisters. They could have at least brought it back for a few more shows so we could have a proper good-by. I will miss the Walkers. They were what family is all about!

  6. Denise says:

    My husband & myself have 5 grown children(his,mine, & ours) which reminded me a lot of the sibling rivalry portrayed in Brothers & Sisters. I can’t believe it was.cancelled without a more definite ending after 5 yrs. on the air, afterall, didn’t we, the loyal fans deserve @ least that much? I ReAlly can’t see losing a program like this when tv seems to be filled with all those StUpid reality shows!!!

  7. marsha says:

    i really loved watching this show too, it was my show, i stayed up every Sunday night for this, looking forward to it! It was such an emotional show. I think i cried almost every episode. I am really sad, upset, and DISAPPOINTED that it has been cancelled. Instead of keeping one good show on tv they keep these ridiculous reality shows going.

  8. Brenda says:

    Let me see: Providence, Men in Trees, Judging Amy, Everwood, 7th Heaven, Brothers and Sisters, Ali McBeale, Gilmore Girls!!! Who’s next??? Greys Anatomy and Private Practice???????

    • Liz says:

      OOOH, Grey’s Anatomy or Priv Prac. goes……..ABC…don’t do it!!! You already devestated us with axing Brothers and Sisters. You really suck! >:( Money???, really, this is your reasoning. How many reality TV shows give millions away when someone wins? $$$$$$, pshh, stupid excuse! Shame on you!!!

  9. MsPittsburgh says:

    Well….another show axed by ABC. ABC is notorious for axing many good shows. I had sincerely hoped that Brothers & Sisters would not end…ever. Loved the Walker clan and I will always miss it on Sunday nights.

  10. MsPittsburgh says:

    Oh and btw ABC…please don’t tell me that any of your reality tv crap drama is better than Brothers & Sisters….The cancellation of Brothers & Sisters just makes me SICK!!!!!!!!!

  11. Leonie says:

    Season 6 is a BIG MUST. This family series has made me think and see things so differently where I have made mistakes in my life and different ways of approaching situations. Nora plays her part so well that I can cry and laugh whenever she does as I can relate to being a mother and all that goes with it. What about Nora’s life after all the heartache and fighting to keep her family together do we now not get to see that she also found happiness?? Come on guys I am sure there must be money somewhere………..pleasssssssssssseeeeeeeeeee

    • Liz says:

      Leonie,
      You said it…..Nora made me laugh, cry, and feel the aching heart that a mother feels when things are not right in a family. I am so mad, I just want to cry! How could ABC do this………especially with no warning! Thanks a lot!

  12. Maggie says:

    Very sorry to see this show end. It was a nicely constructed, family show for adults and I will surely miss this on Sunday nights. Its a shame because there are so many less interesting, who cares shows, like a lot of the reality shows,, Kardashians, Housewives of wherever and lots more. I enjoyed it for the years it was on but will miss it alot.

  13. Janine says:

    I still can’t believe the show was cancelled!! I watched every season and even got my family and friends addicted to the show. This was one of the only shows I watched, and dvr was set every week!!!! So sad and mad!!!

  14. Janet says:

    I really looked forward to season 6. Big mistake. Brothers & Sisters was real family drama. I am so disapointed. The cast was great. I will miss this show the most. Bring it back!!!!!!!!

  15. Miss Free says:

    I can not believe that there will be no more Brothers and Sisters….Brothers and Sisters had real spunk…It had drama, Love, honesty and Laughter…Know days u can’t find all if that in a show….A lot of shows are garbage….But Brothers and Sister is gem….Come on ABC get it together bring back the JOY in Millions of homes!

  16. Ruthie says:

    I am so upset with this canceling. Couldn’t you @ least do a two parter & close all the story lines? ABC You suck for this… WHen Vegas was cancelled a few years ago, they did it in the same way… Us peons would like some endings to our shows… We are the reason why so many shows stay on… I guess now good shows won’t be seen just a bunch of stupid stupid stupid reality shows…. Thanks for nothing

  17. Sosad says:

    They truely should not have been cancelled please give a chance u r running tv with reality n supernatural bs. These types of shows teach value n real life issuse I say do a pettion like friday night lights which just brought home an emmy. Their fans brought it back bring brothers an sisters back!

  18. dan breit says:

    Although I was a regular viewer of this show from the beginning and enjoyed it, I have to stop short of saying that it was a great program. Frankly, it was yet another example of “Hollywood Values” being thrust upon America as the epitome of all that is right with our culture. There were so many examples of questionable values/decisions regarding this dysfunctional family that were shown as “righteous” that are just too numerous to mention here. I just hope that I was not the only one to see through this attempt by ABC to “liberalize” this country’s citizens. At least this show was entertaining if one was able to filter out the subtle endeavors of converting Judeo-Christian values to Hollywood values. Regardless, it beats the heck out of Reality TV!

  19. gina says:

    Let me just say that I LOVE the show….I’m very upset that it got canceled…this is one show that my roommate and I watched that we both could not stop watching…..the last episode in season five I cried so hard I just wanted to know more of what happens….it almost got to the point with me that it felt like my own family was in the accident…..I hope that there would be more money that it will put the show back on…..but one can only hope….

  20. Melissa says:

    I am so disappointed that Brothers and Sisters has been canceled without a series finale. This was one of the few TV shows I looked forward to and watched every week. I don’t plan to watch ABC this season. Their budget woes are just beginning; keep canceling good shows like this and there won’t be any faithful viewers left. Hopefully they will realize what a mistake it was to cancel such a great show.

  21. Patty says:

    This is so upsetting. I’ve been checking the tv guide waiting for the show to start. It was one of my favorites. Shame on you ABC!!!

  22. Patrick says:

    Brothers and Sisters was our favorite show on TV. We altered our schedule to view it at run time. My brothers, and mother would call after most episodes to dish the show. It was a REAL family brought to life by incredible actors, it mirrored our family. All of us are disappointed (as usual) with ABC. PLEASE, budget problems ? I watched a clip of the over produced PAN AM, what INSIPID crap. ABC is a loser network, we are learning not to tune in as everything we get settled into watching is canceled and nothing is wrapped up, ex: Pushing Daisies now Bros & Sis. Grrrrrrrrr

  23. Patrick says:

    ABC you’ve lost our 5 family households of watching your network. To HELL with your stupid Reality shows. We don’t watch them and never will, so keep putting them out there and see how far you sink.(stink)

  24. Joanne says:

    I feel like I had my head in the sand.. I was so looking forward to the new season of Brothers & Sisters, and I read today that it was cancelled back in May. It was one of my most favorite shows of the week, and I never missed an episode. So disappointing…

  25. Susie says:

    I can’t believe Brothers and Sisters was cancelled. It’s a shame when you get a decent tv show worth watching only to be cancelled. This was more of a family show like they used to produce in years past and they need to bring more of those shows back to the air instead of ones not worth to watch. I liked all of the characters and that’s hard to find on a show. You need to bring it back!!!!

  26. laura says:

    I don’t know if it is of any use to add my comments, as I don’t think it will change anyones mind… but just the same, here’s my two bits!
    Of all the shows to cancel, there is so much crap out there on TV, and as you can see from many of the emails, Brothers and Sisters was a good show, with a lot of loyal viewers!
    I will really miss the show, what a great cast of actors, will miss seeing them on Sunday nights, and following their lives.
    I do not watch much TV, however it was one of the few shows I enjoyed watching.
    Bad choice ABC!!!

  27. Cheryl Gagliardi says:

    So sad. I will truly miss this show. It was one of my favorites! Replacing it with Pan Am…………REALLY??? That’s even sadder.

  28. Angela says:

    So disappointed that Brother & Sisters was cancelled this season. I loved all of the characters, all played by great actors. There are so many stupid reality shows on TV that don’t get cancelled and they cancel a great show like this. What are they thinking??

  29. Ronda says:

    I’m very disappointed that Brothers & Sisters won’t be starting its sixth season tonight. Very sad.

  30. Cindi says:

    I can’t believe you are dropping another show! I was pissed when you canceled Flash Forward! Why don’t you give the viewers some warning like “series finale?” You suck and I am not watching ABC ever again!

  31. Christine says:

    I will miss the well told stories and the wisdom that Brothers & Sisters protrayed. All people could in some way relate to this show and the issues of this interesting tv family. Poor call for ABC.

  32. Erika Leigh says:

    I will not be watching PanAm and have also decided not to watch Desperate Housewives anymore. I really only watched this show as a filler until Brothers and Sisters came on. It was amusing, but I am now attempting to make a point. I will not watch garbage on tv anymore! Bring back good storylines, good actors and actresses please. ABC I want Brothers and Sisters back. End of story.

  33. GiGi says:

    First All my Children and One Life to Live….now Brothers and Sisters…I am thru with ABC!!!!

  34. Novy says:

    This totally sucks. Was an awesome show

  35. Barb says:

    How could you even think let alone doing so cancell such a great show. I’am absolutly devasted. I’ve look forward to Sunday’s just to watch the Walker family. I will not watch PamAm and hope it bombs

  36. Karen says:

    I can not believe ABC cancelled one of the best shows on television. My Sunday night will never be the same. I am done with the network and ALL of their awful shows. What a terrible decision…
    And actually, I’m done with all the major networks…there is nothing on anymore except cop shows, medical dramas and reality TV! And, the comedies that are on are the WORST! What happened to the quality family shows of the 80’s and 90’s? I can not name ONE quality show on television right now…TV SUCKS!!!!

  37. Karen says:

    I am disappointed that Brothers & Sisters were cancelled. I did not even realize until tonight when I tuned in and much to my dismay was Pan Am (I watched some of it – didn’t like it :( I won’t be watching next week. Please bring back Bros & Sis. :)

  38. donna says:

    I cannot believe brothers and sisters is cancelled! Grrrr! Pan am the replacement? So much for progress…whats next? How to reach your inner Harriet Nelson? We’re going backwards people!

  39. K Weinberg says:

    I can’t believe this great show was cancelled. It was the highlight of my week. So I tried to watch Pan Am – bad. Not even close to being in a league with Brothers and Sisters. I just don’t get it.

  40. Carrie says:

    If abc says they cancelled Brothers and Sisters due to budget..it’s because they spent a TON of money on Pan Am….which cannot shine the shoes of Broth and Sis. The characters on Pan Am are not nearly as engaging as B&S nor the story line..I predict Pan Am will be gone after one season, if it lasts that long..I like Christina Ricci…however…no one can top Sally Field’s acting along with the rest of the cast. Big mistake on ABC’s part. Desparate Housewives is over this season…at least they get a season to finalize the characters and the story lines. They did B&S way wrong, and will loose a large viewer audience because of it. Replace B&S with Pan Am…they do not know their time slot viewers very well.

  41. Floella Silva says:

    I did not realize that it had been cancled untill tonight, when we were wondering when it would be back on. It was my favorite show. I guess TV is out of the question anymore. Please bring back the days when you turn on the TV and the movie you couldnt wait for on that day and chanel would really be there. Also, I dont understand why when a new season starts that they put all of the great shows on at the same time to compete with each other. Bring back the day when the viewers were somehow a consideration.

  42. eileen lacusta says:

    i am so freakin pissed i have been waiting for this show to come back i watched this with my mom and we finally had things to talk about. abc you really f’ed up this time this was a great show i don’t know what to say i swear there is nothing like this show on tv dam i don’t know why to even watch tv anymore.

  43. Lisa says:

    Sunday night is not the same Pan Am is boring bring back B*S will ya

  44. Kat says:

    ABC ended Brothers and Sisters for the same reason it is ending it’s soaps – big casts cost money and ABC wants to do low budget programs. Execs get bonuses on precentage of profit so the cheaper the show the more money they make. I hate the caliber of show ABC is trying to cram down our throats. Other than Castle and General Hospital I don’t watch anything on ABC.

  45. Liz says:

    I am really really upset that B & S has been cancelled. I have been looking forward to the return all summer, I was physicaly sick when my dad told me it was cancelled. I am just sick about it. The Walker’s were a real family with real problems and is just seemed, well….real! I wish we could have seen at least Season 6, some kind of warning and weening from the show.
    Thank you,
    A Sad Liz :(……

  46. Sarah says:

    this was a major disappointment , not much left to watch on abc . all my programs have been cancelled . To bad

  47. chuck says:

    Yes, I agree with all of the disappointed, and I am very saddened, as well, without a doubt one of my all time favorites. The timing of the episodes, 10:00PM certainly put it to a disadvantage, I kept wondering why they didn’t treat it more fairly. That’s past my bedtime, so I Tivo’ed it every week. So sad.

  48. Shellie says:

    I can NOT believe ABC has replaced Brothers and Sisters with that show Pan Am…I watched it last week only because B&S wasn’t on, but I will NOT watch this week. That show was the biggest waste of my time, an hr I will never get back…In fact I have considered not watching ANY ABC shows…I can’t believe the crappy shows they air yet cancel the good ones..GET A CLUE ABC!!

  49. Meg says:

    Dear ABC: have a heart and bring us back to the Walker home for just one more season!!!!! I loved B & S!!! I was only able to watch intermittently on weekly TV. Then I got Seasons 1 – 4 on Netflix, and I bought Season 5 from Amazon.com. I watched them all on streaming video, which allowed me the pleasure of watching the complete series over 5 days. It was compelling! I am saddened to just learn that it’s been cancelled. A 6th Season is needed in order to follow Kitty and Seth’s unborn baby story-line in addition to the mystery of Luc’s father. And Sol and Jonathan’s nuptuals. And Nora and Brody’s relationship along with all the new family members that are coming from his side. And to watch Paige as she grows. And Justin and Taylor’s story. Too many loose ends leave me unsettled. One last episode with everyone together, including Holy, Rebecca, David, Ryan and Ryan’s father, PLEASE and thank you!

  50. Nena says:

    The only show worth watching. It made me sad and it’s depressing that my favorite show came to an end.

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