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.

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636 Comments
  1. denise says:

    I had been watching to see when the new brothers &went sisters was going to start – figured abc was just trying to get their new show a good start! Tonight I finally googled & realized it had been cancelled!! I am so disappointed!! Not only will this great program be missed but its loyal viewers were robbed of the closure we (& the show) deserved! Shame on abc for leaving us & the walkers hanging!

  2. lisa says:

    wowwwwwww, i only watch like 4 or 5 shows a week and this was one of them! I had no idea it was cancelled!!!! tragic!!!! bring it back!!!!!!!!

  3. Anne says:

    I am so disappointed the show was canceled. I looked forward to it every Sunday. Why is it the best shows are always axed? It was refreshing to see a program without violence, blood and gore. We need more shows like this not less.

  4. Caro says:

    I agree, Season 6 is a must. We want more B & S!!!!

  5. Elena-Beth says:

    Same as the others posting, just found out by googling, very disappointed and frustrated, but somewhat comforted by reading these comments, knowing I’m not alone in my feelings. Thanks for the article!

  6. MJ says:

    I had NOOOOOO idea Brothers and Sisters was cancelled. I waited all summer for Season 6. Couldn’t wait for it to begin. I literally watch TWO shows. Desperate Housewives and Brothers and Sisters – that is IT. It is one of those few shows left that actually captures my attention and it my “me” time without my husband and kids. It is as close to “realty” as it comes and takes me away from my own personal drama. I am certainly not walking Pan Am. That show will never fly. I am 40-years-old and my mother 71-years-old. We both had looked forward to Brothers and Sisters each week and wondered “where did it go.” So, I Googled it to my extreme disappointment to find it had been cancelled. In our opinion a very big mistake. There is SO little of interest to watch on television anymore. ABC has always been my network of choice, but his was a poor decision.

  7. Bonnieb says:

    One of the Best shows on Sunday night TV. Great show, great cast. I am sick of stupid Sitcoms and Reality. I am very disappointed with the Network for dropping this show.

  8. Vicki says:

    Just Googled Brothers and Sisters to find out what happened?? So disappointed! Will NOT watch replacement – would rather switch networks!!!

  9. Lori says:

    So very sad and mad that Brothers and Sisters is gone! I wondered when it was starting and finally googled and found this out. Just wrong! To cancel a show that surely had great ratings without bringing the show to an end to its fans, is just wrong!! Pan Am is no comparison! EPIC fail ABC!!

  10. marianne says:

    Brothers and Sisters was an exceptional show with terrific actors and storylines……very upset it has been replaced with such a dumb show about panam REALLY……what were you thinking.

  11. Kristin says:

    I was wondering when the new season of Brothers & Sisters was going to be on so I finally just googled it to see if a date had been posted for the season premiere and I see all of the headings saying it was cancelled!!! I knew this was supposed to be the last season but was anxious to see how it would all end. I’m beyond disappointed that ABC couldn’t even let the viewers watch the closure of this series and be left to just imagine the outcome; and to be replaced by Pan Am???? I find this new show Pan Am wierd—a show about airline stewardesses in the 1960s??? How is this entertaining?!?!?!? Also, I will NOT watch all of this reality TV garbage—who cares about watching people living their everyday lives and get paid millions of $$$ for it??? I wouldn’t want my daily life aired on national television nor do I think anyone would care to watch my daily life. Come on, television networks—listen to the viewers—the people who pay your mega salaries and for your lavish lifestyles!!!

  12. Barbara says:

    How very sad! B&S was one of the best shows offered in many, many years. And to replace it with something like Pan Am? What a letdown!

  13. Nancy says:

    I too didn’t realize the show was cancelled. Tonight I finally looked online to see what was going on with the new season and I find the show is cancelled. It is very disappointing to have a show end that way without story lines being wrapped up and no prior warning. I am very disappointed by this.

  14. Louis says:

    I’m very shocked to hear the news. Such a wonderful show being cancelled is beyond stupidity. With all these unscripted idiotic reality shows dominating the tv I looked forward to some wholesome family tv. I am missing brothers and sisters immensely and wish for ABC to grant one more season to wrap up loose ends. But I regret to say that I have fallen in love with Pan Am but am afraid to devote to much time into and then to have ABC cancel yet another show with a lot of promise.

  15. Mara Izzo says:

    I too was shocked to learn that Brothers and Sisters was cancelled. It was THE best family drama on television. I watched the show faithfully from the beginning and am so disappointed that it was cancelled after last season. I agree that there are several other shows that could have been chopped without issue in it’s place. The story lines in B&S were interesting, current and very real unlike many other shows. I can only hope that ABC reconsiders its decision or another network picks this up, and that the actors would be interested in remaining involved for a sixth and several more seasons.

  16. DeEtte says:

    I soooooo miss Brothers and Sisters. I was wondering where it was this season. This was one show I made an effort to watch or DVR. Quality acting and real life family issues made it worth my Sunday evenings. Soooo sad.

  17. Vicky says:

    Pan-Am? Really? You replace an excellent show with an excellent cast such as Brothers & Sisters with a Mad Men knock-off? ABC, why don’t you leave the 60s to Mad Men, stop trying to copy, and stick to something you do well.

  18. CBM says:

    Very disapointed Brothers and Sisters weas cancelled. Besides Grey’s Anatomy, my television viewing is limited. I wn’t be wathcing PanAm…I would have rather had Desperate Housewives cancelled! Please bring it back. I agree with all the other posts…

  19. Cheryl Wood says:

    So typical !!! Turf the shows with any depth of character and leave on the shows with little substance-way to go ABC

  20. Todd says:

    I do agree I have totally given up on the network for basically saying fans – paying fans do not matter. The show they replaced my show with is horrible ! No close comparison at all. Just a shame. The network needs a reality check. I plan to boycott this crap by just not watching or supporting a network that cares so little about the viewers opinion. Todd

  21. Kawennaie:ri Deer says:

    I feel so disappointed that the show is not returning this season. I have been waiting for it’s return only to discover today tha it isn’t. There were two shows I watched every Sunday evening. Now I feel the best show’s story line has the fans just hanging in the air.
    I rarely watch television so when there is a good program I enjoy and look foreward to I hope it lasts for a long time. I understand that shows come to an end but not like this. I am truely disappointed in the network and the in which this was handled.

  22. Cris says:

    It is sad that things must come to an end- but it was the perfect ending. It showed that life goes on- and we can see how unconditional love freely given in this family sustains the family and the individual members in it. We don’t know the specifics with Kitty’s pregnancy, or how Evan will do as he grows up, or if Brody and Nora will make it. But we do know that they will be there to support one another as they each go through it all.

  23. Tyler says:

    This was my favorite show. I’m so bummed it’s over. I hope they bring it back.

  24. Lori W says:

    Bring back this fantastic show! No warning or finale was not fair to the viewers! I loved this show.

  25. Linda says:

    I am completely devastated that Brothers and Sisters are no longer on air. I’ve followed the show from the very beginning and I must say this show is more real than 95% of shows on tv. I’m truly upset over the fact that it was due to budget issues. Is there anyway this show can be funded and be back on the air, or, how about another network take the show and start it from last season?

  26. Ella Nim says:

    I loved this show!!! I looked forward to it all week . I am sad to see it go . I’m not getting hooked on another ABC show , they owed us all a good ending . This show was fun for me and my friends and we will miss it .

  27. carol says:

    I could not believe they cancelled my favorite show, watching Pan Am not even close to this show….I miss it bring it back….

  28. Vero says:

    This is a big let down by Abc they should have finished brothers & sisters now there’s no real reason for me to tune in on sunday. BIG LET DOWN!!

  29. Pam says:

    What a loss to dedicated television viewers. Brothers and Sisters consistently presented real life story lines with such honesty. Great writing and great acting – to be replaced by Pan Am????? Please – after the first episode it was “cancelled” by me…..
    Stewardess’ affairs with married men, others joining the ranks of the “cold war” espionage scene – yah right !!!! ABC made a monumental mistake on this one – shame on you!

  30. Lara says:

    I LOVE Brothers & Sisters.
    I can’t believe there won’t be a 6th season!!!!
    I’m gonna miss watching it with my family
    Hopefully they bring it back.

  31. Demi says:

    BRING IT BACK I AM HAVING THE BIGGEST WITHDRAWALS :(. I would donate :) nothing compares to this show….

  32. Holly says:

    I was so disappointed that Brothers and Sisters was cancelled, there just isn’t much good tv to watch and this was really good and interesting. I loved all the characters. The 6th season sounded really good. I wish some network would pick it up, or even make it a daytime soap.

  33. Hawaii viewer says:

    I think it was TOTALLY unrealistic for a woman who had carried a child in her belly AND then raised it for many months to just hand over the kid and disappear. I think it would have been much easier to watch and a lot more realistic if she showed up the next episode and they all somehow figured out a way to co-parent together. But really, she just disappeared and the gay family lived happily ever after? What about the abandonment issues the sad baby must of had?!?
    GREAT show overall, but just that one part was pretty unrealistic.

    • Carol says:

      I believe season 5 was full of unrealistic situations. The characters acted like if they were robots. Kitty’ s storyline was Terrible. She didn’t even grieve. When Robert had been the love of her life. Totally absurd. And at the end, she was pregnant with Seth’s child, are you kidding me? She could never have a kid with Robert, she has cancer and now she’s pregnant with the awful teenager. Awful.

  34. kristina says:

    I love brothers and sisters,i am very upset it is cancelled i really thought the season ended and was gonna start back up….i just found out the show was cancelled…..yes everything must come to an end but i wasnt ready for it to end or depesarte housewives….my sundays will never be the same……nora is a great mother and keeper of her family…..im just like her..i look up to her and wish and hope my children are as close all seven of them…..they will be missed! And panam is no brothers and sisters but not an awful show …….cant we fit brothers and sisters somewhere or how about a movie to end brothers and sisters

  35. Laura says:

    Just realized this show was canceled. That is just too bad. It was a fantastic show with interesting characters & story lines. Budget issues?? I really loved seeing Sally Fields every week & will dearly miss Nora & the rest of the Walkers.

  36. Debbie M says:

    I am not happy with ABC’s decision to cancel Brothers and Sisters. I loved this show and wanted to see more of the Walker family. I think that there are a lot of stupid half hour sitcoms that should be cancelled and somehow they remain on the air. When you are devoted to a show that is on for several seasons then they should at least have the chance to complete the show so that their fans are not left hanging. This has happened with several dramas that I have become involved with and unfortunately it doesn’t seem that it matters to what the views want. How sad is that!

  37. Moira says:

    I’m still in shock! Loved Brothers and Sisters and looked forward to it every Sunday night. Great family show at the end of a week to look forward to. Don’t like PAN AM! Bring back Brothers and Sisters!! Refuse to watch PAN AM!!

  38. Jen says:

    No, you are not the only 2 fans unaware that Brothers and Sisters was canceled! I too have been waiting to see when the new season would start. I am socked at this news it truly was the best show to watch on Sunday. The cast of the show was amazing and you could really relate to the family’s ups and downs. I will miss this show and the way it made me laugh and cry. This is a real lose!

  39. Michelle says:

    I just came on to see when the show starts again and Im disappointed to see that it isnt, it was one of my favorites and I agree with a post above I loved “Judging Amy” as well. Why do all the good shows get cancelled?? Not fair. I think it should be brought back!!!

  40. Cindy says:

    I think the amazing cast and we, the fans, deserved a farewell season!!! Or at least a warning! Cant believe ABC did this, Im surprised in a very bad way.

  41. Mary Lowe says:

    How can this happen? ABC keeps a crappy show like The Middle going while cancelling a great show with good ratings lke Brothers and Sisters? Budget concerns? Hire a business consultant from Wharton, Stanford, Harvard…I am sure this is not brain surgery, so personally I think there is some other hidden agenda at play here that will never be revealed.

  42. Tracy says:

    I am sloop mad at ABC for taking this show off! What were you thinking? No end? After desperate housewives goes off I’m done! That was a great show at least give us an end! This is very frustrating!

  43. nicole says:

    This show was awesome! Bad call taking off the air..pan am cannot come close!

  44. Deanna says:

    Shocked, disappointed, what a loss to quality contemporary night time family drama. I enjoyed the show a great deal and will miss it VERY MUCH! Shame on ABC…

  45. duke says:

    I can’t believe this!

    EMAIL ABC TO BRING IT BACK…

  46. MKDart says:

    I had no idea that my favorite show had been cancelled! I began to suspect when I didn’t see any teasers or previews advertised but I was hoping my suspicions were unfounded. That ABC just would not cancel such a fabulous show! B&S’s had great characters, compelling & rich stories and I looked forward to every Sunday night because of this show. I just don’t get what’s happening at ABC! The fans are being very disrespected. We get vested in a show, we support it diligently and they cut it off without any notice what-so-ever. And it’s replacement, Pan-Am, is just not up to the standard of Brothers and Sisters and I doubt that it will last. It certainly has not excited me and it’s not good enough to replace one of the best shows in recent years. I’m very sad and angry.

  47. Jeanne says:

    I also enjoyed watching Brothers & Sisters. The changes they went through, yet, worked it out as a family by the end of the night. I was greatly disappointed when it was replaced by PAM AM.. Now that is something we will stay up & watch…Back to Brothers & Sisters: Sally Fields, Beau Bridges, Kitty’s health & Sarah’s new love “what a story to look forward to each week”. Expecting it to start this fall greatly disappointed me when I researched it’s whereabouts & noticed it was cancelled. It truly is sad when they take off programs that make us happy during trying times. Just like all the other memorable shows that would make us laugh. Now we watch??? what??? Unemploying the actors from Brothers & Sisters is a real disappointment. The writers/bosses should be ashamed you couldn’t market this show better. I for one will continue to research the whereabouts of the Brothers & Sisters cast & watch their shows “WHERE EVER THEY ARE”… they all are great actors. Thank you for your work in the past years. We enjoyed it tremendously..

  48. ro says:

    This is so dumb that they cancelled the best show on TV…They took of the daytime Soaps so they shouldve keep B&S this is a huge mistake for the network…i really hope you guys dont pick up anther reality show :(

  49. Margo says:

    They cancelled All My Children now Brothers and Sisters, the ABC executives don’t want to know what I think of them! I think FOX or Lifetime should grab some of these shows. It seems they are doing something right.

  50. Laura says:

    please bring brothers and sisters back i feel like your taking apart of my family away.It is such a great show and it deseves at least one more season.