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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640 Comments
  1. Janne says:

    I used to look forward to ending the weekend by watching “Brothers and Sisters”. I am 62. So, the show obviously appealed to more than just the 40′s age group. It’s too bad ABC didn’t ask the viewers and cut something else. Reconsider please.

  2. D.COVINGTON says:

    I’am so disappointed,I did not no until today that BROTHERS AND SISTERS HAD BEEN CANCELLED. WHAT A SHAME. ABC’S SUNDAY NIGHT LINE UP IS AWFUL. WE NEED MORE FAMILY SHOWS THAT SPEAK TO THE WHOLE FAMILY AND BROTHERS AND SISTERS DID GREAT WITH THERE STORY LINES. I WISH THE BEST FOR THE CAST AND HOPE ABC REALIZE WHAT A HUGE MISTAKE THEY MADE BY REMOVING THIS SHOW.

  3. Karen says:

    Really upset that Brothers and Sisters was dropped. I think this was one of the best shows that had aired in a long time on any channel…. It had story lines that are reality for some people and they could relate. I have laughed with B & S, and have most definitely cried with B & S….. I really think ABC made a huge mistake…… I haven’t watched Pan Am and don’t to…

  4. Ann C. says:

    ABC , take that stupid ‘Pan Am show’ off and bring us back our most Loved show, ‘Brothers and Sisters’ with the wonderful storylines and superb acting !

  5. Mary White says:

    As an only child I loved Brothers and Sisters. It was one of my 2-3 favorite shows on tv. And then to have it replaced with such a worthless show. Now I find that I am not even watching Desperate Housewives but usually a movie on Sunday night. Not a good move!

  6. mindy says:

    i can not beleive abc did this to the viewers. how could they just yank it without any closure. i a so disappointed. i so enjoyed the walker family…………………………

  7. Margaret Standish says:

    I, too, am extremely disappointed that Brothers & Sisters has finished. For me it ranked alongside the West Wing as a thoroughly captivating series. There were plenty of characters to disperse the interest and storylines and the writing was brilliant.

    Please re-consider and bring back such a superb series.

    Congratulations to all of the actors and actresses for portraying the family in such utterly believable fashion. I lived their traumas with them.

  8. Misty says:

    So disappointed that Brothers and Sisters was canceled. I am staying with watching my CBS shows and using this void for movie rentals. I have totally lost faith in ABC since they can not stay consistent.

  9. Ela says:

    This show was one of the best TV shows out there. Why those lame day soaps stay on production for decades, and a great engaging show like Brothers & Sisters gets cut off ? What is the logic ?
    ABC is a terrible network…. they start shows that they never end.

  10. Laura says:

    what a fantastic show Brothers & Sisters was !

    ABC, what were you thinking to cancel this show without any warning !?
    This was a show that was normal … no blood , no crimes … a show that everyone related to.

    ABC network is terrible !

  11. hattie says:

    PLEASE BRING BROTHERS AND SISTERS BACK!!! I HAVE WATCHED THEM FROM THE BEGINNING AND IT IS A WONDERFUL SHOW WITH AN AWESOME CATCH. I WAS WAITING FOR IT TO COME BACK AND I DID NOT HERE ANYTHING AND FOUND THIS PAGE. I THINK ABC NEEDS TO QUIT SOME OF THESE NEW SHOWS AND GIVE US WHAT WE WANT TO WATCH. I THOUGHT THE RATINGS WERE DOING GOOD.

  12. Abbey says:

    Brothers and Sisters was a great show. I loved the family dynamic with everyone, it was so entertaining! I have not and will not watch the replacement show Pan Am. I have been hoping they would bring it back. ABC if you are reading this bring Brothers and Sisters back!!!!!!

  13. Barbara says:

    I am very disappointed in ABC for cancelling “Brothers and Sisters” especially since we all were expecting a 6th season. I will not be watching “Pan Am” in protest of ABC’s decision.

  14. cc says:

    I cannot tell you how disappointed I was to learn that Brothers & Sisters had been canceled. I come from a big family and it replaced the loved ones I’ve lost over the years. ABC is contributing to the dumbying down of Americans. Quality storytelling and shows do not matter any more.

  15. Nancy Whitfield says:

    I dont think it should matter how long a show has been on as long as it is a good one. People get busy and can’t watch their shows for a while. But i bet they are alot of people who don’t want Brothers and Sisters to be axed. Please bring back the characters we all know and love.I am in mourning.

  16. Nancy Whitfield says:

    I remember always knowing my shows were comong back in the fall and going of in the spring. But now the shows jump around so much and the networks have so many reruns that people just give up trying to remember and ratings go down on good shows. Keep a strict timeline and things will change.

  17. Daniel says:

    The show was great during its first 2 seasons, but after that it had been going downhill. So I’m not really surprised that ABC are not renewing it. The only reason I kept watching it till the end was because of Kevin and Scotty. They should have their own show!

  18. Aimee D. says:

    I cannot believe this show was cancelled. ABC on Sunday’s had the best line up. What is going on!!!! Monetary constraints???? Yeah OK. Look at the crap they have on now. At least they should bring the show back in the summer to wrap it up and allow it’s loyal fans to view the finale. This is sad. I have to say I am not a fan of the Panam and once upon a time!!! No wonder ratings are going down..
    You either cancelled the great shows or have moved them to a new time.
    Very dissapointed fan!!!!

  19. Jeanne says:

    Brothers and Sisters was a great show, and now will go down in history as a story with no final chapter. All the loose ends and unfinished business never to be dealt with or properly finished. The shows design was beautiful, the characters were flawed and interesting and the plots drew you in and kept you wanting more.
    Huge mistake to end it this way!

  20. Lynne says:

    Just watched the full five seasons on Netflix. You could tell there was a problem in the last season, now we know it was funding. In many ways it would have been a better show if it had ended with the season 4 finale, turning out the lights at Ohai Foods and turning out the lights on the show. The last season was disjointed.

    • Carol says:

      I completely agree with you. Season 5 was a huge mistake. It was a different show and the storylines were awful. I believe the biggest mistake was Robert’s dead, and after that the way Kitty behaved and reacted. Totally awful.

  21. Kris says:

    Common ABC! Is any one there actually reading these. Cancelled shows have been brought back before. Please listen toyour viewers. Bring the show back! You can make it work.

  22. Andrea Murphy says:

    I also loved this show and was just watching re runs wondering when it was returning and was very saddened to find that it would not be returning :( come on listen to the viewers please…..

  23. Victor says:

    Guy’s REALLY get a life it’s only a show…..Show’s come and go,they end,BIG DEAL..The show was going no where anyway…They had to end it and THANK GOD THEY DID WHEN THEY DID,They ended it just fine for me…

  24. Nick says:

    Joanna no i did not lnow the show was canceled.
    i have been watching the show since it first aired.
    and i think it’s rediculas to end it like that.
    you made us fall in love with the family and now your just going
    to end it with sarah’s wedding? at least make a four episode season with two hour finale episode giving us some closure.
    you owe us that much. we want to see justin marry tyler and
    nora marry brody and see kitty have the baby..

  25. sammy says:

    from a over the pond in singapore, i have laughed and cried with the walkers, i miss my extended family, thank you for making it all happen, and a big thumbs up to a super cast of actors. sammy

  26. Orlando says:

    Through out the summer I like most people got into outdoor activities while my favorite show was off the air. Lately over the years I have been watching very little TV until I happened to catch the 1st episode of the show. Each week I could not wait for Sunday to arrive so I could watch it and if I was away I would either record it or make sure I see it wherever I may be. This show was a perfect mix of how alot of families may have lived or are still living today. And to top it off having Sally Field as the leader of the pack was great. Watching her actions and listening took me back to the smokey and Bandit days. Come August I kept looking and waiting for the next season to began and when I finally read that it was cancelled I was very sad. To this day I miss my show and wish someone would reconsider the cancellation and bring it back.

  27. Rachel says:

    I live for this show! Please bring it back!

  28. Abigail says:

    I agree completely! I’m seriously disappointed!

  29. frank says:

    Bring back another season please just one more thats all we asking for if u dont ill stop watching abc and u will lose ratings this not fare to lose the show when it started a new story with kitty and Sarah and everyone else bring it back just one more season i thibk u csn hadle one more this was ver life like the show a family that u cant tear down

  30. frank says:

    Please reconsider the cancelation and have a marathon of show at least it should have one last season after that it ok if dont but please talk bout trying one last season last time i saw sally fields act was Mrs doubt fire so please one more season

  31. BRENDA says:

    I just feel like I have no closure for the show. The should have at least given us season 6 and have a real series finale… :-( How disappointing.

  32. Susan says:

    I was very unhappy that Brothers and Sisters was canceled. I looked forward to watching it every week. It was,in fact, the highlight of my week. I have so little that I do for entertainment and this was one of the few things that made me happy. Now there is nothing to watch on Sunday night. I usually just go to bed early now. I don’t watch whatever it is that they put on to replace it. I really wish it was still on.

  33. Barbara says:

    So disappointed that Brothers and Sisters was cancelled. Was a great show, enjoyed all of thestory lines and the actors who did an amazing job. Heartwarming, funny, etc. There are so many other shows that could have been cancelled….big mistake in my opinion.

  34. jane says:

    A:B:C gonna b kidding,ths’s the kind f t.v show we need,the world hs changed so much and there are alot f violence,pple need 2 b reminded f family morals and values and this is the only t.v show tht shows this.
    A.B.C pliz bring it bak.

  35. Dramafan says:

    I’m so sad, that due to financial savings, the show must had stopped.
    About the idea, splitting, series into two parts per year, like 13 seasons, I think this will come in the future. Japanese do their dramas only produce in small formats (more or less 11-13 Episodes per series) and I do really agree, that sometimes more less is better. Just even think about the rise of the series quality, plus, the authors have a greater challange in forming new storylines with more complicated relationships.

  36. Sueellen says:

    I just finished catching up on missed “family time” on Netflix, came online to find this seasons next episodes, couldn’t figure out what happened to “my family” – did a search – can’t believe ABC cancelled “my family” – as you can see I related to this show – big time – I am not a big TV watcher – but this show I loved – boy did ABC mess up – now for more ridiculous reality shows…

  37. Sheryl says:

    I just finished watching all 109 episodes over the last 6 weeks or so, many of them I listened to on my iPgrandfather dialog and delivery (acting) was so well done that I didn’t have to be watching to enjoy it… Only listening! I’ve tried doing this with other shows and could not, do much television is completely visual now. My grandfather was in radio and I grew up listening to many of the old radio dramas, and I cannot tell you how surprised I am that this show was not allowed to continue. Great acting is worth the budget!

  38. Javier says:

    Totally agree with the comments here. So disappointing! We have been following the series all those years from Spain, and will miss it now. ABC BRING THE WALKERS BACK!!

  39. Maysie says:

    I wonder if there is any chance of them still coming back? Yeah, I guess not.
    I started watching because I love Sally Fields. I kept watching because I love her and her family!
    Damn. I am so sorry.

  40. nan says:

    Pan Am is SOOOO bad…can’t believe Brothers and Sisters got cancelled….ABC, you need to do a better job of finding a replacement!

  41. Teresa says:

    Brothers & Sisters was a great drama, other than the homosexuality. I will not watch Pan Am. I hope they reconsider and bring it back.

  42. Martha says:

    ABC made a BIG MISTAKE cancelling this show. PAN AM crashed and burned. BROTHERS AND SISTERS had a huge following.

  43. Angela says:

    I just found out Brothers & Sisters is cancelled! So very sad! This show was so real, it was about family & real problems people encounter. I got hooked as soon as I started watching it & am truly upset that it will not be returning. I really wish ABC would bring it back, I would love to see what happens next!!

  44. sandy says:

    ABC you always do this…. CANCEL great series…. you never wrap the storylines up. Its very upsetting to viewers. Honestly, it makes me rather want to read a book than watch tv series. Get a new system. There are MANY people who don’t have cable & they watch the series ONLINE. figure a way to count their views too. BC that would increase your numbers.

    Why not take a vote somehow? Like show a preview of a series you are thinking of doing And say which series it will replace? Have it where ppl can vote online Maybe by their specific ABC account? Just an idea….

    Sandy

  45. robin says:

    Thats about right get me hooked on a show then cancel it.

  46. Robin Bevers says:

    I am so sad at the fact that there is literally zero good Shows on public Television and when there is a good one such as Brothers and Sisters it is cancelled. I do understand budget cuts but if a “Good Program” is strong in which I believe this one was, then you find a way. Reading the Articles regarding b & S, it seems that they have had to do this for awhile. My question is why it could not have been relocated to a place where it would a budget could have been managed? I have was alot of the Actors in this show but mainly Sally Fields since she was in Gidget. In Texas there is a channel that still shows it and I am faithly watching it as it reminds me of the good solid stable times of my youth. She has bloomed over the years into one of the finest actors of all times. Ken Olin and his wife on “Thirty Something” was another excellent show. All of the Good programs get cancelled and all of the horrendous ones remain. Makes absolutely no sense to me. There are so many stupid so Called Comedies which are not funny and Judge shows that everyone copies the good ones, Police shows who show things done not even legally, for those who know alittle about the law. Brothers and Sisters is/was one of the most entertaining, real and unique shows on Television. I will miss it dearly!! Thank you for the little time we did get to enjoy the show.

  47. ABC is a complete trash factory. Nobody who has half a brain even pays for cable television anymore because Netflix,Hulu,and multiple streaming/downloading sites offer the same programming for free or at a small fee with no commercials.

  48. wen says:

    this is so said, its like a cold turkey stop! i have cryed so mutch because it was so emotional and laught so hard because its was so funny. it was like being a part of the family it would have been nice to have a happy end in season 6. perhaps a short season, where you could say “good bye” to each family member. this is so said that you have the time and money to make 5 seasons and screw your loyal fans with a ending like this. we have made this serie succesfull so a little bit of aporiciation would be nice!

  49. kathleen says:

    Abc must be full of idiot’s or they are trying to dumb down the masses with there current crappy shows. Isn’t it crazy to cancel a show that has so much meaning and value? I.will never watch again Abc or nbc.

  50. judy says:

    I loved the show….watched every episode on my dvr as soon as I could….please don’t cancel this show i was so ready for it to start back and just found out it was canceled……

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