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Brothers & Sisters
B&S (Small) (Small).jpg
Format Family drama -
Created by Jon Robin Baitz
Starring Season 4 cast:
Dave Annable
Maxwell Perry Cotton
Kerris Lilla Dorsey
Sally Field
Calista Flockhart
Rachel Griffiths
Luke Grimes
Rob Lowe
Luke Macfarlane
Ron Rifkin
Matthew Rhys
Emily VanCamp
Patricia Wettig
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 4
No. of episodes 80 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Jon Robin Baitz, Greg Berlanti, Ken Olin, Mark Perry (2007), David Marshall Grant, Monica Owusu-Breen, Alison Schapker and Molly Newman (2008–)
Running time 42/43 minutes
Original channel ABC
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
720p (HDTV),
1080i (HDTV) (7HD)
Original run September 24, 2006 (2006-09-24) – present
External links
Official website

Brothers & Sisters is an American television drama series that centers on the wealthy Walker family and their lives in Los Angeles, California.

It premiered on ABC on September 24, 2006 after Desperate Housewives and airs Sundays. The current acting ensemble includes Sally Field, Rachel Griffiths, Calista Flockhart, Balthazar Getty, Matthew Rhys, Dave Annable, Ron Rifkin, Rob Lowe, Luke Macfarlane, Emily VanCamp and Patricia Wettig. Sally Field won the 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Nora Walker. Rachel Griffiths was also nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Season four of Brothers and Sisters premiered on September 27, 2009.[1] It premiered on More4 in the UK on the 21 January 2010, and on the Seven Network in Australia in February 2010.

Brothers & Sisters has been renewed for a 5th season.[2]



The Walker family

Extended family and friends

Recurring and former characters

  • William Walker, deceased, founder and owner of Ojai Foods, was husband to Nora Walker and father to Sarah, Kitty, Tommy, Kevin, and Justin Walker, and Ryan Lafferty. The actor Tom Skerritt has reprised his role in several flashbacks related to events after 9/11/2001 and to the mother of his son, Ryan.
  • Joe Whedon, a music teacher. He is the ex-husband of Sarah Walker. He and Sarah have two children, Paige and Cooper.
  • Julia Walker, a teacher; ex-wife to Tommy Walker, with one daughter, Elizabeth (whose twin brother, William, died shortly after birth).
  • Jason McCallister, a gay minister and brother of Robert McCallister; former boyfriend of Kevin Walker.
  • David Caplan, director/photographer, father of Rebecca Harper.

Cast members

Main cast

Actor Role Duration
Dave Annable Justin Walker Season 1 –
Maxwell Perry Cotton Cooper Whedon Season 2 – (Season 1; recurring)
Kerris Lilla Dorsey Paige Whedon Season 1 –
Sally Field Nora Walker Season 1 –
Calista Flockhart Kitty Walker Season 1 –
Rachel Griffiths Sarah Walker Season 1 –
Luke Grimes Ryan Lafferty Season 4 (Season 3; recurring)
Rob Lowe Robert McCallister Season 2 -4 (Season 1; recurring)
Luke Macfarlane Scotty Wandell Season 3 – (Season 1–2; recurring)
Matthew Rhys Kevin Walker Season 1 –
Ron Rifkin Saul Holden Season 1 –
Emily VanCamp Rebecca Harper Season 1 –
Patricia Wettig Holly Harper Season 1 –

Recurring cast

Actor Role Duration
Max Burkholder Jack McCallister Season 1, 2, 3
Justine Dorsey Sophie McCallister Season 1, 2, 3
Balthazar Getty Tommy Walker Season 4 (Season 1–3; starring)[3]
Danny Glover Isaac Marshall Season 2
John Glover Henry Season 3
Nigel Havers Roger Grant Season 3
Matt Letscher Alec Season 3
Jason Lewis Chad Barry Season 1, 3
Will McCormack Ethan Tavis Season 3
Sarah Jane Morris Julia Walker Season 4 (Season 1–3; starring)
Ken Olin David Caplan Season 2, 3, 4
Eric Christian Olsen Kyle DeWitt Season 3
Tyler Posey Gabe Whedon Season 1
John Pyper-Ferguson Joe Whedon Season 2 (Season 1; starring)
Emily Rose Lena Branigan Season 2
Tom Skerritt William Walker Season 1, 2, 3
Steven Weber Graham Finch Season 2, 3
Treat Williams David Morton Season 1
Eric Winter Jason McCallister Season 1, 2



The show is centered on the Walker family, an American family of Irish and Jewish heritages. Some of the family members are involved in the family-owned business running Ojai Industries d.b.a. Ojai Food Co, a produce distributor and wine producer. Most of the action is set in the Greater Los Angeles area. The family home is located in Pasadena, California. The main branches of the Walker family tree included father William (deceased) (Tom Skerritt), mother Nora (Sally Field), and their five grown children – Sarah, Kitty, Tommy, Kevin, and Justin. Nora's brother, Saul Holden (Ron Rifkin) helps run the Walker family business and is involved in most of the family's affairs.

Plot points

The show's narrative launched with the death of William Walker at Kitty's birthday party. His death causes a number of secrets from his life to be revealed – secrets that impact the remainder of his family.

Other main storylines throughout the series include: the personal, political (usually through Robert and Kitty's and later Kevin's careers) and professional lives of Nora and all the brothers and sisters; their relationships with each other; interaction with Rebecca and her mother and William's mistress Holly; and the running of the family business Ojai Industries d.b.a. Ojai Foods – which is mostly looked after by Saul, Sarah and Tommy along with Holly and Rebecca from season 3 onwards.


Season 1 (2006–2007)

Most of the season focuses on The Walkers dealing with the loss of William Walker and the secrets uncovered by his death, most notably the discovery of Holly Harper, a woman he had an affair with, and her daughter Rebecca. The season also introduces us to the lives of the Walker siblings who must deal with their jobs, turbulent love lives and each other.

Season 2 (2007–2008)

The second season focused mainly on the romantic lives of the Walker siblings. As Kitty and Robert start planning their wedding, Kevin runs into Scotty (his lover from the first season) and they become a couple. Sarah must now deal with her divorce and being a single parent while Tommy and Julia go through serious issues after struggling with the loss of one of their twins. Nora begins a new romance with once of Robert's staff and, along with Rebecca, tries to help Justin regain his life after being injured in the war.

Season 3 (2008–2009)

After the discovery that she is not, in fact, a Walker, Rebecca must deal with her new place in the family and her new relationship with Justin which could be in trouble with the appearance of Ryan – William's actual secret child. Kitty and Robert faces problems in their marriage as they try to adopt a baby while Kevin and Scotty settle into married life. Nora decides she wants a career of her own after spending most of her life in the back seat and finds a new romance. With Holly becoming a major presence at Ojai Saul and Sarah decide to quit leading to a new business venture for the eldest Walker sibling, while Tommy turns to drastic measures to take back the family business.

Season 4 (2009–2010)

The show was renewed for a fourth season on April 23, 2009.[4] It premiered on September 27, 2009 on ABC.[5]

This season sees Kevin and Scotty decide to start a family while Kitty finds her family may be torn apart when she receives unexpected news. Sarah finds love with Luc, a man she met in France who travelled to America to be with her, but the dream doesn't seem to last in her real life. Justin is finding it hard to balance his engagement to Rebecca with his medical school studies, while Rebecca has troubles of her own. While her children go through difficult times Nora must try her hardest to get them through their troubles and Ryan causes trouble for the Walkers and Ojai by teaming up with a man from William's past. Will Holly's obsession with the secrets of Ojai ruin her relationship with David?

Season 5 (2010–2011)

Brothers and Sisters was renewed for a fifth season on March 5th, 2010. [6]

DVD releases

Name Region 1 (inc USA) Region 2 (inc Europe) Region 4
Season One September 4, 2007 February 25, 2008
November 28, 2007
Season Two September 18, 2008 March 13, 2009 (Ireland)
March 16, 2009 (UK)
October 29, 2008
Season Three September 1, 2009 [7] October 19, 2009 [8] October 21, 2009 [9]
Season Four TBA TBA TBA

Production notes

The series is from producer Ken Olin (thirtysomething and Alias) and Jon Robin Baitz, one of Broadway's most prominent playwrights (The Substance of Fire). Noted producer Greg Berlanti was also an executive producer and "show-runner" during season one. Berlanti continues to serve on the series as executive producer. Mark B. Perry, (The Wonder Years and One Tree Hill) served as the showrunner for twelve episodes before departing the show in the aftermath of the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. Perry was replaced by Monica Owusu-Breen and Alison Schapker who served as showrunners until they were replaced by David Marshall Grant shortly into season 4.

After the series pilot was shot, and the show was picked up by ABC, the series underwent some moderate changes. Most notably, three of the roles were recast:

  • The Walker family had originally been the March family, and the original matriarch of the show was Iva March, who'd been cast with veteran theater actress Betty Buckley. The role was ultimately renamed Nora and cast with Sally Field.
  • The character of Kevin had originally been named Bryan, and had been cast with actor Jonathan LaPaglia. Like the current Kevin character, the Bryan version of the character was also gay, but had been married, and was going through a divorce. The Bryan incarnation of the character also had a child, and he and his ex-wife were going through a custody battle. Bryan's child later reappeared during the first season as the show, where he was recast as "Gabe," Joe's child from his first marriage. The show has subsequently received positive press attention for its depiction of Kevin Walker, who came to be seen as a breakthrough in the depiction of gay men on television: he has had several love interests, has kissed his boyfriends on-screen, and had a commitment ceremony with his partner Scotty in the second season finale — the first such ceremony ever shown on American network television between series regulars rather than minor recurring or guest characters.[10]
  • The character of Jonathan, the man with whom Kitty was involved as the show began had originally been cast with writer and actor Dan Futterman. They had previously acted alongside each other as lovers in the film The Birdcage. The role was ultimately recast with actor Matthew Settle.

The more minor role of Cooper, Sarah and Joe's younger child, was also recast after the pilot episode.

Robert McCallister was the name of a character on a previous Greg Berlanti production, Jack & Bobby, about a boy who grew up to be the President of the United States. As with the Robert McCallister on Brothers & Sisters, the character on Jack & Bobby was a Republican who had a wife named Courtney and a son named Jack.

Brothers & Sisters is produced by Berlanti Television, After Portsmouth, and Touchstone Television (Fall 2006-Spring 2007), which is now ABC Studios (Fall 2007–present).


Brothers & Sisters filmed in several cities in the Greater Los Angeles area including Los Angeles, Santa Monica, South Pasadena, Pasadena, and more.


American ratings

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Brothers & Sisters on ABC:

Season Timeslot (EDT) Season Premiere Season Finale TV Season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1 Sunday 10:00PM September 24, 2006 May 20, 2007 2006–2007 #37 11.0[11]
2 Sunday 10:00PM September 30, 2007 May 11, 2008 2007–2008 #38 10.7[12]
3 Sunday 10:00PM September 28, 2008 May 10, 2009 2008–2009 #33[13] 10.7[13]
4 Sunday 10:00PM September 27, 2009 May 2010 2009–2010 TBA 9.31 to date

British ratings

In the UK, the show fared well at the start for Channel 4 and started on the same viewing figures that Desperate Housewives's third season was for the channel, with around 2.4 million[14]. The show aired in the timeslot previously occupied by Desperate Housewives and was promoted heavily on magazine covers[citation needed]. The series debuted on Channel 4 on June 20, 2007 at 20:30 with an audience of 2.221m, the second episode was screened the same evening at 22:00 with an audience of 1.443m[15] The series then settled down to a regular audience of around 600,000, and Channel 4 started airing the remainder of the series in double bills from September 2007.[16]

The second season was shown on E4 starting on March 30, 2008 at 23:00, after the first run episode of Desperate Housewives fourth season. Season 2 ended on E4 in July 2008. From October 11, 2008, Channel 4 looked set to air Season 2 in a varying afternoon slot on Saturdays around 16.30, and did this for a couple of weeks using double bills but afterwards began airing episodes, still in double bills, in a un-specified time slot after midnight on Sunday night. Season Three was screened on More4 starting on January 8, 2009 and has a regular slot of 20:00 on Thursdays after ER. Leading up to Season Three, More4 began airing repeats of Season Two on weekday afternoons in double bills from 15:00 - 17:00.


External links

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