Brothers & Sisters (TV Series 2006–2011)

TVSeries


Brothers & Sisters (TV Series 2006–2011)

The story of the drama surrounding a family's adult siblings.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
USA
IMDb  7.3 /10
Creators
Creator Jon Robin Baitz
Information
Release Date2006-09-24
Runtime1h 0mins
GenreDrama
Content RatingTV-PG (TV-PG)
AwardsNominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 15 wins & 30 nominations.
CompanyAfter Portsmouth, Berlanti Television, Touchstone Television
CountryUSA
LanguageEnglish
Justin Walker / ... 110 episodes, 2006-2011
Kitty McCallister / ... 110 episodes, 2006-2011
Sarah Walker / ... 110 episodes, 2006-2011
Saul Holden 110 episodes, 2006-2011
Holly Harper 110 episodes, 2006-2011
Nora Walker 109 episodes, 2006-2011
Kevin Walker 109 episodes, 2006-2011
Tommy Walker / ... 92 episodes, 2006-2011
Paige Whedon 91 episodes, 2006-2011
Scotty Wandell 89 episodes, 2006-2011
Cooper Whedon 82 episodes, 2006-2011
Robert McCallister 78 episodes, 2006-2010
Rebecca Harper 75 episodes, 2007-2010
Julia Walker / ... 65 episodes, 2006-2009

Brothers & Sisters (2006 TV series)

Brothers & Sisters is an American television drama series that centers on the Walker family and their lives in Los Angeles and Pasadena, California. It aired for five seasons on ABC from September 24, 2006, to May 8, 2011. It aired, for its entire run, in a Sunday night timeslot after Desperate Housewives.

Brothers & Sisters features an ensemble cast led by Sally Field as Nora Walker, with Rachel Griffiths as Sarah, Calista Flockhart as Kitty, Balthazar Getty as Tommy, Matthew Rhys as Kevin and Dave Annable as Justin Walker, her grown children. Patricia Wettig co-starred as Holly Harper, with Emily VanCamp later joining the cast as Rebecca Harper, as well as Ron Rifkin as Saul Holden. Field won both a Primetime Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performances throughout the series, as well as Griffiths receiving nominations for two Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for her portrayal.


Overview

Premise

The series revolves around the lives and problems of the wealthy Walker family in the wake of the death of family patriarch William Walker (Tom Skerritt), the founder of the family business Ojai Foods. The family consists of wife and mother Nora Walker (Sally Field) who must deal with revelations about her husband's infidelity, and her children Sarah (Rachel Griffiths) and Tommy (Balthazar Getty), both married executives at Ojai Foods, Kitty (Calista Flockhart), a conservative activist, Kevin (Matthew Rhys), a gay lawyer, and youngest sibling Justin (Dave Annable), who has recently returned from the Afghan War with a substance abuse problem. They were joined by Nora's brother Saul (Ron Rifkin) and Holly Harper (Patricia Wettig), William's mistress. Plotlines typically revolved around the romantic relationships of the family, their business fortunes, especially with regard to the control of Ojai Foods, and the relationship between the siblings. Most conflicts were resolved with a renewed call for family unity and a lot of wine.

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 and which include the introduction of William's mistress Holly Harper and her daughter Rebecca.

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 (William's mistress) Holly; and the running of the family business Ojai Foods—which is mostly looked after by Saul, Sarah and Tommy along with Holly and Rebecca from season 3 onwards. After the family sells Ojai Foods, Scotty and Saul open a restaurant and Nora begins working at a radio station which Sarah decides to buy.


Characters

  • Justin Walker, son of Nora and William Walker; ten years younger than Kevin; paramedic, war veteran and former med school student; recovering alcoholic and drug addict; ex-husband of Rebecca Harper.
  • Nora Walker, widow of William Walker, mother of Sarah, Kitty, Tommy, Kevin and Justin; Grandmother to Paige, Cooper, Evan, Elizabeth, William II, Olivia and Daniel; homemaker.
  • Kitty Walker, daughter of Nora and William Walker, one year younger than Sarah; adoptive mother of Evan; writer and former communication director, television and radio host; widow of Robert McCallister.
  • Sarah Laurent, daughter of Nora Walker and Nick Brody; mother of Paige and Cooper; president of Ojai Foods and former CFO of Greenatopia; ex-wife of Joe Whedon and wife of Luc Laurent.
  • Tommy Walker, son of Nora and William Walker, two years younger than Kitty; father of Elizabeth and William II; former president of Ojai Foods; ex-husband to Julia Ridge and fiancé of Rose.
  • Joe Whedon, ex-husband of Sarah Walker; father of Gabe, Paige and Cooper; music teacher.
  • Julia Walker, ex-wife of Tommy Walker; mother of Elizabeth; teacher.
  • Kevin Walker, son of Nora and William Walker, one year younger than Tommy; adoptive father of Olivia; father of Daniel; biological father of Elizabeth and William II; pro bono lawyer and former communications director and corporate lawyer; husband of Scotty Wandell.
  • Saul Holden, brother of Nora Walker; restaurant owner and former CFO of Ojai Foods; fiancé of Jonathan Byrold.
  • Holly Harper, ex-mistress of William Walker; mother of Rebecca; former chairwoman and CEO of Ojai Foods and actress; fiancée of David Caplan.
  • Paige Whedon, daughter of Sarah Walker and Joe Whedon.
  • Rebecca Harper, daughter of Holly Harper; former advertising executive at Ojai Foods; ex-wife of Justin Walker.
  • Cooper Whedon, son of Sarah Walker and Joe Whedon.
  • Robert McCallister, husband of Kitty Walker; father of Sophie and Jack and adoptive father of Evan; former California senator; ex-husband of Courtney McCallister.
  • Scotty Wandell, husband of Kevin Walker; father of Daniel and adoptive father of Olivia; restaurant owner and head chef.
  • Ryan Lafferty, son of William Walker and Connie Lafferty; former employee at Ojai Foods.
  • Luc Laurent, husband of Sarah Walker; painter and former underwear model.

Cast members

Main cast

ActorRoleSeasons
12345
Dave AnnableJustin WalkerMain
Sally FieldNora WalkerMain
Calista FlockhartKitty McCallisterMain
Rachel GriffithsSarah WalkerMain
Balthazar GettyTommy WalkerMainGuest
John Pyper-FergusonJoe WhedonMainRecurringDoes not appear
Sarah Jane MorrisJulia WalkerMainGuestDoes not appear
Matthew RhysKevin WalkerMain
Ron RifkinSaul HoldenMain
Patricia WettigHolly HarperMain
Kerris DorseyPaige WhedonMainRecurring
Emily VanCampRebecca HarperMainGuest
Maxwell Perry CottonCooper WhedonRecurringMainRecurring
Rob LoweRobert McCallisterRecurringMainDoes not appear
Luke MacfarlaneScotty WandellRecurringMain
Luke GrimesRyan LaffertyGuestMain
Gilles MariniLuc LaurentGuestMain

Recurring cast

  • John Apicella as Frank (season 5)
  • Amy Aquino as Dr. Joan Avadon (season 4)
  • Beau Bridges as Nick Brody (season 5)
  • Max Burkholder as Jack McCallister (season 1, 2, 3)
  • Luc Charbonnier as Ben Tyler (season 3)
  • Richard Chamberlain as Jonathan Byrold (season 5)
  • Peter Coyote as Mark August (season 1)
  • Jeremy Davidson as Jack Randall (season 5)
  • Ryan Devlin as Seth Whitley (season 5)
  • Marika Dominczyk as Tyler Altamirano (season 1, 5)
  • Justine Dorsey as Sophie McCallister (season 1, 2, 3)
  • Edwina Findley as Jill (season 5)
  • Peter Gerety as Dennis York (season 4)
  • Danny Glover as Isaac Marshall (season 2)
  • Nigel Havers as Roger Grant (season 3, 4)
  • Josh Hopkins as Warren Salter (season 1)
  • Jay Karnes as Roy Scovell (season 4)
  • Matt Letscher as Alec Tyler (season 3, 4)
  • Jason Lewis as Chad Barry (season 1, 3)
  • Will McCormack as Ethan Tavis (season 3)
  • Denis O'Hare as Travis March (season 2, 4)
  • Ken Olin as David Caplan (season 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Roxy Olin as Michelle McCormack (season 1, 4, 5)
  • Eric Christian Olsen as Kyle DeWitt (season 3)
  • Tyler Posey as Gabe Whedon (season 1)
  • Keri Lynn Pratt as Amber Trachtenberg (season 1)
  • Isabella Rae Thomas as Olivia (season 5)
  • Emily Rose as Lena Branigan (season 2)
  • Matthew Settle as Jonathan Sellers (season 1)
  • Tom Skerritt as William Walker (season 1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Sonja Sohn as Trish Evans (season 3)
  • Jon Tenney as Simon Craig (season 4)
  • John Terry as Karl West (season 5)
  • Steven Weber as Graham Finch (season 2, 3)
  • Treat Williams as David Morton (season 1)
  • Eric Winter as Jason McCallister (season 1, 2)
  • Odette Yustman as Annie Miller (season 5)

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedRankRating
First airedLast aired
123September 24, 2006May 20, 2007307.3
216September 30, 2007May 11, 2008227.6
324September 28, 2008May 10, 2009237.2
424September 27, 2009May 16, 2010237.0
522September 26, 2010May 8, 2011N/AN/A

Season 1 (2006–07)

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 the audience to the lives of the Walker siblings who must deal with their jobs, turbulent love lives and each other.

Season 2 (2007–08)

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 one of Robert's staff and, along with Rebecca, tries to help Justin regain his life after being injured in the war.

Season 3 (2008–09)

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 face 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 (2009–10)

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

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 that she has lymphoma, cancer of the lymph nodes. Sarah finds love with Luc, a man she met in France who traveled 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. After not having their wedding Rebecca comes to find out she is now pregnant with Justin's baby but Rebecca ends up having a miscarriage which causes some more strain on their relationship. 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? The season ends with a horrific car crash that leaves Holly severely injured and the fate of Senator Robert McCallister unsure.

Season 5 (2010–11)

Brothers & Sisters was renewed for a fifth season on March 5, 2010. It premiered on September 26, 2010 on ABC. The events of the fifth season begin one year after the season 4 finale.

The season starts with Kitty holding on to Robert who has been in a coma since the accident when she is faced with the decision of whether or no to turn off his life support. Sarah considers selling the new land and water found in Ojai to start a new chapter with Luc. Kevin, who has become a low-paid pro-bono lawyer, and Scotty begin the adoption process after their surrogate, Michelle, appears to lose their baby. Saul bumps into an old flame, Jonathan, who now campaigns for a HIV+ charity, and reveals that it was Jonathan who infected Saul. Justin and Rebecca struggle to reconnect after his year abroad leaving her feeling abandoned and questioning her future. Meanwhile, Holly has developed long term memory loss after the accident and is struggling to remember her life and loved ones.

Finally, Nora has become distant from her family whilst she searches for a new career and purpose when a unique job opportunity presents itself at a local radio station. Later in the season, Nora's first love, Nick Brody, returns with a revelation that could change the Walker family forever.


Home media

SeasonEpisodesTitleDVD release date
Region 1Region 2Region 4
123The Complete First SeasonSeptember 18, 2007February 25, 2008October 26, 2007
216The Complete Second SeasonSeptember 23, 2008March 16, 2009October 28, 2008
324The Complete Third SeasonSeptember 1, 2009October 19, 2009September 18, 2009
424The Complete Fourth SeasonAugust 31, 2010October 11, 2010September 24, 2010
522The Complete Fifth SeasonAugust 23, 2011November 14, 2011November 2, 2011

Production

Learn more
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
Find sources: "Brothers & Sisters" 2006 TV series – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR
(November 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

The series is from producer Ken Olin (star of thirtysomething and producer of 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.
  • 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 2007–2011).

On May 13, 2011, ABC announced the series of Brothers & Sisters had been canceled after five seasons.


Location

Brothers & Sisters was filmed in the Greater Los Angeles area including: Los Angeles, Santa Monica, South Pasadena, Pasadena, and other locations.


Critical reception

Brothers & Sisters's first season received mixed to positive reviews from critics but positive reviews from fans. However, the reviews became warm and earned acclaim even from critics.


Ratings

U.S. ratings

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

SeasonTimeslot (EDT)Season premiereSeason finaleTV seasonRankViewers
(in millions)
Viewers High
(in millions)
Viewers Low
(in millions)
18–49 Average18–49 High18–49 Low
1
Sunday 10:00 PM
September 24, 2006May 20, 20072006–2007#3711.016.109.134.676.23.4
2September 30, 2007May 11, 20082007–2008#3810.713.268.504.225.13.0
3September 28, 2008May 10, 20092008–2009#3310.712.358.843.474.82.8
4September 27, 2009May 16, 20102009–2010#3410.410.787.652.853.72.2
5September 26, 2010May 8, 20112010–2011#528.29.475.702.603.01.6

Accolades

Awards and nominations for Brothers & Sisters
YearAwardTitleRecipientResult
2007Australian Film Institute AwardBest International ActressRachel GriffithsNominated
Casting Society of America AwardBest Dramatic Episodic CastingGillian O'Neil, Jeanie BacharachNominated
Best Dramatic Pilot CastingGillian O'Neil, Jeanie BacharachWon
Emmy AwardOutstanding Casting for a Drama SeriesGillian O'Neil, Jeanie BacharachNominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama SeriesSally FieldWon
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesRachel GriffithsNominated
Gold Derby TV AwardBest Actress in a Drama SeriesSally FieldWon
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesRachel GriffithsNominated
GLAAD Media AwardOutstanding Drama SeriesWon
Peoples Choice AwardFavourite New TV DramaNominated
Satellite AwardBest Actress in a Drama SeriesSally FieldNominated
Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Mini-Series or TV MovieRachel GriffithsNominated
Best Drama SeriesNominated
Young Artist AwardBest Family TV Drama SeriesNominated
2008Australian Film Institute AwardBest International ActressRachel GriffithsNominated
Casting Society of America AwardBest Dramatic Episodic CastingGillian O'NeilNominated
Emmy AwardOutstanding Casting for a Drama SeriesGillian O'Neil, Jeanie BacharachNominated
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama SeriesSally FieldNominated
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesRachel GriffithsNominated
Gold Derby TV AwardBest Actress in a Drama SeriesSally FieldNominated
Best Actress in a Drama SeriesCalista FlockhartNominated
Best Drama SeriesNominated
Best Ensemble of the YearNominated
Best Guest Actor in a Drama SeriesDanny GloverNominated
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama SeriesMatthew RhysNominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama SeriesRachel GriffithsNominated
GLAAD Media AwardOutstanding Drama SeriesWon
Golden Globe AwardBest Actress in a Television Drama SeriesSally FieldNominated
Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for TelevisionRachel GriffithsNominated
Prism AwardBest Performance in a Drama SeriesDave AnnableWon
Best Performance in a Drama SeriesSally FieldWon
Satellite AwardBest Actress in a Drama SeriesSally FieldNominated
Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama SeriesSally FieldNominated
2009Emmy AwardLead Actress in a Drama SeriesSally FieldNominated
Gold Derby TV AwardBest Actress in a Drama SeriesCalista FlockhartNominated
GLAAD Media AwardOutstanding Drama SeriesWon
Golden Globe AwardBest Actress in a Drama SeriesSally FieldNominated
Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Mini-Series or TV MovieRachel GriffithsNominated
Screen Actors Guild AwardOutstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama SeriesSally FieldWon
2010GLAAD Media AwardOutstanding Drama SeriesWon