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Calista Flockhart cutting back on Brothers and Sisters

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 27th 2010 11:00AM
calista_flockhart_brothers_and_sistersFirst Rob Lowe, now Calista Flockhart. They're breaking up that old Walker clan of ours. In short, Calista Flockhart will be on fewer episodes next season of Brothers and Sisters. So, if Rob is gone completely, and Calista is doing less shows, are the McCallisters even going to be living in California anymore?

We now know why Rob Lowe made the decision he did. His role is integrated into the Walker family through Calista's character, Kitty. If she was asking for a reduced presence, the ripple effect was clearly less screen time for him. Hence, his decision.

I think if this had been earlier in Brothers and Sisters run, the exits of Balthazar Getty, Rob Lowe and a lot less Calista Flockhart might be a concern, but I don't think so now. Here's the thing: this show has a terrific ensemble of actors. Most of them don't get enough to do. Remove Calista and Rob and that's more story line possibilities for Rachel Griffiths or Sally Field or Ron Rifkin or Patricia Wettig and the rest of the Walker and the extended family members.

And writing out the McCallisters can be done in a way to keep them very much still part of the family, but not there. If Kitty runs for Robert's Senate seat, she's off to Washington and definitely too busy for family dinners and reunions at the Walker summer cabin. If she loses, she and Robert could commit to his humanitarian efforts like Feed the Children or Habitat for the Humanities. That's how they wrote out Robert's brother, remember?

Kitty could even return to being a television personality. If she took a job for a network, she could be back in New York City -- which is where she was when the series began. ...So, all in all, I'm not shaken by this news. It's just the way things are in big families. Not everyone lives in the same place unless they're Kennedys or characters on Big Love.

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ELLEN

BROTHERS AND SISTERS IS THE ONLY SHOW ON TV THAT ACTUALLY MAKES ME FEEL SOMETHING. I LOVE THE CHARACTERS. I LOVE THE FACT THAT NORA STICKS HER NOSE INTO HER KIDS LIVES. I LOVE THE FACT THAT SHE CARES ENOUGH TO DO THAT. I LOVE THE FACT THAT WHEN THERE IS A CRISIS EVERYONE IS ON THE PHONE AND RUSHES TO THE AID OF THEIR SIBLINGS. I WISH THAT I HAD THAT KIND OF FAMILY WHEN I WAS GROWING UP. I DID NOT. I HAD AN ABUSIVE MOTHER, DISINTERESTED BROTHERS AND A FATHER WHO TRIED HIS BEST TO BE THERE FOR ME.
SO IF YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT REALITY ON THIS SHOW, YOU CAN TAKE IT FROM ME, DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE CHARACTERS ARE FICTIONAL, IT IS PROBABLY THE DREAM OF EVERY ABUSED HUMAN BEING TO HAVE A FAMILY LIKE THE WALKERS.

March 06 2010 at 10:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Vicky Hamm

I love to read and do not watch alot of regular shows, B&S is the only show that I watch every week. My children are grown. Ironically I laugh alot watching the Walkers. We are not wealthy, but other than that the Walkers remind me of my family... lol... and yes they do rush to the house, we do gather in the kithchen (while I cook, Noras kids help more than mine) and bicker back and forth over whatever is happening with the family. My sister n law, my brother, (I even had a gay brother now deceased) my grown nephews, teenage neices, young grandchildren, my husbands sister, his brother who lives out of state might even be on the phone. Even our parents might show up and get involved. lol....we deal with politics ,social issues, what the family children should be allowed to do or not do,my son and my husbands parents are hard core Republicans, my husband is anti politics, lol, I am democrat, my daughter is a democrat, we have independants, lol,even have a left over hippy from the 60's.My brothers big on gun rights, I like alittle regulation, lol ..And yet we share meals, go out to dinner every week or so, our lives are intertwined. So you see I think the show is very realistic, and I live in the real world. I REALLY wish that my kitchen could stay as clean as Nora's does and that my Grandchildren were as quiet as hers. But I quess there is less mess in 1 hour a week. LOVE THE SHOW !!!! I do hope that they dont end up with all liberal characters, that would take the fun out of the family debates.

February 04 2010 at 1:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa

Yes I do happen to know they are fictional characters, and this is why I usually don't post on these things.

January 29 2010 at 8:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lisa

I can't believe kitty and robert are leaving! I think the writer is right that the show probably can survive though because it is such a large cast. I happen to enjoy B & S even though I may not care for some of the storylines. For the most part it is well written and acted. I also agree if you don't like it, then don't watch! I find it amazing how people are so quick to jump online and trash shows they claim to hate. Why waste your time?

January 27 2010 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Lisa's comment
charles melrose III

Kitty and Robert aren't leaving--they're fictional. Flockhart and Lowe are. Aren't you suspicious (or embarassed) to read comments that suggest the writer believes these characters are real people?

It's never a waste of time to constructively criticize artists--in this case the writers--to do better. Watching a seriously flawed show like this one represents the triumph of hope--that the writers will create suitable scripts for an enormously gifted cast--over reason.

January 29 2010 at 12:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Will

I agree with Charles. I watched "B&S" for the first couple seasons and then just couldn't take it anymore and had to bail. The show, never great by any means but at least decent in the very beginning, is just one big huge POS now. Tell me, have they found anymore lost siblings? They seem to come up with a new one at the end of every season. And the whole Justin-Rebecca romance just gave me the creeps (today you think the person is your sister, the next you're in love and doing the nasty). And as for Rob and Calista, their romance was always a crashing bore, completely unbelievable, and a drag on the proceedings anyway, so not sad to hear they're going away. It's just too bad the audience hasn't gone away so that ABC would have a reason to cancel this ludicrous series.

When I think about how so much of the talent behind one of TV's all-time best dramas, "thirtysomething," are involved in this third-rate mishmash (not to mention the utter waste of Patricia Wettig and the great Sally Field), it almost breaks my heart.

January 27 2010 at 3:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
WhatI

"Calista Flockhart cutting back..." - too late, already stopped watching it....

January 27 2010 at 2:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Guess Who

I really only watch this show because Emily VanCamp is in it - and she's not in it very much...though I can't help but love Sally Field (even if she does have weak bones).

January 27 2010 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sadiesrotten

Gee Charles, tell us how you really feel! If you consider B & S whiny soap drivel, why do you watch? Hmm?

Actually, when you describe B & S Charles, itis the way a lot of Mom's and their family dynamics actually are. Too much like real life is it? Then DON'T WATCH!

I'm sad to see Rob Lowe leave, and Calista shorten her screen time, but am still a B & S lover from the start. I'm here to stay!

January 27 2010 at 12:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sadiesrotten's comment
charles melrose III

This cast is worth watching. So many of them have created iconic characters on other shows that a real optimist--like me--tunes in hoping that the writers will wake up one day, put in the hard work and give the actors the real stories and real conflicts they need to do their craft.

And look again, toots. A family of rich, educated, sophisticated and accomplished people sticking their noses in each others' shorts--while abjectly incapable of running their own situations--is not real life. Only on bad TV and in bad movies.

January 29 2010 at 12:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
charles melrose III

Congratulations to Lowe and Flockhart for recognizing the limited attractiveness of an hour--seems like so much longer--drama that pivots on the inability of an insufferable control freak mother to separate from her adult--chronologically only--offspring and the matching inability of the offspring to declare independence from her or each other. The producers and writers should be held accountable for wasting world class acting talent on whiny soapy drivel.

January 27 2010 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott

I agree--there are so many good actors and characters on the show, and this will give them a chance to have more screen time without these two "stars" taking up so much of it. My vote is for much more Kevin & Scotty, as well as Saul and Nora. They could give us a break from Justin & Rebecca while they're at it, although I don't want them to leave the show.

What I wish most is that they'd cut down on the cutesy music telling us how to feel in every scene.

January 27 2010 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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