It has not been smooth sailing for Brothers & Sisters.
Changes abound this season, as they have for the first four, but the ship continues to sail. In a new interview, that ship's captain, show-runner David Marshall Grant, spoke about budget considerations, cast members coming and going, what we can expect this season.
Here's what we can expect beginning Sunday ...
On the many changes this summer: "Rob Lowe leaving was something he considered for a while last season, something we talked about, and was not a surprise for me in the least."
"In terms of Calista [Flockhart], she’s got the same deal as all the other actors this year and is excited and happy about having a great season without any diminished episodes."
"That said, there certainly were unexpected changes. Emily VanCamp is only coming back for 2-3 episodes, which is a change for us and of course losing Rob is a big deal for us."On Rebecca's exit and the time jump: "I really felt it was important to jump a year as a way to get people in different places, so that was always going to be a given. But in terms of Justin and Rebecca’s relationship, we weren’t sure what was going to happen and when Emily talked to me about her dreams for her career and what was going on in terms of other offers, we made some adjustments. It was very important for us to honor the Justin-Rebecca relationship, as well as Rebecca’s relationship with her mother Holly, both of which have been so key to Rebecca. So we’ve tried to create a really powerful arc that will explain why she is leaving and honor the love affair that Rebecca and Justin had."
On how Holly stays in the fold: "I don’t want to tease too much, but there are reasons that Holly needs the Walkers right now. I think that in dealing with her relationship with her daughter, David, and Justin when Rebecca leaves, these are all ways that Holly is going to be a part of the show. I think she’s going to have a very interesting story this year."
On what's in store for Kitty: "When we pick up with Kitty, she’s in the process of a great transformation. It’s not a Kitty that we’ve seen so much of, she’s really trying to reinvent herself. We’re sending her on a journey of discovery that will see her begin a new romance with Army Wives’ Jeremy Davidson."
On Nora's love life: "I think this is a season where we’re really going to see Nora finally admit to what she wants in live along those lines. I think there will be some bumps in the roads for her and I’m really hoping that she can that special person."
On whether this is the final season: "ABC has said nothing to me and hinted nothing. I know there is a lot of talk around town about it. But in all honesty, all the input I’m getting from ABC is about keep going, next season we can do this, make sure we do this. I’m really going forward with the assumption and hope at least that we can keep going one more year, if not more."