It's do-or-die time at the broadcast networks, as executives make some tough choices for next season. On their plates: deciding which current shows to kill and identifying potential hits from more than 80 pilots. Here are some burning questions to keep in mind as the powers that be prepare to unveil their 2011-2012 schedules the week of May 16.
Will the networks play it bold or play it safe?
After a lackluster season, executives are itching to find riskier fare, like the 1960s-set drama Playboy and the Steven Spielberg-produced musical drama Smash (a lock to get on the air) at NBC, as well as ABC's airline period ...
We are gathered here today for... the final episode ever of ABC's Brothers & Sisters? Could be. While shooting the May 8 season-ending nuptials of Sarah and Luc (Rachel Griffiths and Gilles Marini), the cast told me they weren't sure if they'll be back for a...
Ryan Devlin is a big believer in silver linings.
That's because the 30-year-old actor, who last week began a multiple-episode arc on Brothers & Sisters after high-profile recurring roles on Grey's Anatomy and Cougar Town, is keeping busy despite being dropped from CBS' $#*! My Dad Says before the original pilot ever aired.
Check out photos of the Brothers & Sisters cast
"I can't really say anything about how it went down except that it just happens a lot," Devlin tells TVGuide.com. "I had a great time doing it, but I couldn't be happier doing what I'm doing right now. I absolutely have no regrets — I think it worked out the way it was supposed to."
Things are definitely looking up. Devlin's original four-episode arc on Brothers & Sisters — which continues Sunday when Kitty (Calista Flockhart) decides to take Devlin's character, her new college student boy toy Seth, to the Walker family Christmas — has been expanded to at least eight episodes.<
For the storytellers of Brothers & Sisters, jumping ahead a year in time offers a jolt of creative energy, but also poses a challenge for the season premiere.
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"There are a lot of things we need to catch the audience up on, and there's a lot of closure we need to acknowledge and let the audience share in," executive producer David Marshall Grant tells TVGuide.com. "We are doing a lot to deal with that finale and get us into a place where we feel that we understand what happened and move beyond it, just as the Walkers are beginning to move beyond it."
Season 4 ended with a massive car crash that seemed to seal the fate of departing cast member Rob Lowe's Robert McCallister and left William Walker's ex-mistress Holly (Patricia Wettig) in similarly critical condition. Plus, Saul (Ron Rifkin) revealed that he was HIV-positive and Justin (Dave Annable) and Rebecca (Emily VanCamp) came to a crossroads in their young marriage.
The events of the finale are still very fresh in the minds' of the characters, but Grant says the jump in time will quickly allow them to move on and grow...
Calista Flockhart finally became Mrs. Harrison Ford on June 15 after eight years of dating. Less fortunate: her Brothers & Sisters character, Kitty Walker, who was widowed when Robert (Rob Lowe) died in the season finale. Calista tells me she has high hopes that the show will be still be "funny and poignant." Though saddened to lose Rob, Calista says, "I don't think Kitty will be single for that long. She'll have lots of guys — at least I hope...