Calista Flockhart and Rob Lowe, <i>Brothers & Sisters</i> Calista Flockhart and Rob Lowe, Brothers & Sisters

Calista Flockhart isn't scaling back her role on Brothers & Sisters, the show's executive producer tells

Rob Lowe to exit Brothers & Sisters, "in talks" for new ABC franchise

Soon after confirmation that Rob Lowe

would depart the ABC family drama at the end of this season, a report surfaced that Flockhart, Lowe's TV wife, will reduce her workload in Season 5. But David Marshall Grant, who was recently installed as Brothers & Sisters' showrunner, says Flockhart will be visible as ever."We are all expecting Calista to come back next season as a series regular, and she is," Grant says. "We're all expecting to do a great year with her next year."A representative from ABC echoed Grant's sentiments, confirming Flockhart's status as a series regular.

Brothers & Sisters makes showrunner switcheroo

Flockhart's character, Kitty, is currently recovering from a battle against lymphoma, which ended with a risky bone marrow transplant. Kitty is now considering a run for political office.As for Lowe — who reportedly asked to be let out of his contract because he felt his character, Senator Robert McCallister, was being underutilized — Grant says the writers are still contemplating the character's exit strategy."We have a bunch of ideas on the table, of course, and right now we're just leaving it open," Grant says. "It could be anything. Right now, we're just examining what would be the most exciting way to take us to the end of the season."

See photos of the Brothers & Sisters cast

Lowe is in talks to headline a new ABC franchise, according to network president Steve McPherson. Brothers & Sisters airs Sundays at 10/9c on ABC.Are you glad to hear that Flockhart isn't going anywhere? How do you want to see Robert leave the show?