Today’s TV Addict Top 5: Question with BROTHERS & SISTERS Showrunners David Marshall Grant and Allison Schapker, Who Set the Record Straight


First off, I’d be remiss if I didn’t congratulate you on your new job as BROTHERS & SISTERS showrunner. That said, there’s been an awful lot of speculation about the change of leadership and I’m hoping you can set the record straight.
David Marshall Grant: The holy grail of writing is the chance to develop your own show and move forward and after three years of Allison [Schapker], Monica [Breen] and I writing, collaborating and slogging through it, Allison and Monica wanted the opportunity to develop other things aside from this show. BROTHERS & SISTERS is insanely demanding, and something we can’t really do without them. So there was a discussion about how we could make a transition so that they could do more of what they wanted to to — be writers — but leave the actually responsibility of showrunning to somebody else. So I ended up slowly taking the reigns over from them and the transition has been pretty smooth.

And Allison, since you’re on the line, I imagine it was an amicable transition?
Allison Schapker: It’s been very smooth by Hollywood standards. And actually, I’m on the line because I wanted to talk about the “Wig Party” which was the final episode Monica and I oversaw as showrunners. David wrote it and it really speaks to the transition and is an episode we’re really proud of. Monica and I love the show, loved working as showrunners and David’s right, it was incredibly demanding but very satisfying. But we had a long run of it and I’m excited about taking the next step forward. David has been with the show from the beginning, he is a superstar and we’re so excited to pass the baton over to him. He’s going to great things with BROTHERS & SISTES and the fact that we still get to work with him and everyone we love on the show while at the same time do some other things is great.

How involved is Greg Berlanti with the show?
Allison: Any discussions that I’ve had with him or Monica has had with him have been so inspiring. He really weighs in on the big picture. David talks to him regularly too, but he has so many projects on the go, it’s really the showrunners job to oversee the implementation of the storyline on a daily basis and be on the ground to make the many, many decisions that are made everyday.

David now that you’re at the helm, can you give us an idea of what your quintessential episode of BROTHERS & SISTERS is? For me, it’s those little moments, like last week’s fist bump between Kitty and Rebecca as Luc was swimming that make the show.
David: I totally agree. The show lives in this great soft spot between drama and the ironic take on a circumstance. Humour is such an important part of the show. Some of the episodes that I think exemplify that was season one’s “Northern Exposure” which was all about Tommy being sterile, a subject that had real stakes, but one that we surrounded with such humour. While another good example was the first episode Allison and Monica and I happened to co-write, which was about Justin’s intervention, where we turned a heavy addiction story into a really funny sibling episode with the brothers upstairs. Really those are good examples of the kind of tone that we shoot for.

And finally, the introduction of Luc (Gilles Marini) has gotten a great reaction from fans. How long can we expect him to stick around, and does he — as most characters who tend to meet the Walkers — bring any of his own baggage to the show that will undoubtedly come out at some sort of Walker dinner party that more likely than not involves copious amounts of alcohol?
David: Clearly you’ve been watching the show and you’re a good guesser! I think that Gilles can stay as long as he wants, we all love him as do the fans. He’s going to play a large part this season in the lives of both the Walkers and definitely Sarah.

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  • Ace

    Good questions, Daniel :). I definitely agree about the little moments. I def. laughed at the fist bump.

    I expected to dislike Gillies Marini since he seemed like such a ratings ploy after being on DWTS. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

  • Patricia Bozzo Meagher Parisi

    Delighted Gilles has been added to the cast . Really didn’t catch him on dwts much. I can see he has a warm heart and is a good person along side with him Carol his wife . Happily married here and I have been watching Brother’s & Sister’s since first episode. It’s refreshing to have a good cast of actors to watch on a Sunday night!!!! Grew up watching the flying nun and admire how well the show is done. All of u make it look so easy and adding Gilles yes I know the ratings will def. go up but for me it’s about connecting with the story lines and good acting. The whole cast makes it look so easy in which I know the opposite. I am an only child But have 3 kids one I gave up 22 yrs ago for adoption and he found me on facebook 3 weeks ago . Now our family just grew. It might be a good idea for the show even!! a story like I was adopted from canada and not as fortunate to have found my birth parent’s. Well I alway’s wonder if I have a brother or sister and maybe that’s why I started to watch the show wondering what a big family is like and all the drama and it is great. Thanks to the cast of Brother’s and Sister’s . Keep up the great work!!!!!!!! : ) GO GILLES!!!!!!!

  • Patricia Bozzo Meagher Parisi

    Opps, I almost forgot to thank the writers with out all of u there wouldn’t be a show !!!! Thank You for making my Sun Night’s something to look forward to glad I am off on Monday’s and can catch it when it air’s then dvr it!!!

  • Nicki

    I only started watching the show because of Gilles, and will watch as long as Luc is on it!

  • coco

    I love the show even more since the addition of Gilles Marini, he is so good looking and sexy and will watch the show for as long as he is there. Thanks to the writers for giving him such a sexy role.