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.