Bubble Watch 2011: BROTHERS & SISTERS

In accordance with our recent conversation with a highly-placed executive at one of the big four networks, theTVaddict.com’s “Bubble Watch 2011? continues with a closer look at BROTHERS & SISTERS renewal chances.

Ratings: Suffice to say, there is a reason most shows finds themselves perilously perched on the proverbial bubble come spring, and in the case of BROTHERS & SISTERS the 6-8 million viewers the show attracts per week is numero uno!

Cost: Thanks to high profile exits by Rob Lowe (RIP: Robert McCallister) and Emily VanCamp, coupled with various members of the Walker family’s recent penchant for taking midseason vacations that have seen them going M.I.A. for episodes on end, one of the few things BROTHERS & SISTERS has gotten right this season is cutting costs.

What’s in the Pipeline: Is where things get really ugly for the Walker family. Particularly because newly-named ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee has wasted little time in greenlighting a slew of high profile pilots. The most worrisome of which, for BROTHERS & SISTERS fans that is, might just be Marc Cherry’s small town drama/musical hybrid HALLELUJAH which not only boasts a cast of incredibly well known actors (Donal Logue, Terry O’Quinn, Jesse L. Martin, among other), but would surely serve as the perfect lead-out to Cherry’s other show, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES.

Trends: Unfortunately, the only thing that has eroded faster than our interest in the Walker clan this season is the show’s viewership levels. 

The X Factor: While there’s no denying that BROTHERS & SISTERS’ renewal chances are somewhat stacked against them, fans will be happy to know that two things do play into the show’s favor. For one, the show is produced in house by ABC Productions, which means that even if it’s not making money for the network, the show still makes money for parent company Disney via ancillary revenue such as license fees and DVD sales. And two, thanks to a dismal season which failed to produce a single bonafide hit (see: NO ORDINARY FAMILY, DETROIT 1-8-7, THE WHOLE TRUTH to name a few) ABC has a lot of holes to fill on the schedule. Gaping expensive holes which might very well encourage the network to keep around a somewhat solid veteran performer that can at least be counted on to deliver an audience without the help of promotion or, more importantly, marketing dollars.

Prediction: BROTHERS & SISTERS will get picked up, but at the expense of its cushy Sunday night at 10PM timeslot. Expect the show to be moved to either a Wednesday or Friday night.

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  • FabFranTX

    I like B&S…that was before I got cable and more importantly HBO and Showtime. Pitting it and DH cable shows is kinda unfair. Plus for me having Sally Field rant at the Emmys several years ago…kinda turned me off. Now I can’t seperate Nora Walker from Sally Field…

    It is sharp, witty and well written but it has lost something that maybe it needs to find again.

  • Brothers and Sisters is absolute crap this season so it comes as no surprise to me to see the ratings down so much. I would like this to be the final season, and if ABC does decide to renew it give it’s time slot to a show more deserving.

  • I got to episode 6 of the latest season and just stopped watching, I realised I’d given up caring about the Walker family and the writing has taking a major dip in quality. Usually when I give up on shows I miss them and am tempted to catch up, but I literally have no urge to do so with B&S which is a little sad really. Ah well, we’ll always have seasons 1-4