Why ABC didn’t show ‘Brothers’ more love

TV Week - - FRONT PAGE - BY JAY BOB­BIN

Q: Why did ABC can­cel “Brothers & Sis­ters”? I was a huge fan. Mar­i­lyn Can­non Miller,

Mil­wau­kee A: A com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors went into it. One was the age of the Sally Field-star­ring se­ries, and whether the net­work felt its ex­pense on an­other sea­son would be jus­ti­fied by the rat­ings. By this point, the show had the size of au­di­ence it al­ways was go­ing to have, and any sud­den jump in that was un­likely; even be­fore the de­ci­sion to can­cel the en­tire show was made, con­ver­sa­tions were un­der way about re­duc­ing co-star Cal­ista Flock­hart’s in­volve­ment to save costs.

Also, ABC had a wealth of new drama pi­lots to con­sider for pos­si­ble se­ries slots. When it comes to such shows on that net­work’s sched­ule, given all the sit­coms and un­scripted se­ries that also are on it, the last hour in the prime-time lineup gen­er­ally is “drama time.” There are only so many of those slots avail­able, so ABC had to de­cide whether to keep an aging show or go for a new one in­stead ... and it did the lat­ter.

Q: Please list the cast mem­bers of “The Closer” and their roles. I can’t put the names to the faces.

Amy Solobay, Canons­burg, Pa. A: We’ll fig­ure you know who Kyra Sedg­wick is, but as for the other cast reg­u­lars on the soonto-end TNT show, here goes: J.K. Sim­mons as As­sis­tant Op­er­a­tions Chief Will Pope; Corey Reynolds as De­tec­tive Sgt. David Gabriel; Robert Gos­sett as Cmdr. Rus­sell Tay­lor; G.W. Bai­ley as De­tec­tive Lt. Louie Provenza; Tony Deni­son as De­tec­tive Lt. Andy Flynn; and Michael Paul Chan as De­tec­tive Lt. Michael Chao.

Also: Ray­mond Cruz as De­tec- tive Julio Sanchez; Philip P. Keene as civil­ian sur­veil­lance co­or­di­na­tor Buzz Wat­son; and Jon Ten­ney as FBI Spe­cial Agent Fritz Howard, the hus­band of Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh John­son (Sedg­wick). An­other cast reg­u­lar in this fi­nal sea­son of the se­ries is Mary Mc­Don­nell as Capt. Sharon Ray­dor, who will be a con­tin­u­ing char­ac­ter in the “Closer” spinoff “Ma­jor Crimes,” slated to pre­miere next sum­mer.

Q: What hap­pened to the an­nounc­ers Joe and Jon on “Sun­day Night Base­ball”? They were very in­ter­est­ing.

Mar­garet Arnold, Hart­selle, Ala.

A: Joe Mor­gan and Jon Miller’s con­tracts with ESPN ex­pired af­ter last year’s base­ball sea­son. The net­work opted not to re­new its deal with Mor­gan, and while Miller was con­sid­ered for on­go­ing work on ESPN Ra­dio’s base­ball broad­casts, he ul­ti­mately de­clined.

Q: I heard “Amer­ica’s Most Wanted” is go­ing off the air. Any pos­si­bil­ity of it be­ing shown on an­other net­work?

Chris Ro­bel, Seat­tle A: There might be, if Fox wasn’t re­tain­ing the rights to it. The weekly first-run episodes are over, but the net­work is plan­ning to keep host John Walsh on board — and the show’s con­cept alive — in a se­ries of re­cur­ring spe­cials, the first of which is slated for Oct. 29. Un­til such time as Fox might de­cide not to pur­sue that, no other net­work can have a crack at pro­duc­ing new edi­tions.

Q: What is the ac­tress who played Tony So­prano’s daugh­ter, Meadow, up to these days? I haven’t seen Jamie-Lynn Sigler in quite a while. Has she re­tired?

Herb Stark, Mas­s­ape­qua, N.Y. A: We cer­tainly wouldn’t call it re­tire­ment, though it’s true that her pro­fes­sional ac­tiv­ity lately has been less than what it once was. Still, the ac­tress does re­main ac­tive in show busi­ness. Af­ter guest runs on “En­tourage” and “Ugly Betty” a few years ago, she’s made two fea­ture films (“Son of Morn­ing,” “Be­neath the Dark”) and a TV movie (“Crim­i­nal Be­hav­ior,” di­rected by ac­tor Tim Mathe­son).

Q: My mother has asked me to send a ques­tion re­gard­ing the can­cel­la­tion of her fa­vorite show, “The De­fend­ers.” She has lived in an apart­ment com­plex for over 55 years, and the res­i­dents are not happy about it. Why did the show get can­celed?

Diane Jones, New Ber­lin, Wis. A: If there had been more res­i­dences like your mother’s, with all the ten­ants tuned into the Jim Belushi-Jerry O’Con­nell se­ries, CBS might have kept it. Lessthan-sat­is­fac­tory rat­ings — in the net­work’s view, any­way, which is the one that ul­ti­mately counts the most — did the show in.

Send ques­tions of gen­eral in­ter­est via email to tvpipeline@ tri­bune.com. Writers must in­clude their names, cities and states. Per­sonal replies can­not be sent.

Jamie-Lynn Sigler

Sally Field

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