Calista Flockhart, Rob Lowe, Brothers and Sisters


It's true. Rob Lowe is leaving Brothers & Sisters.

Reps for ABC and Rob himself just confirmed the news to us.

Though the series isn't hurting for big names, what with Calista Flockhart, Sally Field and Rachel Griffiths on board, it's still somewhat surprising ABC would let its best-known male actor go, right? So why is this happening? Here's what I'm hearing from insiders...

Sources who work on the show tell me that for several weeks now, producers have been discussing killing off a main character from Brothers & Sisters at the end of the current season for budgetary reasons.

It was decided this week that Rob Lowe would be the one to leave the show, primarily because Rob felt he was being underutilized in the ABC family series and had asked to exit the show. Easy choice, right? And definitely an amicable split, from what I hear, which explains why ABC just released this statement to us: "We would like to keep Rob at ABC; we feel he should be anchoring his own franchise. We are in talks now." 

[ABC president Steve McPherson also said this to Deadline Hollywood earlier today.]

Though producers wrote a juicy storyline for Rob last season involving a near-death experience due to heart attack, he has largely stood at the sidelines this season as Calista Flockhart took center stage in dealing with her character Kitty's battle with cancer.

So how will Rob leave the show?

Spoiler alert: According to my sources, Kitty's flirty park buddy with whom she had an emotional affair last season (Alec Tyler, played by Matt Letscher) will be coming back into the picture at—get this—the request of Robert McAllister (Lowe). So it certainly appears as though Rob and Kitty's marriage may again fall into trouble.

Of course, McAllister could also have another heart attack and be killed off the show. But I'm told it's most likely that producers will write him off in a way so Lowe can come back for future guest spots.

Will you miss Rob? Or do you think the show will be fine without him?


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