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    Brothers and Sisters on ABC

    The series premiered September 24th, Sunday at 10 p.m. I knew I’d never stay awake for it so I had Herman tape it for me. I watched it the following Monday with bated breath. I had anxiously watched all the previews and the cast alone made me want to watch it.

    It stars Callista Flockheart who you might remember from Ally McBeal. Tom Skerritt plays her father and Sally Field plays her mother. There are several siblings in the series, most are unknown actors to me.

    The premise is basically about a family coming together for Callista Flockheart’s character’s birthday. They meet up in California for the first time in years but old rivalries and conflicts quickly emerge to thwart any possible celebration.

    Flockhearts’ character is visiting from New York City where she lives with her boyfriend. He doesn’t travel to California with her but later surprises her by showing up and proposing marriage. This sets up a conflict because she wants to take a job as a political commentator at a television station and her boyfriend wants her to come back to New York where he thinks they are destined to live and raise a family.

    Meanwhile, stalwart father Skerritt apparently is having an affair as his paramour calls his house and meets him at work where their meeting is witnessed by his son. Mother and daughter are still licking their wounds over who was to blame for another sibling’s death in the military. This is obviously a sore spot between them that should last for many episodes.

    The cliff-hanger scene of the first episode is when Skerritt is gazing at the stars with his granddaughter and very suddenly has chest pains. We are left with him crying out for his wife.

    Herman basically didn’t have the stomach to watch this with me. But this is the kind of show I really am drawn to. Several years ago there was a show on called Once and Again that had a similar feeling and I was a devotee of that as I believe I will be of this series.

    Ken Olin directed this episode, and if I remember correctly he was also in a series I watched about twenty years ago called Thirty Something. He also directed some of the Alias episodes. As another interesting point, Ron Rifkin, who used to star in Alias as a sinister character also appears to be the bad seed uncle in this show.

    If you get a chance, watch this show. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

    Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in NYC and Los Angeles, now pursues free lance writing from Caroga Lake in Fulton County. Previous columns may be accessed at her web site www.kathrynskorner.com