Tom Skerrit’s apparently not really in ABC’s Brothers & Sisters, but he still managed to pervade the show panel on Wednesday afternoon.
Most of this crowd has not seen the pilot of Brothers & Sisters, which looked great from the clip they showed, because they keep retooling and recasting it, and failing to put out a final episode. In the clip, Skerrit falls into the pool and his fate is not clear. So it was reasonable to wonder whether Skerrit, as the father of five brothers and sisters, would appear further in the show. Skerrit did not appear on the huge 14-person panel, indicating that perhaps his performance is just a cameo. And the show’s executive producers were very sketchy about whether to expect more Skerrit in the fall. When asked where Skerrit was, they said, “he’s working on a movie.”
This went on for quite a while until finally one intrepid reporter checked the ABC media site and read the following: “When the family gathers to celebrate a birthday, what they don’t know is that tonight the family patriarch will die.” This met with much laughter, and also seemed to settle the question.
Still, the question of Tom Skerrit remains unanswered. The web site no longer describes the show that way, and the press release about the show mentions both father and mother equally so maybe Skerrit is going to be a regular cast member. The producers did say repeatedly that the pilot had changed significantly.
Anyway, when the cast was asked “which member of the family will provide the comic relief?” (This was actually a much sillier question in practice, asked by the same reporter who asks most of the silly questions), the creator/EP said “Tom Skerrit.”