'Brothers & Sisters': Is Calista Flockhart moving on, too? [Updated]

Calista-Flockhart-Brothers-Sisters-ABC-320.jpgWhat's Kitty without Robert?

Well, after he's written out of " Brothers & Sisters," she'll be a single mom and (if the current plotline continues) probably a U.S. Senator. So, why would she go part time?

On the heels of Rob Lowe's announcement that he's leaving the show, Entertainment Weekly sources say that Calista Flockhart is moving to a reduced schedule next season.

Yet, ABC tells Zap2it that they cannot confirm the report and that Flockhart will be back as a series regular next season.

If the reports of Calista's reduced schedule end up being true, here's our theory: The newly elected senator won't be in Pasadena, Calif. much. Instead, she'd probably be commuting between Washington D.C. and California quite a bit.

That means she won't be at every family dinner or witness every dysfunctional storyline the Walkers go through. In fact, the Walkers love their telephone conferencing, which means Kitty can literally phone it in.

We can't imagine that there is some magical tunnel between D.C. and Pasadena like the one they have now between Kitty's home in Santa Barbara and the L.A. suburb more than two hours away. That's the only explanation we have for how quickly the family seems to travel between the two locations! Just sayin'.

Suddenly, the reports seem plausible, right?

[Update 10:21 PM The plot thickens: E! Online sources say that Flockhart requested her shooting schedule get reduced from two or three days to one day a week. Her request was denied by show "higher-ups." Regardless, producers are looking to cut the show's budget, but they feel Flockhart, Rachel Griffiths and Sally Field have to remain full time.

While it may make sense to kill off Robert now, the site's sources say he will be exiting the show alive. That hasn't satisfied the producers' desire for a big death to end the season with and a way to lower their budget further. Accordingly, another major character may have to die this season. Who do you think will get the axe?

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Photo credit: Miranda Penn Turin / ABC