The Popular Show Flash Producer Greg Berlanti Was Told Would Never Work

Those involved with the TV business know that such a job can have its ups and downs. Sometimes dramas and comedies with stacked casts and unique premises don’t end up finding audiences, while other times programs with less buzz end up earning a spot in the TV schedule for years and years. During a press room for Supergirl, executive producer Greg Berlanti revealed one of the programs he was involved with that people thought was going to be a failure but ended up airing for five seasons on ABC. Here’s the story:

You know when I came on to Brothers and Sisters years ago, I thought it was going to [be good] but a lot of people around me were like ‘Why are you going on that show? They’re having trouble behind the scenes’ and all this stuff. But I watched part of the pilot, we were reshooting and there was an incredible relationship between Calista Flockhart and Sally Field and I thought that was a TV show, and it found an audience. A lot of people found that it would be gone in a couple of episodes but it wasn’t.

Brothers and Sisters only ended its run back in 2011, after one big time hop and five seasons of airing as part of ABC’s Sunday night lineup. The show followed the Walker family in the wake of the death of patriarch William Walker. The death shook up the family quite a bit, leading to plenty of drama along the way. Flockhart and Field weren’t the only big names attached to the series; Rachel Griffiths, Bathazar Getty, Matthew Rhys, Dave Annable, Rob Lowe and Emily VanCamp rounded out a pretty stellar cast. And even though behind-the-scenes drama was plaguing Brothers and Sisters early on in production, everything came out all right in the end, proving that sometimes sticking to your guns in the key to landing a successful franchise.

Successful TV programs are something Greg Berlanti is familiar with. The relatively prolific producer is involved with CBS’ upcoming drama Supergirl, but also two other superhero programs that have already nabbed big fanbases—Arrow and The Flash. Berlanti got his start co-producing on Dawson’s Creek back in the day, and has also been a part of Everwood and the aforementioned Brothers and Sisters--all shows which earned multiple renewals. And while he’s had his fair share of shows that didn’t land a second season--The Tomorrow People and Political Animals included—he’s still had one hell of a run.

Coming up, Berlanti has executive producing credits on Supergirl and the CW’s Legends of Tomorrow. Earlier in the fall, he’ll also be taking another try at bat when NBC’s upcoming drama Blindspot hits the schedule; his newest program stars Thor actress Jaime Alexander in the lead role. You can catch NBC’s Blindspot when it premieres on Monday, September 21 at 10 p.m. ET. Supergirl will also air on Monday nights, hitting the schedule on October 26 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.