Is Season Five the Last for 'Brothers & Sisters'?

For four years, the Walker family of 'Brothers & Sisters' has endured numerous trials and tribulations: The unexpected death of father William, affairs, drug addiction, divorce and jarring family secrets. Now, as the show preps for its fifth season, there may be one additional trial they'll go through: the end of their series.

Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello reports that rumors are growing that the next season will be the last for this ABC drama. A few factors are fueling this speculation. First, the episode order was reduced from the standard 22 to just 18. Second, two of the show's major players -- Rob Lowe and Emily VanCamp -- will not be returning.

This is all news to executive producer David Marshall Grant, who says the show isn't on life support quite yet. In an interview with Ausiello, Grant says he isn't setting up the fifth season of 'Brothers & Sisters' to be a bookend. Hence, the reason he decided to time-jump the series one year when it returns in September. Grant says moving the show ahead 12 months will open up new stories that will keep it going for years.

So, is the reduced episode order a confirmation that ABC is no longer interested in 'Brothers & Sisters' or possibly just a message that the network is in a holding pattern until they see if the One Year Later plan works for Grant?

Would you be disappointed if the series does close at the end of season 5 or do you think it has run its course?

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