Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Balthazar Getty has left the building

     Fans of ABC’s Brothers & Sisters might have been confused recently by a name in the opening credits: Balthazar Getty. The actor portraying Tommy Walker has not appeared in any episodes this season, and was scarce at the end of last year, but his name is still listed as one of the lead stars at the beginning of every episode. You may ask, why?

      Last season Getty was released from the show in the spring because of drama on the set. The one time star of Alias had split with his wife, Rosetta, who was beloved by the cast, and began dating Sienna Miller. Getty had four children with Rosetta. To make matters worse, it was reported that he would show up to the set late and acting offensively, upsetting his fellow co-stars. Consequently, he was told he would not continue full time in the role. Sadly, it was decided that Sarah Jane Morris, who played Tommy’s lovely on-screen wife, Julia, would also leave, as it would be hard to keep her character relevant after a plot where Tommy got into major trouble abandoned his family. Her final episode in the spring was called, appropriately, “Julia”, and the character took her child and moved to be near her own parents. Getty then appeared in only a handful of episodes as the Walker family dealt with his disgrace, and he went into hiding. He was later found, but decided not to return home.

      Which brings us to this season, as Getty was asked to come back for only a very limited number of episodes. As one of the ‘Brothers’ in Brothers & Sisters, he would show up once in awhile, but not be a huge part of the ongoing saga. In last week’s Ask Ausiello, it was reported that Getty insisted that his name be kept in the opening credits as a condition for him returning in any small capacity. Very odd move in television. No other instance when this was done before springs to mind. However, that’s the story, as it’s currently known. Balthazar Getty will do just a few episodes this year, but he is not returning full time. Get used to his name getting more screen time than he himself does.

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