'Brother' guest invited to stay

The polls are in, and Rob Lowe has been given a full-season term on ABC’s “Brothers & Sisters.”

Lowe, who plays conservative Sen. Robert McCallister on the show, was originally slated to guest star in just a handful of episodes (Daily Variety, Nov. 2).

But Lowe’s presence has helped “Brothers & Sisters” in the Nielsen voting booth: The show matched its series highs among adults 18-49 on Nov. 19, when he first appeared.

Lowe will continue to be labeled a “special guest star” (think Heather Locklear, who kept that billing on “Melrose Place” even after becoming a regular) and remain on “Brothers & Sisters” through the end of this season. His character, a John McCain-style Republican, has forged a professional — and possibly romantic — relationship with Calista Flockhart’s character, talkshow host Kitty Walker.

Lowe will next be seen in the upcoming thriller “Stir of Echoes: The Homecoming,” and he appeared in the satire “Thank You for Smoking.”

“Brothers & Sisters” returns to ABC with new episodes starting this Sunday.

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