Rob Lowe is returning to television, joining the cast of ABC's fall hit Brothers & Sisters for at least six episodes, according to Variety.

He will play a Republican U.S. senator from California running for re-election in the midst of a nasty divorce. The role was written specifically for Lowe by executive producer Jon Robin Baitz, who penned an episode of The West Wing while Lowe was still a part of that series.

Baitz said that as production on Brothers & Sisters has progressed, the producers began looking for ways to broaden Calista Flockhart's character on the show.

Lowe's senator will be a John McCain-type Republican. He'll meet Flockhart's Kitty character via the latter's TV gabfest. A romantic relationship will ensue.

"He brings a maturity to the role on a show that's about people who are no longer kids," Baitz said. Lowe is signed on for only six episodes, but Baitz is hoping he'll end up staying full-time.