|Party of Five|
|Opening theme||"Closer to Free" by BoDeans|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||142 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||43–45 minutes|
|Distributor||Sony Pictures Television|
|Original release||September 12, 1994 –|
May 3, 2000
|Related shows||Time of Your Life|
Party of Five is an American television teen and family drama created by Christopher Keyser and Amy Lippman that originally aired on Fox for six seasons from September 12, 1994, to May 3, 2000. The series featured an ensemble cast led by Scott Wolf as Bailey, Matthew Fox as Charlie, Neve Campbell as Julia, and Lacey Chabert as Claudia Salinger, who with their baby brother Owen (played by several actors) constitute five siblings whom the series follows after the loss of their parents in a car accident. Notable co-stars included Scott Grimes, Paula Devicq, Michael Goorjian, Jeremy London, and Jennifer Love Hewitt. While categorized as a series aimed at teenagers and young adults, Party of Five explored several mature themes, including substance and domestic abuse, teen pregnancy, mental illness, cancer, and the long-term effects of parental loss.
Despite receiving positive reviews from television critics after its debut, including TV Guide naming it "The Best Show You're Not Watching" in 1995,the series suffered from low ratings during its first and second seasons, during which speculation arose that it would soon be cancelled. In 1996, Party of Five won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama, after which ratings and popularity grew for the majority of the remainder of the series. A spin-off starring Hewitt debuted on the network in 1999, Time of Your Life , which was cancelled after one season.
The show, set in San Francisco, centered on the five Salinger siblings (the "party of five" of the show's title), who become orphans after their parents are killed in a car accident caused by a drunk driver. The family is composed of 24-year-old Charlie (Matthew Fox), the eldest, a womanizing, immature manual laborer who struggles with the responsibility of being the new head of the family; 16-year-old Bailey (Scott Wolf), the once-rebellious teen forced into a role of responsible caretaker and later veering into alcoholism; 15-year-old Julia (Neve Campbell), a sensitive teen; 11-year-old Claudia (Lacey Chabert), a precocious child prodigy musician; and baby Owen, age one.
The siblings take over the running of their family's restaurant, Salinger's. Charlie initially serves as bartender and manager, and later Bailey takes over. Over the years, the Salingers face various struggles: the long-term effects of parental loss; in Season 3, Bailey's attempt to recover from alcoholism; in Season 4, Charlie's diagnosis with cancer; and in Season 5, Julia's dealing with domestic violence in a relationship.
As the series progressed, romantic relationships became plot points and new cast members joined the show, including Jennifer Love Hewitt as Sarah, Bailey's girlfriend; Jeremy London as Griffin, Julia's "bad-boy" boyfriend and later husband; and Paula Devicq as Kirsten, Owen's nanny, who develops an on-again-off-again relationship with Charlie throughout the series, until they get married during the show's sixth and final season.
The following lists all actors who appeared in five or more episodes during the run of the show.
Fox Entertainment Group chairman Sandy Grushow commissioned the show as a possible replacement for Beverly Hills, 90210 , which was then in its fourth season. Grushow stated that "I wanted a show that would possess many of the same values that '90210' had in the beginning. A show about teenagers and for teenagers. I pitched the notion of a group of kids who lost their parents in a tragic accident and therefore were forced to raise themselves."
When Christopher Keyser and Amy Lippman came on board to create the show, they disliked the more lighthearted premise the network had come up with, essentially of a bunch of teens without parents left to go wild, which Keyser called a " Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead kind of thing." They decided to take the show in a more dramatic direction, where the characters have to deal with the serious repercussions of being orphaned and growing up.
Jerry O'Connell was initially offered the role of Bailey, but he chose to sign with the series Sliders instead. Scott Wolf auditioned and was cast the very same day, the first of the actors to be cast.Neve Campbell, who was still living in Canada at the time, auditioned for Party of Five while she was in Los Angeles interviewing with different talent agencies to represent her. She auditioned along with her then-roommate Tara Strong, and ended up winning the role of Julia and moving to LA for the show.
The show was produced by Columbia Pictures Television (CPT) and High Productions. CPT would later be folded into Columbia TriStar Domestic Television, which soon afterward became Sony Pictures Television.
|Season||Episodes||Timeslot (ET)||Season Premiere||Season Finale||Rank||Rating|
|September 12, 1994||March 15, 1995||#125[ citation needed ]||6.2[ citation needed ]||N/A|
|September 27, 1995||March 27, 1996||#96[ citation needed ]||7.1[ citation needed ]||N/A|
|August 21, 1996||April 2, 1997||#82[ citation needed ]||7.4[ citation needed ]||N/A|
|September 17, 1997||May 13, 1998||#56||N/A||11.5|
|5||25||Wednesday 9:00||September 16, 1998||May 19, 1999||#70[ citation needed ]||N/A||10.1[ citation needed ]|
|6||24||Tuesday 9:00||October 5, 1999||May 3, 2000||#113[ citation needed ]||6.6[ citation needed ]||6.135|
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||22||September 12, 1994||March 15, 1995|
|2||22||September 27, 1995||March 27, 1996|
|3||25||August 21, 1996||April 2, 1997|
|4||24||September 17, 1997||May 13, 1998|
|5||25||September 16, 1998||May 19, 1999|
|6||24||October 5, 1999||May 3, 2000|
This section needs additional citations for verification .(November 2010)
On April 27, 1999, Columbia TriStar Home Video released the season 2 episode "The Wedding", the season 3 episode "Intervention", and the season 4 episode "Richer, Poorer, Sickness, and Health" on VHS.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released all six seasons of Party of Five on DVD in Region 1 between 2004 and 2013.
In August 2013, it was announced that Mill Creek Entertainment had acquired the rights to various television series from the Sony Pictures library including Party of Five.They subsequently re-released season 1 on DVD on June 24, 2014 followed by season 2 on January 6, 2015. On January 5, 2016, Mill Creek released a complete series set featuring all six seasons of the series, available together for the first time.
In January 2016, it was announced that Hulu had acquired the rights to every episode of the series.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Region 1||Region 2||Region 4||DVD Special Features|
|The Complete 1st Season||22||May 4, 2004|
June 24, 2014 (re-release)
|Sept, 25 2006||May 5, 2006|
June 7, 2017 (re-release)
|Audio Commentary On Selected Episodes. |
"Party of Five: A Family Album", 17 minutes of a documentary about the shows first 4 seasons.
9 Behind The Scenes Featurettes with the Cast and Crew
(On Original DVD Release Only)
|The Complete 2nd Season||22||December 20, 2005|
January 6, 2015 (re-release)
|Sept, 3 2007||February 14, 2007|
June 7, 2017 (re-release)
|Audio Commentary On Selected Episodes. |
Documentary on the Series Featuring Jennifer Love Hewitt.
(On Original DVD Release Only)
|The Complete 3rd Season||25||March 25, 2008||N/A||June 7, 2017||Minisodes|
|The Complete 4th Season♦||24||March 5, 2013||N/A||June 7, 2017||None|
|The Complete 5th Season♦||25||July 2, 2013||N/A||June 7, 2017||None|
|The Complete 6th and Final Season♦||24||October 1, 2013||N/A||June 7, 2017||None|
|The Complete Series||142||January 5, 2016||N/A||November 1, 2017||"Party of Five: A Family Album", the complete 44 minute documentary.|
♦ - Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release.
In January 2018, Freeform ordered a pilot for a reboot of Party of Five, featuring five children who must take care of themselves after their parents are deported back to Mexico.In April 2020, the reboot was canceled after one season.
... not knowing if 'Party of Five' was going to be picked up [...] I went into that, and ‘Party of Five’ had to recast because I was off on another show.
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