Party of Five
|Party of Five|
|Created by||Christopher Keyser
Jennifer Love Hewitt
|Opening theme||"Closer to Free" by The BoDeans|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||6|
|No. of episodes||142 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||60 minutes
|Production company(s)||High Productions
Columbia Pictures Television (1994–1998)
Columbia TriStar Television (1998–2002)
Sony Pictures Television (2002–present)
|Original run||September 12, 1994– May 3, 2000|
Critically acclaimed, the show suffered from low ratings and after its first season was slated for cancellation. In 1996, it was the surprise winner of the Golden Globe Award for Best Drama, making it one of the lowest rated shows ever to win the award.
The show launched the careers of cast members Neve Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt, who both starred in their own box office hit slasher films, Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, respectively, while also appearing on the series. The show was also the launching pad for the careers of Lacey Chabert, who later starred in the hit movie Mean Girls; Matthew Fox, who would later go on to star in the ABC hit Lost; Scott Wolf who would star in the movie Go and the 2009 remake of V; and Jacob Smith, who later starred in the Cheaper by the Dozen films.
Set in the city of San Francisco, the show centered on the five siblings of the Salinger family (the "party of five" referenced in the show's title), who become orphans after their parents were hit and killed by a drunk driver. Charlie (Matthew Fox) is the eldest, a 24-year-old, womanizing, immature manual laborer who struggles with the responsibility of being the new head of the family; 16-year-old Bailey (Scott Wolf) is the rebellious teen later-turned-substance abuser; 15-year-old Julia (Neve Campbell) is a sensitive teen facing adolescent issues of her own; 11-year-old Claudia (Lacey Chabert) is a precocious child prodigy; and Owen is the baby, barely one year old.
The siblings take over the running of their family's restaurant, Salingers. Charlie initially serves as bartender and manager, and later Bailey takes over. The struggles the Salingers face over the years include Charlie's battle with cancer (in Season 4), Bailey's battle with alcoholism (in Season 3), Julia's dealing with domestic violence in a relationship (in Season 5), and the long term effects of parental loss.
As the series progressed, romantic relationships became plot points and new cast members joined the show, including Jennifer Love Hewitt as Bailey's girlfriend Sarah, Jeremy London as Julia's bad-boy boyfriend and later husband Griffin, and Paula Devicq as Owen's nanny Kirsten, who developed an on-again-off-again relationship with Charlie throughout most of the series.
- Scott Wolf as Bailey Salinger
- Matthew Fox as Charlie Salinger
- Neve Campbell as Julia Salinger
- Lacey Chabert as Claudia Salinger
- Paula Devicq as Kirsten Bennett Thomas Salinger (seasons 1–2, 5–6, recurring otherwise)
- Scott Grimes as Will McCorkle (seasons 1–2, 6, recurring otherwise)
- Michael Goorjian as Justin Thompson (season 2, recurring otherwise)
- Jennifer Love Hewitt as Sarah Reeves Merrin (seasons 2–6)
- Alexondra Lee as Callie Martel (season 3)
- Jeremy London as Griffin Chase Holbrook (seasons 4–6, recurring seasons 2–3). The character of Griffin was originally portrayed by James Marsden in one episode in the first season.
- Jennifer Aspen as Daphne Jablonsky (season 6, recurring seasons 4–5)
- The role of the youngest, Owen Salinger, was recast three times as the character grew. He was played by Alexander and Zachary Ahnert in the pilot episode, Brandon and Taylor Porter as an infant, Andrew and Stephen Cavarno as a preschooler, and Jacob Smith until the end of the show. The Owen character was aged faster than real time, in a television process known as "SORAS-ing", when he was rapidly aged from infant to preschooler.
The following lists all actors who appeared in five or more episodes during the run of the show.
- Tom Mason as Joe Mangus (55 episodes, seasons 1–6)
- Mitchell Anderson as Ross Werkman (22 episodes, seasons 1–6)
- Cari Shayne as Nina DiMayo (nine episodes, seasons 1–2)
- Jennifer Blanc as Kate Bishop (eight episodes, season 1)
- Michael Shulman as Artie Baum (seven episodes, season 1)
- David Burke as Bill (six episodes, season 1)
- Megan Ward as Jill Holbrook (nine episodes, season 1)
- Wendle Josepher as Lori/Mercy (six episodes, seasons 1, 3–4)
- Kathleen Noone as Ellie Bennett (six episodes, seasons 2–3, 6)
- Marla Sokoloff as Jody Lynch (seven episodes, seasons 2–3)
- Alyson Reed as Mrs. Reeves (nine episodes, seasons 2–5)
- Carroll O'Connor as Jacob (Jake) Gordon (six episodes, seasons 2–3)
- Brenda Strong as Kathleen Isley (six episodes, season 2)
- Tamara Taylor as Grace Wilcox (16 episodes, season 3)
- Ben Browder as Sam Brody (10 episodes, season 3)
- Dan Lauria as Coach Russ Petrocelli (six episodes, season 3)
- Jackie Mari Roberts as Marcia (five episodes, season 3)
- Andrew Keegan as Reed Isley (eight episodes, season 4)
- Paige Turco as Annie Mott (18 episodes, season 4)
- Allison Bertolino as Natalie Mott (15 episodes, season 4)
- Jessica Lundy as Nina Rondstadt (five episodes, season 4)
- Tim DeKay as Dr. Paul Thomas (12 episodes, seasons 4–5)
- Brenda Wehle as Dr. Stephanie Rabin (eight episodes, seasons 4–5)
- Ever Carradine as Rosalie (seven episodes, season 4)
- Ross Malinger as Jamie Burke (eight episodes, seasons 4–5)
- Scott Bairstow as Ned Grayson (20 episodes, seasons 5–6)
- Heather McComb as Maggie (11 episodes, season 5)
- Adam Scott as Josh Macon (seven episodes, season 5)
- Joanna Garcia as Hallie (five episodes, season 5)
- Lynsey Bartilson as Parker Brookes (five episodes, season 5)
- Chad Todhunter as Cody (10 episodes, seasons 5–6)
- Kyle Secor as Evan Stilman (eight episodes, season 6)
- Maggie Lawson as Alexa (seven episodes, season 6)
- Andrew Levitas as Cameron Welcott (six episodes, season 6)
- Wilson Cruz as Victor (11 episodes, season 6)
- Lauren Ambrose as Myra Wringler (five episodes, season 6)
- Rhona Mitra as Holly Marie Begins (12 episodes, season 6)
- Charles Esten as Luke (seven episodes, season 6)
- Sean Maher as Adam Matthews (seven episodes, season 6)
- Thomas Ian Nicholas as Todd Marsh (nine episodes, season 6)
"Closer To Free" was performed by The BoDeans.
The show was created by the team of Christopher Keyser and Amy Lippman, and 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. In March 2009, Sony began streaming the third season of the show on Crackle. Each weekday at 8:45 a.m., Party of Five is shown on Irish TV Channel 3e.
Reception and ratings
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (November 2010)|
The show suffered from poor ratings and was slated to be canceled after its first season. In 1996, it received the Golden Globe Award for Best Drama during its second season. After the win, the shows ratings significantly improved until its fifth season, when ratings yet again fell into a slump. The ratings continued in a nose dive during its sixth and final season. The series finale, however, delivered strong ratings.
|Season||Episodes||Timeslot (ET)||Season Premiere||Season Finale||Rank||Rating
|September 12, 1994||March 15, 1995||#125||6.2||N/A|
|September 27, 1995||March 27, 1996||#96||7.1||N/A|
|August 21, 1996||April 2, 1997||#82||7.4||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||N/A||10.1|
|6||24||Tuesday 9:00||October 5, 1999||May 3, 2000||#113||6.6||6.135|
Home video releases
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2010)|
On April 27, 1999, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment 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 has also released the first two seasons of Party of Five on DVD in Region 1 and 2. Season 3 was released in Region 1 on March 25, 2008, more than two years after the release of season 2. The first season DVD was re-issued on March 1, 2009. Season 4 will be released on March 5, 2013. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Amazon.com & WBShop.com and only in the US.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release Date|
|The Complete 1st Season||22||May 4, 2004|
|The Complete 2nd Season||22||December 20, 2005|
|The Complete 3rd Season||25||March 25, 2008|
|The Complete 4th Season||24||March 5, 2013|
Due to licensing issues, the majority of the music from the original broadcasts have been replaced on the DVDs. The new music was handpicked by the original music supervisors from the show.
- Erickson, Hal. "Part of Five [TV Series]". Allmovie. Retrieved November 24, 2012.
- TV Guide Book of Lists. Running Press. 2007. p. 212. ISBN 0-7624-3007-9.
- "Party Of Five Fares Better Than 'On Our Own'". Chicago Tribune. September 12, 1994. Retrieved 2010-09-24.
- "Complete TV Ratings 1994-1995". Retrieved 02-12-2010.
- "Complete TV Ratings 1995-1996". Retrieved 02-12-2010.
- "Complete TV Ratings 1996-1997". Retrieved 02-12-2010.
- "The Final Countdown". Entertainment Weekly Published in issue #434 May 29, 1998. May 29, 1998. Retrieved 02-12-2010.
- "TV Winners & Losers: Numbers Racket A Final Tally Of The Season's Show (from Nielsen Media Research)". GeoCities. June 4, 1999. Archived from the original on 2009-10-29. Retrieved 02-12-2010.
- "Complete TV Ratings 1999-2000". Retrieved 02-12-2010.
- "US - Jahrecharts 1999/2000". May 30, 2002. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- "Party of Five: The Wedding (VHS) (1994)". Amazon.com. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- "Party of Five: The Intervention (VHS) (1994)". Amazon.com. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- "Party of Five: Richer, Poorer, Sickness, and Health (VHS) (1994)". Amazon.com. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- Lambert, David (January 4, 2008). "Invitation to a Party at Last! 3rd Season Set Coming in March, 3rd Season Arrives 2¼ Years After The 2nd Season!". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
- "Party of Five - The Complete First Season (1994)". Amazon.com. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- Lambert, David (February 23, 2004). "Party of Five - Season 1 announced, including WINNING Cover Art!". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
- "Party of Five - The Complete Second Season (1994)". Amazon.com. Retrieved March 3, 2011.
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