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Party of Five

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Original language(s)

Final episode date
3 May 2000


Country of origin
United States

No. of seasons

Time of Your Life

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Created by
Christopher KeyserAmy Lippman

Scott WolfMatthew FoxNeve CampbellLacey ChabertScott GrimesPaula DevicqJennifer Love HewittMichael GoorjianAlexondra LeeJeremy LondonJennifer Aspen

Opening theme
Theme songs
Closer to Free, Climb on (A Back That’s Strong)


My So Called Life, 7th Heaven (TV series), Melrose Place

Party of Five is an American television teen 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, 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, cancer and the long-term effects of parental loss.


Party of Five See the Cast of 39Party of Five39 Then and Now

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. However, 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.

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The show, set in San Francisco, centered on the five Salinger siblings (the "party of five" referenced in 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 turned responsible caretaker—and later-turned-substance abuser; 15-year-old Julia (Neve Campbell), a sensitive teen; 11-year-old Claudia (Lacey Chabert), a precocious child prodigy; and baby Owen, who is barely one year old.

Party of Five Lacey Chabert Has a Party of Five Reunion With Jennifer Aspen E News

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. 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 the series.

Main cast

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  • Matthew Fox as Charlie Salinger; (ages 24–30) the first-born sibling who struggles to live his own life in the reluctant role of legal guardian to his brothers and sisters. Immature and insecure, he dropped out of college his senior year to "find himself" and was planning to re-enroll when his parents' death put him as legal guardian to his younger siblings.
  • Scott Wolf as Bailey Salinger; (ages 16–22) the second-born sibling who is forced to grow up fast and deal with life after his parents' death.
  • Neve Campbell as Julia Salinger; (ages 15–21), highly intelligent, emotionally sensitive teen who struggles to adjust to being an orphan and having more responsibilities to the family.
  • Lacey Chabert as Claudia Salinger; (ages 11–17) a gifted violinist struggling to build a life for herself and also deal with being an orphan.
  • The role of the youngest, Owen Salinger; (ages 1-7) 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. His character was aged faster than real time, in a television process known as "SORAS-ing," when he was rapidly aged from infant to preschooler.
  • Paula Devicq as Kirsten Bennett Thomas Salinger (seasons 1–2, 5–6, recurring otherwise); graduate student who is hired as Owen Salinger's nanny, and becomes romantically involved with Charlie off-and-on during the whole series.
  • Scott Grimes as Will McCorkle (seasons 1–2, 6, recurring otherwise); Bailey's best friend from high school.
  • Michael Goorjian as Justin Thompson (season 2, recurring otherwise); Julia's friend, and later boyfriend, during the series.
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt as Sarah Reeves Merrin (seasons 2–6); Bailey's sensitive, off-and-on girlfriend from high school who struggles also to "find herself".
  • Alexondra Lee as Callie Martel (season 3); Bailey's roommate during his first year at college.
  • Jeremy London as Griffin Chase Holbrook (seasons 4–6, recurring seasons 2–3); moody and troubled teenager whom Julia becomes involved with. Older brother of Jill Holbrook. The character was originally portrayed by James Marsden in one first-season episode.
  • Jennifer Aspen as Daphne Jablonsky (season 6, recurring seasons 4–5); a part-time "erotic dancer" who becomes involved with Charlie and later has his baby.
  • Supporting cast

    The following lists all actors who appeared in five or more episodes during the run of the show.


    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.

    Home releases

    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 released all six seasons of Party of Five on DVD in Region 1 between 2004 and 2013. Seasons 4 to 6 are Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) releases, available exclusively through Amazon.com and WBShop.com and only in the US. In Region 2, Sony has released the first two seasons on DVD.

    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.

    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 series.

    ♦ - Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release.


    Party of Five Wikipedia