In advance of today's first-ever Freeform Summit event in Los Angeles, Disney's young adult television network, today announced a put pilot commitment for a reboot of the fan-favorite Party of Five series with original creators Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman. From Sony Pictures Television, the Party of Five Reboot will follow the five Buendias children as they navigate daily life struggles to survive as a family unit after their parents are suddenly deported back to Mexico. No cast members have been announced at this time, but this series will certainly take a much different approach than the original series.
The original series followed the five siblings of the Salinger family, who all become orphans after their parents are killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. The show served as a launching pad for the careers of all its young stars, lead by Matthew Fox playing the oldest sibling Charlie, a 24-year-old womanizer who struggles to be the new head of the family and Scott Wolf as 16-year-old Bailey, who transforms from a rebellious teenager to a responsible caretaker, although he would later have substance abuse problems. The Salinger siblings were rounded out by 15-year-old Julia, a sensitive teenager played by Neve Campbell, 11-year-old teen prodigy Claudia, played by Lacey Chabert, with the one-year-old baby Owen played by several different actors. The show also helped launch Jennifer Love Hewitt's career, with the actress coming aboard in the second season to play Sarah Reeves, Bailey's girlfriend.
In the original series, the siblings took over the family restaurant entitled Salinger's, although there is no indication quite yet if the Buendias clan will have their own family business in this new series. The original series ran for six seasons spanning 142 episodes on Fox between 1994 and 2000. Since this series will be a reboot with an entirely new family, it's possible that some of the original cast members could either come aboard to reprise their roles, or play completely different characters, but that will all be determined at a later date.
What's also unclear is where this new series will be set, with the original show set in San Francisco. Party of Five won the Golden Globe for Best Drama Series in 1996, often tackling quite serious themes for a network show in the early 1990s, such as substance abuse, domestic abuse, cancer and much more. The series also spawned a short-lived spin-off, entitled Time of Your Life, which centered on Jennifer Love Hewitt's character Sarah Reeves as she moved to New York City. While that show, which was also created by Keyser and Lippman, only lasted one season before being cancelled, the short-lived series featured early glimpses at a few stars in the making, such as Jennifer Garner and longtime NCIS star Pauley Perrette.
Keyser and Lippman will write the pilot with Rodrigo Garcia set to direct. Party of Five is created by Keyser and Lippman, who also serve as executive producers and writers. Garcia will also serve as executive producer and will direct the pilot. Michael Zebede serves as co-executive producer and writer. After Party of Five went off the air, Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman went their separate ways, with Keyser writing and producing for FX's Tyrant and Amazon's The Last Tycoon, with Lippman writing for HBO's In Treatment and Showtime's Masters of Sex. This news comes just weeks after the network's Black-ish spin-off entitled Grown-Ish, posted the network's biggest launch in two years. It isn't clear when FreeForm is eyeing this new series to debut on the network quite yet.