'Party of Five' Reboot Ordered to Series at Freeform

The 10-episode drama, from original series creator Amy Lippman and Chris Keyser, features an immigration twist.
Freeform
From left: Brandon Larracunte, Emily Tosta, Niko Guardado, Elle Paris Legaspi

As expected, Freeform is moving forward with its Party of Five reboot.

The Disney-owned cable network has handed out a 10-episode series order to a revival of the original Fox drama from series creators Amy Lippman and Chris Keyer.

"Party of Five embodies the heart and soul of what it means to be a family in the most trying of times. We’re so lucky that Freeform gets to be the home for this reimagined story, as we continue to represent the resilience of young adults and the importance of fighting for your voice in times of doubt,” Freeform president Tom Ascheim said Monday in a statement announcing the news. "We are thrilled to be able to share the groundbreaking storytelling from Amy and Chris with a new audience, and are excited for our viewers to discover the beauty of this series."

Developed under Freeform head of originals turned ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke, the series puts a modern twist on the original and follows the five Acosta children as they struggle to survive together as a family after their parents are deported to Mexico.

Brandon Larracuente, Emily Tosta, Niko Guardado and Elle Paris Legaspi are set to play four of the five leads on the drama, taking on roles originally played by Matthew Fox, Neve Campbell, Scott Wolf and Lacey Chabert.

Original series creators Keyser and Lippman co-wrote the pilot script alongside Michal Zebede (Castle) for Freeform and will executive produce alongside director Rodrigo Garcia. The new Party of Five hails from Sony Pictures Television, which also produced the original.  

“We couldn't be more excited to bring Party of Five to another generation of fans. Amy, Chris and Michal's distinct voice makes this series incredibly relatable and authentic. We are truly proud to be part of this journey,” said Jeff Frost, president, Sony Pictures Television and co-presidents Chris Parnell and Jason Clodfelter.

Party of Five joins a scripted roster at Freeform that also includes Marvel's Cloak and Dagger, The Bold Type, Siren, Grown-ish, Good Trouble and the upcoming Besties and Everything's Gonna Be Okay.

The original Party of Five ran for six seasons and focused on five siblings — Bailey (Wolf), Charlie (Fox), Julia (Campbell), Claudia (Chabert) and their baby brother, Owen — who unite as a family after their parents are killed in a car crash. The San Francisco-set series aired on Fox from 1994-2000. The show helped launch the careers of Wolf, Fox, Campbell and Chabert, as well as notable guest stars, including Jennifer Love Hewitt, while tackling serious themes such as substance abuse, domestic abuse, cancer and its central theme: the loss of a parent. Party of Five won a Golden Globe in 1996 for best drama. The series also spawned a spinoff — Time of Your Life, which centered on Hewitt's Sarah Reeves as she moved to New York — that lasted one season on Fox. Also created by Keyser and Lippman, the short-lived series co-starred Jennifer Garner and Pauley Perrette.

The order arrives as reboots remain in high demand as broadcast, cable and streaming outlets look for proven IP in a bid to cut through a cluttered landscape of nearly 500 original scripted series. Key to the new takes is having the original producers — in this case, Sony, Keyser and Lippman — involved in some capacity as more studios look to monetize their existing film libraries. 

Freeform has yet to announce Burke's replacement.