“Party of Five” premiered on Sept. 12, 1994 on FOX. It launched the careers of Matthew Fox, Scott Wolf, Neve Campbell, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Lacey Chabert as television and movie stars, and became one of the series that defined the decade. Read on for more details about the family drama “Party of Five.”
Twenty years ago, five shows debuted on network television that created a lasting impact with viewers. As we begin Fall TV 2014, let’s take a look back at these classics in our flashback to Fall TV 1994.
FOX’s “Party of Five” wasn’t a ratings blockbuster when it first premiered in the fall of 1994. But the show had such a distinct appeal among viewers who loved a good family drama. The series would then help shape what would become a trend we mostly see in teen dramas today: angsty, emotional young kids trying to be adults, struggling and getting a grip of how their life should be.
“Party of Five” was a show about the Salinger siblings, whose lives were turned upside down when they lost their parents in an automobile accident.
Charlie (Matthew Fox), 24, became the head of the family and the caretaker of the business, a family-run restaurant. But he could not handle the responsibility, as he was too immature and laidback. The second brother, Bailey (Scott Wolf), 16, stepped up to take care of his younger sisters and brother, but in the later season, he struggled with alcoholism. Julia (Neve Campbell), 15, was the sensitive sister who took all the drama in, while Claudia (Lacey Chabert), 11, was the child wonder who had so much going for her, except that her whole family was still coming to grips with the tragedy. The youngest, who made up of a brood of five (hence the name of the show), was Owen, a toddler.
Later in the series, Sarah (Jennifer Love Hewitt) was introduced as Bailey’s girlfriend, whose character became the star of the spinoff, “Time Of Your Life,” when “Party of Five” ended after six seasons in 2000.
“Party of Five” was described as a sentimental series that touched on sensitive issues like sex, alcoholism, domestic abuse and death. Each episode was a guaranteed tissue-moment. In 1996, the series won Best Drama at the Golden Globes.
— Elisa Laporta (@micheleftespos5) September 13, 2014
Where Are They Now: The Stars of “Party of Five”
- Matthew Fox went on to make another iconic TV series, “Lost,” from 2004 to 2010. He’s now busy with several movie projects.
- Scott Wolf continued to dabble on TV and was part of shows like “Everwood” (2004-2006), “The Nine” (2006-2007), “V” (2009-2011). He is currently in the cast of “The Night Shift” on NBC and “Perception” on TNT.
- Neve Campbell has slowed down after the success of her former drama series, choosing to appear in TV projects carefully. Most recently, she had a brief appearance in the latest season of “Mad Men.” She was also a guest star on “Grey’s Anatomy” in 2012.
- Lacey Chabert grew up on the show and transformed from an awkward tweener into a strikingly beautiful woman. The actress is in the cast of “Baby Daddy” on ABC Family.
- Jennifer Love Hewitt was the show’s breakout star and had a lucrative TV career after “Party of Five” ended, with “Ghost Whisperer” (2005-2010) on CBS. She will join the latest season of “Criminal Minds.”
Did you watch “Party of Five” back when it was on TV? What were your most unforgettable moments? Who was your favorite character? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Gage Skidmore