The collection included an established actors led by Scott Wolf as Bailey, Matthew Fox as Charlie, Neve Campbell as Julia, as well as additionally Lacey Chabert as Claudia Salinger, that with their kid brother Owen (played by a variety of celebrities) make up 5 bro or sis whom the collection does well the loss of their mother and fathers in an automobiles as well as vehicle accident. Notable co-stars included Scott Grimes, Paula Devicq, Michael Goorjian, Jeremy London, as well as additionally Jennifer Love Hewitt. While identified as a collection targeted at teenagers as well as additionally youngsters, Party of Five took a look at a variety of fully grown concepts, containing the substance as well as additionally domestic abuse, teenager pregnancy, mental illness, cancer cells, as well as additionally the durable outcomes of grown-up loss.
Despite acquiring good evaluations from television film doubters after its establishing, containing TELEVISION Guide calling it “The Best Show You're Not Watching” in 1995, the collection experienced minimized ratings throughout its very first as well as additionally second seasons, during which speculation arose that it would soon be cancelled. 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.
The show, set in San Francisco, centred on the five Salinger siblings (the “party of five” of 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 labourer who struggles with the responsibility of being the new head of the family; 16-year-old Bailey (Scott Wolf), the once-rebellious teen forced into a role of a responsible caretaker and later veering into alcoholism; 15-year-old Julia (Neve Campbell), a sensitive teen; 11-year-old Claudia (Lacey Chabert), a precocious child prodigy musician; and baby Owen, age one.
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. Over the years, the Salingers face various struggles: the long-term effects of parental loss; in Season 3, Bailey's attempt to recover from alcoholism; in Season 4, Charlie's diagnosis with cancer; and in Season 5, Julia's dealing with domestic violence in a relationship.
As the series progressed, romantic relationships became plot points and new cast members joined the show, including Jennifer Love Hewitt as Sarah, Bailey's girlfriend; Jeremy London as Griffin, Julia's “bad-boy” boyfriend and later husband; and Paula Devicq as Kirsten, Owen's nanny, who develops an on-again-off-again relationship with Charlie throughout the series, until they get married during the show's sixth and final season.
- Scott Wolf as Bailey Salinger (ages 16–22); the 2nd-born sibling who is forced to grow up fast and additionally deal with life after his parents' deaths.
- Matthew Fox as Charlie Salinger (ages 24–30); the eldest sibling who struggles to live his own life in the reluctant role of a legal guardian to his brothers as well as sisters. Immature and insecure, he dropped out of college his senior year to “find himself” and was planning to re-enroll when his parents' deaths made him his siblings' legal guardian.
- Neve Campbell as Julia Salinger (ages 15–21); a highly intelligent, emotionally sensitive teen who struggles to adjust to being an orphan and having more family responsibilities.
- 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.
- Paula Devicq as Kirsten Bennett Salinger (seasons 1–2, 5–6, recurring seasons 3-4); a graduate student who is hired as Owen Salinger's nanny and becomes romantically involved with Charlie off-and-on during the series, eventually marrying by season six and being pregnant with their very very first child by the end of series.
- Scott Grimes as Will McCorkle (periods 1–2, 6, recurring periods 3-5); Bailey's best friend from high school.
- Michael Goorjian as Justin Thompson (season 2, recurring seasons 1, 3-6); Julia's friend, and later off-and-on boyfriend, throughout the series.
- Jennifer Love Hewitt as Sarah Reeves Merrin (seasons 2–6); Bailey's sensitive, off-as well as-on girlfriend from high school who struggles to “find herself” after she finds out that she was adopted.
- Alexandra Lee as Callie Martel (season 3); Bailey's roommate and girlfriend during his freshman year at college.
- Jeremy London as Griffin Chase Holbrook (seasons 4–6, recurring seasons 2–3); moody and troubled teenager whom Julia dates, and later marries and divorces. The older brother of Jill Holbrook. The character was originally portrayed by James Marsden in the first-season finale episode.
- Jennifer Aspen as Daphne Jablonsky (season 6, recurring seasons 4–5); a part-time exotic dancer who becomes romantically involved with Charlie and later has his baby.
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); a good-natured older man who expanded up with the Salingers' father Nick in an orphanage and co-founded, co-owned, and managed the family restaurant Salinger's, taking over as full-time owner after Nick's death. Often acts as a father figure to Nick's children.
- Mitchell Anderson as Ross Werkman (22 episodes, seasons 1–6); a professional violinist, Claudia's personal violin tutor and friend.
- Cari Shayne as Nina DiMayo (nine episodes, seasons 1–2); Julia's rebellious, outgoing friend from high school.
- Jennifer Blanc as Kate Bishop (eight episodes, period 1); Bailey's first girlfriend from high school.
- Michael Shulman as Artie Baum (seven episodes, period 1); Claudia's friend from elementary school, a fellow child violinist.
- David Burke as Bill (six episodes, season 1); Owen's part-time nanny.
- Megan Ward as Jill Holbrook (nine episodes, season 1); Bailey's outgoing and troubled girlfriend. The younger sister of Griffin Holbrook. (Deceased)
- Wendle Josepher as Lori/Mercy (six episodes, seasons 1, 3–4); a school friend of Julia's
- Kathleen Noone as Ellie Bennett (six episodes, seasons 2–3, 6); Kirsten's mother.
- Marla Sokoloff as Jody Lynch (seven episodes, seasons 2–3); Claudia's troublemaking friend.
- Alyson Reed as Mrs. Reeves (nine episodes, seasons 2–5); Sarah's mother.
- Carroll O'Connor as Jacob (Jake) Gordon (six episodes, seasons 2–3); the Salingers' maternal grandfather (father of their deceased mother, Diana Gordon Salinger).
- Brenda Strong as Kathleen Isley (six episodes, season 2); a wealthy TV producer whom Charlie dates. When Charlie broke up with her after realizing that being with her made him feel like a “kept man” she maliciously retaliated by using her wealth to purchase and nearly succeeded in closing down, the family restaurant.
- Tamara Taylor as Grace Wilcox (16 episodes, season 3); a social worker and peer counsellor who becomes Charlie's girlfriend.
- Ben Browder as Sam Brody (10 episodes, season 3); a construction worker who becomes Julia's boyfriend.
- Dan Lauria as Coach Russ Petrocelli (six episodes, season 3); Bailey's wrestling coach during his first year at college.
- Jackie Mari Roberts as Marcia (5 episodes, season 3)
- Andrew Keegan as Reed Isley (eight episodes, season 4); a high-school football player whom Claudia pursues.
- Paige Turco as Annie Mott (18 episodes, season 4); a divorced single mother who becomes Bailey's girlfriend.
- Allison Bertolino as Natalie Mott (15 episodes, season 4); Annie's young daughter.
- Jessica Lundy as Nina Rondstadt (5 episodes, season 4); a zoologist that becomes Charlie's girlfriend.
- Tim DeKay as Dr. Paul Thomas (12 episodes, seasons 4–5); Kirsten's husband, that then becomes her ex-husband.
- Brenda Wehle as Dr. Stephanie Rabin (eight episodes, seasons 4–5); Charlie's oncologist during his cancer treatments.
- Ever Carradine as Rosalie (seven episodes, season 4); a garage co-worker with whom Griffin cheats on Julia.
- Ross Malinger as Jamie Burke (eight episodes, seasons 4–5); a friend of Claudia's who turns out to be the son of a rival restaurant owner as well as they briefly dated.
- Scott Bairstow as Ned Grayson (20 episodes, seasons 5–6); Julia's boyfriend during her first year at Stanford who later on on abuses her.
- Heather McComb as Maggie (11 episodes, season 5); Julia's college roommate.
- Adam Scott as Josh Macon (seven episodes, season 5); one of Julia's friends at college as well as Julia's crush.
- Joanna Garcia as Hallie (five episodes, season 5); a schoolmate of Claudia's at her New England boarding school.
- Lynsey Bartilson as Parker Brookes (five episodes, season 5)
- Chad Todhunter as Cody (10 episodes, seasons 5–6); Claudia's troubled guy at high school
- Kyle Secor as Evan Stilman (eight episodes, season 6); Julia's writing editor with whom she becomes involved.
- Maggie Lawson as Alexa (seven episodes, season 6); a cheerleader friend of Claudia's.
- Andrew Levitas as Cameron Welcott (six episodes, season 6); Alexa's football-player boyfriend who becomes involved with Claudia.
- Wilson Cruz as Victor (11 episodes, season 6); Daphne's daughter's baby-sitter.
- Lauren Ambrose as Myra Wrangler (five episodes, season 6); a troubled high school student that clashes with Charlie.
- Rhona Mitra as Holly Marie Begins (12 episodes, period 6); an English pre-med student that ends up being Bailey's partner.
- Charles Esten as Luke (seven episodes, period 6); Daphne's partner.
- Sean Maher as Adam Matthews (seven episodes, period 6)
- Thomas Ian Nicholas as Todd Marsh (9 episodes, duration 6); amongst Claudia's guys.