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Party of Five creators Amy Lippman and Christopher Keyser rebooted their show with a brand new modern twist. Instead of losing their parents in an automobile accident like the Salingers did, Party of Five separates the Acosta family when their parents get deported back to Mexico. Freeform’s reboot has an all-new cast playing all-new characters with all-new drama, but some things remain the same.

L-R: Elle Paris Legaspi, infant Rafa, Brandon Larracuente, Niko Guardado, Emily Tosta | Freeform/Gilles Mingasson

The Acosta siblings (Brandon Larracuente, Emily Tosta, Niko Guardado, Elle Paris Legaspi) still have to hold the family together in the absence of their parents, so that hasn’t changed. Lippman spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet by phone December 16 about the differences between the original show and the new show, and one thing they kept the same. Party of Five premieres January 8 on Freeform.

The reason there’s no theme song on Freeform’s ‘Party of Five’

The Fox Party of Five used The Bodeans “Closer to Free” as it’s theme song. That song didn’t feel right to the new show’s theme of immigration and deportation.

“I think that’s a different feel, the Bodeans song,” Lippman said. “I love that song but I think the interesting thing is when you see the show, it doesn’t really fit in a way. I mean, the truth is that original show was about a family trying to move past a crisis and a trauma. These are people who are still fully engaged in the trauma. So it felt like an upbeat kind of anthem didn’t feel right.”

Freeform doesn’t do theme songs anyway

The Freeform reboot simply shows the title and goes right into another scene. That’s consistent across all Freeform shows, and really television in general now. Streaming may include a theme song but give you the option to skip it. 

“On Freeform, they don’t have opening title sequences the way they did when we were on Fox,” Lippman said. “There’s not really even an opportunity for a theme song to play although I miss them. I think it’s a really good way to identify a show.”

Lippman misses theme songs, but doesn’t miss giving up screen time to them.

L-R: Emily Tosta, Elle Paris Legaspi, Niko Guardado, Brandon Larracuente | Freeform/Jonathan Wenk

“I could do a whole scene with 45 seconds,” Lippman said. “So I’d rather do that than reintroduce the audience over and over again to the characters. I myself when I watch stuff, if I’m given the option to skip the main titles, I always do it. So I think an audience is a little different in terms of their expectations these days.”

Did you notice this from the original ‘Party of Five’?

When that title comes on screen, it may look familiar. The letters spell Party of Five in the same font as the original Fox show. 

Party of Five
L-R: Elle Paris Legaspi, Brandon Larracuente, baby Rafa, Niko Guardado | Freeform/Gilles Mingasson

“We experimented with other fonts and then we thought why? Really. So it wasn’t the most important. We considered other things and then we thought, you know, we’ve changed so much about the show that occasionally people who were familiar with the show before was sort of a nice [thing] that said it’s still from the people who gave it to you the first time. There are just little things that keep us connected to the original. It was definitely a decision and we experimented with other ways but arrived there.”

Amy Lippman, interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, 12/16/19