Nine months ago Freeform announced plans to reboot the ’90s family drama Party of Five. The original series, which ran from 1994-2000 followed the Salingers, two brothers and two sisters forced to band together as a family when their parents die in a car crash. The new incarnation, being spearheaded by original showrunners Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman, takes the original narrative and changes it into a deportation drama, with the newly minted Buendía children coming together after their parents are deported back to Mexico.
It’s been revealed that casting on the Buendías has concluded with Nuyorican actor Brandon Larracuente taking on the role of eldest brother, Emilio, “an aspiring musician” who is the least responsible of the group, and who is forced to return from living on his own to raise his siblings. Venezuelan-Dominican actress Emily Tosta is taking the role – originally played by Neve Campbell – of the eldest daughter, Lucia Buendía, who becomes rebellious after her college dreams are altered by her parents deportation. Niko Guardado plays youngest brother Beto (a role whose counterpart was played by Scott Wolf in the original). Beto “discovers that being the head of the family comes easily to him.” And newcomer Elle Paris Legaspi plays the youngest Buendía, Valentina, trying to grow up without her parents.
Interestingly, the reboot was originally pitched to Fox, which aired the 1994 series, but was turned down since Fox is still developing Diane Guerrero’s show, In the Country We Love, which doesn’t have an air date. As we’ve seen with other shows like Charmed and the upcoming Roswell reboot, the idea of doing including Latino actors and plot-lines is interesting from an advertising perspective yet has been downplayed in execution. It remains to be seen where on the spectrum this reboot will fall – but we’ll be keeping an eye out to see whether the project brings Latino writers on board.
There’s no set release date for when Party of Five will air on Freeform.