Jennifer Love Hewitt may leave "Party of Five" for her own series

Jennifer Love Hewitt has a deal pending with Columbia TriStar TV to develop a spinoff of the Fox drama “Party of Five.” Variety says that Hewitt, 19, will leave the hit show at the end of this season to star in the yet-unnamed series, in which she’ll continue to play Bailey’s off-again, on-again love interest Sarah Reeves. The new show will revolve around her character, an orphan on “POF,” attempting to find her birth parents. It’s a lucrative deal for Hewitt, who is reportedly guaranteed $1.3 million even if the TV project fails to see the airwaves and $100,000 per episode if it does.

Hewitt is one of “POF”‘s hottest commodities. She’ll also be starring in this fall’s “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer” and was chosen to play Audrey Hepburn in an ABC-TV movie. EW TV critic Bruce Fretts thinks the spinoff deal is a smart one because Hewitt should be able to succeed in her own series without her absence damaging “POF.” “Between Neve Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt, ‘Party of Five’ has two actresses who’ve proven they can carry movies as well as TV series,” he reasons. “So it only makes sense to spread that strength over two separate shows.”

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