The O.C.: Could Money Save the FOX Drama?

The OC cast saying goodbye?Well, after months of speculation it appears that the word has come down from Fox regarding the future of The O.C. The news isn’t good but it might not be as bad as it seems.

The hip young drama The O.C. debuted on August 5, 2003 on FOX. Much like Beverly Hills, 90210 before it, the show became very popular among younger viewers during a summer debut. The series, set in Newport Beach in Orange County, California, told the story of a group of teens and parents in the Cohen, Cooper, and Nichol families whose lives were changed by the arrival of an outsider in their idyllic community.

The O.C. is frequently credited with popularizing several previously unknown bands and reviving the teen drama genre while including humorous and heartfelt adult storylines. The series currently stars actors Peter Gallagher, Kelly Rowan, Benjamin McKenzie, Adam Brody, Melinda Clarke, Rachel Bilson, Autumn Reeser, and Willa Holland.

There was concern by many that season four, which debuted on November 2, 2006, would be the show’s last. For one thing, fans were told to expect to see a significant shift in the storylines now that the hot teen characters have left high school. One of the main characters had also died at the end of season three (Marissa played by Mischa Barton). On top of that, the other networks were offering stiff Thursday night competition with powerhouses like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Grey’s Anatomy.

Should The O.C. be cancelled?

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The O.C.’s fourth season premiere drew a small number of viewers, approximately a meager 2.5 million. This poor showing caused Fox to cancel The O.C.’s weaker lead-in shows immediately (the sitcom Happy Hour and the game show The Rich List) and to rework their troubled schedule — even airing The O.C. twice a week. Ultimately though, the show stayed on Thursday nights to fight it out and understandably the numbers didn’t improve very much. We now know that the battle is over. Or is it?

Fox has now issued a statement that The O.C. has been cancelled and that the series finale will air on Thursday, February 22nd. Original fourth season episodes will air each week prior to the finale. The series creator and executive producer Josh Schwartz said in a statement, “The O.C. Season Four finale will also be the series finale. This feels like the best time to bring the show to its close. Thanks to the hard work of our cast, crew and writers, we have enjoyed our best season yet, and what better time to go out than creatively on top. It has been an amazing experience and a great run. For a certain audience, at a certain time, The O.C. has meant something. For that we are grateful.”

In a note to TV critic Alan Sepinwell, Josh Schwartz explained that only a portion of his quote made it into the press release. The part that was cut said “There has been some speculation about a Season 5 on another network but this feels like the best time to bring the story to an end.” Josh went on to say, “I felt better to go out now with the run we’re having then try and move the show, etc. etc. and maybe not be able to deliver the same level of quality. Teen dramas have a shelf life. We’ve had a lot of parties on the show, and so I’ve learned, best not to stay too late.”

The OC cast saying goodbye?So that’s it. Or is it? There have been rumblings that the freshman CW network might be interested in picking up the series. Idol rumors? Maybe not.

The O.C. is produced by Wonderland Sound and Vision and College Hill Pictures in association with Warner Bros. Television Production. Warner Bros. co-owns the CW network. A minimum of 100 episodes are traditionally desired for a series to be sold in syndication (so that stations can run episodes every day without having to rerun them too quickly). At the end of the fourth season, The O.C. will have only 92 episodes. It may make better financial sense for Warner Bros. to continue producing the show for a fifth season, even if it’s only another short one.

In addition, head of the CW network Dawn Ostroff is said to be extremely interested in picking up the show for another season. The show is expensive to produce but perhaps the syndication money could offset the cost enough so that the CW network could afford it. Stranger things have happened when it comes to networks. After all, Seventh Heaven was pulled from the ashes and renewed for an 11th season last year. Could the same thing happen to The O.C.? What do you think? Worth saving? Take part in our poll (see above left). Time will tell so stay tuned! TV Series Finale home page

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90 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. nelly says

    this is the best show ever it cant end there has 2 be season5 or better yet it has 2 be chosen for atleast 5 more seasons saaave the oc

  2. Debbie Riley Jur says

    This is a great show reminds me of 90210 I cannot beleive it was taken off of the air..Please save this SHOW….Please I really looked forward to watch this every Thursday night…My husband is in IRAQ and TV is my life for now….Please save this show…..

  3. Tom says

    I think the creators should have looked at the larger picture, just because the viewers ratings were down in the USA didn’t mean to say they were down everywhere in the world, every show has a temporary blip. I live in the UK and the O.C was massive over here, prime time slot and repeated on different channels right after it was on. The O.C had its effect on the world, and at times it was very emototionally involving and it will be missed by many including myself, unless they bring it back for more (hint hint).
    Killing off Marissa was also a massive mistake and i think the creators took the easy way out by killing her off instead of experimenting the ways that both Ryan and Marissa got on with their lives, moving on with different people but also trying to keep in contact living so far away.
    I also believe that if they had not killed off Mischa the O.C would have reached at least 5 seasons and possibly more.
    I have not yet seen the 4th season and i am only just finishing off the 3rd but no along the lines of what happens through reading it and comments above.
    If it is to stay at 4 seasons and has completley ended it will still remanin one of the greatest T.V programmes that has been.
    But there is still plenty of writing to be done for this programme.
    The best news in the world right now would be for more o.c

  4. eljan says

    please save the oc!!!fox please!!!!oc is very beautiful film!!!!oc ilove you 4ever in my life!!!please save the oc!!!!!perfavore salvate oc non può finire vi prego

  5. Anonymous says

    I love the OC so much! I watch it EVERY thursday, and own seasons 1-3 box sets. I will cry if this show is over! It is the best! This season and its cast of young, fresh faces have been very interesting, and with all the twists, I can’t stop watching. Fox would be making a HUGE mistake to cancel this show, because there’s still so many people it has hooked. Look at all the money you’re throwing away! This is a brilliant opportunity to make more money, and get to 100 episodes. Make at least one more season, while we’re still on our knees begging you! Please, Please, Please don’t cancel it! I <3 the OC!

  6. Terry says

    Rarely do television shows come along which are so well written with such sharp and witty dialogue and possessing an ensemble cast that clearly likes each other and has excellent chemistry, so why cancel and disappoint millions of viewers? If ever a medium needed more quality work, it’s television. And television needs the O.C. The cross generational appeal is fabulous. I have been a Peter Gallagher fan for years (anyone remember Summer Lovers with Daryll Hannah and Peter frolicking in Greece?) and it’s great to see him in a regularly scheduled program. Additionally, the younger members of the cast have been nothing short of superb. Adam, Ben, Mischa, Rachel and even Autumn have just lit up the screen. What a fun show to watch even during the difficult topic times. Please keep this show on the air!!!!! Josh, if you are reading this, I know that you received an even million for one of your first movie scripts by starting a bidding war between studios…it’s time to start another one over the O.C. Just remember dude a lot of people are living quite well off of syndication (think Seinfeld, Friends, Frasier, etc.), so why not set the money machine in motion and keep a few million people happy for awhile. Heck, I’ll even offer to help write an episode or two if that will keep the wheels turning for at least another year! Keep this show on the air!!!



  7. ashley says


  8. Jaime Taylor says

    Hello FOX do you notice a pattern here? How many people have to beg and plead for you to keep the show before you realize you’re making a huge mistake. I hope that someone else picks up the show, Like the CW, and you big wigs at FOX realize what a dumb mistake you made letting it get away. This show has potential to be better than most other teen dramas. So get your act together and recend your decision to cancel this show.

  9. Prefer Not To Say says

    Im not going to make this long..but just to sum it up
    huge mistake, and honestly you guys WILL regret it!

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