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

Canceled and renewed TV show

90 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. oc fan says

    i have been in love with the oc sense day 1 i want a season 5 but i want it on fox. they killed the show in season 3 finale the ratings would be higher if marissa didnt die, they cost the rest of the show just for the ratings of 1 night.

  2. Vicky says

    Anonymous – everyone has right to express an opinion and if you look at the question, it asks whether the OC is worth saving, and not everyone is going to agree. Just because we disagree, doesn’t mean we are “raining on your parade”. Perhaps also you should also reveal your name to get a bit more credibility – you can’t be that loyal to the OC if you don’t want your name to be known.
    To all the others who say the OC has loyal fans – yes you are right, its just they have fallen to such small numbers, its simply not viable for FOX to keep show on, accept this and move on. There was life before the OC, there will be life after it.

  3. Raych says

    I cant believe that it has been canceled.
    I’ve watched The OC since it started and have loved every minute..Its my fave program..And cant believe that FOX would drop it.
    I really hope that it is picked up for another series :)

  4. DAVE C says

    I, agree with the rest of the
    messages!=)Like I said, before
    hand, I’m a 42 man, If I can
    handle watching this show!=)
    watching the plots twist!=)
    Don’t drop the show!=(
    I understand that thursdays
    night’s are a big tv watching
    for most people!=) there you
    hard when the O.C. is on Thur-
    sday night’s with a Full Power
    House!=( Why can’t the OC be
    on a different–>(day)! but
    keep the 8:pm normal time slot

  5. ErinlovesSandy says

    I need to have closure! Please SAVE THE OC! I’ll watch whatever is put out there even REMOTELY relating to The Cohens,The Nichols and The Coopers!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Anonymous says

    The OC cannot be cancelled!!!!!!!!! Fox needs the OC to help its ratings evven if its only a couple of million it’s better than a lot of other shows on TV. I was crushed when i heard it was ending and i think it’s stupid that its not a full season. If Fox is going to take such a great show away then why can’t they just let us have a full season!!!

  7. Lisa says

    There is more action we can take to Save The OC! I agree with this site that it would be a smart move for Warner Brothers to produce the OC for a 5th season to get it to 100 episodes, the benchmark for profitable syndication. Sign this poll, and tell all your friends! We’ve also been told by someone who appears to know what they’re talking about to send polite emails to The CW (which is owned by Warner Bros., as is The OC) at telling them WHY we want the show saved and committing to watch it on CW if they pick it up! People are also still signing the Petition at too. It’s up to almost 424,000! I’d at least like to see The OC get to 100 episodes so it can go into reruns. I want the rest of the world to see what we all know — just how incredible The OC is!

  8. DAVE C. says

    Reading other people message
    about how they feel about the
    ending of the O.C.!=(…
    I’m 42 yrs old, I’m going too
    miss the show on Thursday
    night’s @ 8:pm Central Time.
    I enjoy watching the drama un-
    fold on tv.!=)=)
    I will miss the show!=(

  9. DAVE C. says

    I heard rumors that the O.C.
    was being Cancelled! Why??..
    I really enjoy watching the
    drama show on Thursday night
    @ 8:00pm Central Time. I watch
    the show 2 times while living
    in Phoenix,Az,. & that’s when
    I got hooked on the drama
    show!=)Now knowing that it will not be airing no more
    past Feb.22nd 2007!=(Every
    thursday night it was a must
    too watch it, between watching
    CSI:on CBS.I will watch the
    Series Finale on Thur.Feb.22.

  10. Save the O.C. T-Shirts says

    It doesn’t have to be over. If OC fans unite (There are millions of us!) they will have no choice but to create another season. Don’t lose hope.

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