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. Tiffany says

    Please do not take The O.C. off the air. I love the show and think it deserves to stay on the air. The cast is so talented. I especially enjoy Sandy and Kirsten. I love their relationship!!! With the recent developments of Kirsten’s pregnancy I would love to have a full season along with a season 5. This is great for the show and allows for a lot of comedy and family time with the Cohens. Keep the O.C!!!

  2. janna bingley says

    hi my name is Janna and I love the OC It deals with real life problems that everyone deals with or will deal with. You can not cancel this show Please it is my highlight of thrusday nights it touches me in so many ways that I cry when I watch it it would mean the world to me if you did not cancel this show and went for season five…

    Janna Bingley 23 January 26, 2007

  3. Tessa Doolan says

    Here I am thinking, how can the O.C possibly be coming to an end. It’s the only show that I have been true too. I have to watch it! And even just after the end of one season, I am sad to see it go until the next one. To see this show go for good, is a sad feeling. Ive seen the characters grow and change. I love it. I really think it’s silly that the O.C is ending and i think the smart choice will be to change your MINDS! PLEASE! I think that you will make me and alot of other people realy happy. I don’t care about any other TV show but the O.C. PUT IT BACK ON THE AIR! :)

  4. Sami says

    Fox should move the o.c. to a different night because greys anatomy and c.s.i. are the top watched shows and if you put the oc on that night the people are going to watch the other shows. We cant record the a show and watch the other shows so move the show to tuesday

  5. Crystal says

    I’m gettin tired of this, i mean seriously, all good things come to an end, and its time for the OC to go. it had a great run while it lasted, now let it rest in peace.

  6. HEY says


  7. j says

    keep oc on the air!! i have to say–i didnt think i’d like it as much after marissa’s death, but in fact i think its gotten even better! the show is funny, witty, clever, its what i look forward to watching every thurs night. fox needs to rethink this decision or another network needs to pick it up!!

  8. verenice g. says

    ok,the oc has to stay! i’m new to this tv show, but i’ve already fallen in love with it. now, this are the showes i watch, M:PRISON BREAK, HEROES. T:GILMORE GIRLS, VERONICA MARS. W:FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS, ONE TREE HILL. TH:SMALLVILle, THE O.C. F:GHOST WISPERER, CLOSE TO HOmE. SUN:10:00 WITHOUT A TRACE. so i watch the cw a lot, and i think it’s an amazing network. so if the cw decides to buy the O.C. they’d make it better, and if they do that, they should show it on saturdays or sundays at 8 or 9, you can cancel 7th heaven. or on thursdays at 9 pm, right after smallville. so please don’t cancel the oc.

  9. kj says

    i think they should at least extend this season’s episodes to 24 or 25 to cancel it. Despite the drop in ratings there is still a large number of die-hard o.c fans who would loved to have a beautiful and fitting finale for a wonderful and extraordinary show. i thank everyone involved in the production of o.c. for giving us such a beautiful memory on the small screen

  10. Josh says

    i love this show and it just breaks my heart that its cancelling! i will cry my eyes out when i say my final goodbye…i would love it if the cw approves the show

  11. luly says

    this is the best iffing season so far I love Kaitlin!!! I think they should make the story a bit more about her. SHE ROCKS so better than her sister. this is the best season ever I haven’t missed an episode.

  12. paul says

    i am a fan of the show still but i think it seriosly went downhill when they killed marissa. i mean you just dont do that. u cannot kill a member of a show’s core, who probably have developed a fanclub. i was really dissappionted when they decided to do that. even though i am a fan, i say ” good riddance you marissa-hating s.o.b’s”

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