During the mid-2000s, The O.C. was one of the most popular television shows. The following are the reasons why Fox decided to terminate the show after its fourth season.
Why was The O.C. discontinued after season 4 despite being a hugely successful adolescent drama? Josh Schwartz (Marvel’s Runaways) created the series, which premiered in August 2003 and ran until February 2007. The series was recognized for its great soundtrack, which featured up-and-coming musicians, as well as its focus on the lives of teenagers in Orange County, California.
The O.C. aired a total of 92 episodes over the course of four seasons. When The O.C. first aired, it focused on Ryan Atwood (Benjamin McKenzie), a disturbed adolescent with few prospects for secure home life. Sandy (Peter Gallagher) and Kirsten Cohen (Kelly Rowan), a rich couple with a teenage son of their own, adopted Ryan (Adam Brody). Ryan struggled at first to adjust to his new lifestyle, but he eventually made friends he could trust. The series’ principal characters were Ryan, Seth, Marissa (Mischa Barton), and Summer (Rachel Bilson) as they navigated their senior year of high school.
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About The O.C.
In the mid-2000s, the core characters of The O.C. became celebrities. Viewers liked the show because of the subjects it covered, which included socioeconomic class, drug addiction, anxiety, homophobia, and sorrow, among others. The O.C. seemed to get back on track with season 4 after a rocky third season. Despite the optimism for the show’s future, Fox confirmed in January 2007 that the current season will be it’s final.
The low ratings were the primary reason for The O.C.’s cancellation. The O.C.’s first season was a huge success for Fox, with an average of 9.7 million viewers per episode. Even if the time slot was changed from Tuesday to Wednesday, the numbers remained consistent. Season 2 saw yet another shift in scheduling, this time to Thursday nights, where it competed with popular shows like Survivor and Will & Grace. Viewership continued to decline, so Fox pushed The O.C. back one hour, but it didn’t help because it was competing with Grey’s Anatomy and CSI, two more popular dramas.
Plot of The O.C.
Marissa was killed in the season 3 finale of The O.C., putting an end to Barton’s stint on the show. Many long-time watchers were turned off by this, believing the tale to be excessively dramatic. The fact that Fox requested a shorter season 4 indicated that they were already losing faith in the series. Schwartz was able to step back and return to the more humorous elements that had made the first two seasons so popular. Even the cast realized the end was approaching at that time.
Despite the cancellation of The O.C., Fox authorized Schwartz to complete the already ordered episodes as he saw fit. Without the weight of worrying about the show’s survival, he had the creative freedom to end the series. Viewers made a last-ditch effort to save The O.C., with a petition approaching 750,000 signatures. The CW considered airing the series as part of their lineup, but ultimately opted against it.