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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 January 2007, 16:46 GMT
Teenage soap The OC is cancelled
The cast of The OC
The show began in 2003 and was an instant hit with teenagers
Teenage drama The OC, which starred Mischa Barton has been pulled by US television network Fox, after ratings slumped to an all-time low.

The first season began in 2003 and drew in audiences of nearly 10 million.

The show's popularity began a steady decline though, and in November ratings dropped to just 4 million.

Series creator Josh Schwartz said the finale "will deliver real closure to the series". The final episode is due to be aired in the UK in February.

Boost ratings

"It will be fun and emotional and, I think, really satisfying. It is the finale we always planned to do," Schwartz added.

In the past show bosses had tried to boost ratings by introducing high drama to the series, set in Orange County, California.

Mischa Barton
Mischa Barton's character was killed off in the third series
In the third season Marissa Cooper (Barton) was killed in a car crash, but this was not enough to entice viewers back.

Audience figures failed to increase too during the last season when Ryan (Benjamin McKenzie) confronted the death of his one-time girlfriend and the man who caused it.

Fox ordered 16 episodes for the 2006-07 season and all will have aired when the series concludes in February.

Despite the short-lived popularity of the show, the actors who played the four main characters, Ryan (McKenzie), Seth (Adam Brody) Marissa (Barton) and Summer (Rachel Bilson) have all become regulars in newspaper and magazine gossip columns.


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