The O.C. is an American teen drama television series created by Josh Schwartz that originally aired on the Fox network in the United States from August 5, 2003, to February 22, 2007, running a total of four seasons. "O.C." is an abbreviation of "Orange County."
The series centers on Ryan Atwood, a troubled but tough young man from a broken home who is adopted by the wealthy and philanthropic Sandy and Kirsten Cohen. Ryan and his foster brother Seth, a socially awkward yet quick-witted teenager, deal with life as outsiders in the high-class world of Newport Beach. Ryan and Seth spend much time navigating their relationships with girl-next-door Marissa Cooper, Seth's childhood crush Summer Roberts, and the fast-talking loner Taylor Townsend. Storylines deal with the culture clash between the idealistic Cohen family and the shallow, materialistic, and closed-minded community in which they reside. The series includes elements of postmodernism, and functions as a mixture of melodrama and comedy.
The series premiered with high ratings and was one of the most popular new dramas of the 2003–2004 television season. It was widely referred to as a pop cultural phenomenon and received mostly positive reception from critics. However, ratings declined as the show went on. The low ratings led to its cancellation in early 2007, even after an online petition that gained over 700,000 signatures.
The O.C. has been broadcast in more than fifty countries worldwide. The series has also been released on DVD, as well as on iTunes.