The OC,  Benjamin McKenzie

Michael Desmond/FOX

Somewhere, Mischa Barton is smiling.

Or, well, that's just my guess anyway. But I know one thing for sure: Those of us who've been watching The O.C. this season know the news that is about to be confirmed any nanosecond by Fox—that The O.C. indeed has been canceled—is nothing short of heartbreaking.

According to my sources, Fox will air the last episode of The O.C. Feb. 22, and then the four-season-old series will go off the air for good.

Sadly, despite The O.C.'s creative uptick this season (and the addition of Autumn Reeser, aka Taylor, who breathed new life into the show), the ratings have not been strong enough for Fox execs to justify a fifth season. Of course, the true tragedy is that the once Nielsens-robust series was plopped onto Thursday nights (first 8 p.m., then 9 p.m.), facing off against the likes of NBC's comedy lineup, CSI and Grey's Anatomy. I don't care how ripped and raw Ryan was this season (see photo, wipe drool), that was nobody's fight to win.

On the bright side, I'm told by sources at the CW network that head honcho Dawn Ostroff is "extremely interested" in picking up The O.C. for the following season. Of course, the real matter is whether the fledgling network can afford the series. (Personally, I hope so.) And of course, all the actors involved would need to stay on board, including the allegedly recently split Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson, and Josh Schwartz, who just landed a deal for a new thriller drama pilot on NBC.

Hmmm...Seems to me the cards may be stacked against us seeing The O.C. after Feb. 22, but this O.C. fan isn't giving up hope yet. How about you? Comment below.

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