Nostalgia, here we come!
Seventeen years ago, a little show called The O.C. premiered in the hazy days of summer, introducing viewers to the rich and very dramatic sun-soaked Southern California. The Fox teen soap launched the careers of its young stars—Ben McKenzie, Mischa Barton, Adam Brody and Rachel Bilson—and introduced us to one of TV's most beloved characters (love you forever, Seth Cohen!).
The drama became such a pop culture phenomenon after its August 2003 debut that it landed massive guest stars, released bestselling soundtracks and, oh yeah, helped shape reality television. No big deal.
But did you know that The O.C.—created by Josh Schwartz, who would go on to gift us with Gossip Girl, Chuck and Hart of Dixie—almost had a completely different cast (including a hot young star who chose to front One Tree Hill instead) and was this close to landing its own spinoff at the height of its popularity?
Now, in honor of Adam Brody's birthday Dec. 15, here are 23 fun facts you might not know about The O.C., from the on-set romances to the truth about the series' most controversial death...
This story was originally published on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 at 3 a.m. PT.