The teen drama, which ran from 2003 to 2007, followed a group of young people and their families in the wealthy, upper-class neighbourhood of Newport Beach, Orange County, California.
Speaking about how the cast became so well-known at such a young age, Gallagher – who was 47 in the first series – told Metro.co.uk: “To watch the organisation build them up… I worried, because first fame can be deadly. You stop asking questions and you think you have all the answers and it can destroy the fabric of the thing we had created. But to their credit… We had a few discussions about how one should behave, but they knew I loved them.”
In 2013, Tate Donovan, who played Marissa’s father Jimmy Cooper, told Vulture: “By [season three], the kids had developed a really bad attitude. They just didn’t want to be doing the show anymore. It was pretty tough; they were very tough to work with.”
The third season of the show introduced Johnny Harper (Ryan Donowho), a character whose storyline creator Josh Schwartz later admitted was an error, resulting in poor reviews.
Barton left the show at the end of season three, later explaining: “I just had a lot in my career that I wanted to do and accomplish. I felt like things were really heavily reliant upon me, and I was getting no time to do any of the other offers that were out there.”
The OC continued for one more season after Barton’s departure.
Gallagher said of the show’s worsening plotlines: “That whole first season was very special. Everybody was tight, there was a great sense of shared excitement. Then you know, I got saddled with I’m a public defender, and now I’m in the real estate business? Next week I’m a fishmonger? But you know, that’s their prerogative, and that’s what they chose to make.”
Bilson and her former co-star Melinda Clarke announced last month that they are launching a podcast, Welcome to the OC, Bitches!, which will feature the cast and creators as guests.
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