RYAN IN DARK PLACE ON "THE O.C.'
FOX's young-adult drama "The O.C." returns for a fourth season on Thursday, November 2 and the first images from the season premiere ("The Avengers") have been released giving us some clues what has happened to Benjamin McKenzie's character Ryan Atwood as he was coping with his girlfriend's Marissa's death (Mischa Barton).
"The O.C." will pull a Desperate Housewives shtick, as six months have passed since the tragic accident. Special guest star Chris Pratt ("Everwood", pictured below) will make an appearance as Summer's (Rachel Bilson) new romatic interest Che, a tree-hugging activist in Rhode Island.
When the season begins, Seth (Adam Brody) works at a comic book store, Taylor (Autumn Reeser) returns from Paris and Marissa's little sister Kaitlin (Willa Holland) attends Harbor School and befriends Luke's brothers. Later in the season she will be romantically involved with Chris Brown's character, a lonely band geek.
When "The O.C." premiered in the summer of 2003 it became an instant watercooler sensation with its trademark self-mocking humor, pop-culture references, crispy teen-slang dialogue, and a hot indie soundtrack, catapulting its young stars into TV stratosphere.
As the drama moved to a new timeslot on Thursday nights a year later, the storylines got darker, heavier and soapier and the ratings went downhill, from 9,7 million in 2003 (top episodes attracted over 13 million viewers) to dismal 5,6 million in 2006.
FOX has therefore ordered only 16 episodes this season. If the ratings improve the network will order additional episodes, but given the fact that the two most-watched shows in America air in the same timeslot ("Grey's Anatomy" on ABC and "CSI" on CBS) that will be highly unlikely.