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The OC, the once-hot teenage soap opera that saw its ratings drop faster than Lindsay Lohan‘s pants after a couple of drinks, has been axed.

The final episode of the The OC will air Thursday, February 22, giving viewers a chance to say good riddance bye to the characters they’ve come to know and love.

“The finale will deliver real closure to the series, to the story we began telling four years ago,” series creator Josh Schwartz said. “It will be fun and emotional and I think really satisfying. It is the finale we always planned to do.”

THG NOTE: Sure thing, Josh. We’re sure you planned on wasting terrific talent and letting the series decompose into a steaming pile of nonsense and unfulfilled potential before our eyes.

The OC caught fire in its first season, 2003-04, as the top-rated drama among young adults with a total audience of nearly 10 million. But like star Mischa Barton – who was unceremoniously killed off at the end of Season 3 – audiences really thinned out after that! Eh? Eh?

The show dropped to about 7 million viewers during 2004-05 and then to fewer than 6 million last season. This year, it has only drawn about 4 million, with Fox declining to order a full season.

Nevertheless, the show did turn us on to young stars such as Rachel Bilson and Adam Brody, the odd, adorable couple who won each other’s hearts and dated in real life for a long time before recently breaking up.

Ben McKenzie is also alright.

Observers have pointed to a variety of possible reasons for the slump, including inconsistent quality, the fickleness of younger viewers, its time-slot change opposite Grey’s Anatomy, and the show really sucking!

Fox has yet to name a replacement series. We’re pushing for a hot new reality show featuring Mischa Barton and her boyfriend, Cisco Adler, where they fight constantly and see how long they can go without ingesting food.