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Fans inclined to take Fox up on its above-referenced request to send in videos explaining how Seth Cohen's ability to lay the hottest chick in school despite being a comics-obsessed social pariah helped them kick their cutting habits may want to hold off on their submissions, as the network today finally made the long-awaited announcement that it's euthanizing the struggling series. Series creator Josh "I'm Too Busy With Other Stuff To Even Notice This Is Happening" Schwartz puts a happy face on the news in the Fox press release about the show's demise:

"THE O.C. Season Four finale will also be the series finale. This feels like the best time to bring the show to its close, said Josh Schwartz, creator and executive producer of THE O.C. Thanks to the hard work of our cast, crew and writers, we have enjoyed our best season yet, and what better time to go out than creatively on top. It has been an amazing experience and a great run. For a certain audience, at a certain time, THE O.C. has meant something. For that we are grateful."

Fox is wasting no time getting the show off its schedule, with the last episode airing on February 22nd. We can only hope that Schwartz will remain committed to the creative vision that originally made the show a hit, making sure its swan song includes a hastily thrown-together Newport society party that is inevitably marred by an ill-considered Ryan Atwood fistfight. But during this last melee, of course, our hot-headed Chino won't resurface after gang-tackling his final, classist tormentor into a nearby swimming pool, meeting his end in the perfectly chlorinated waters of Orange County, just as we always knew he must.