For those who don't know, One Tree Hill, for their 5th Season, jumped past the college years and focused on the adult life of their stars. I am only just getting into One Tree Hill, but have read up on its new season, and this got me thinking that had the OC of made a similar step after season 3, the show could have had fresh life breathed into it, and developed into a long running TV series.
So think about it if Season 3 finale did not kill of Marissa, it had Marissa going off to work on a boat with her dad, Ryan to Berkeley, Summer to Brown and Seth to art college, and Season 4 picks up 3 years after that, with them all having passed through college with a degree (except Marissa who is doing whatever really). Kirsten's pregnancy could have also been brought forward to be in Season 3, with her giving birth towards the end of the season.
So then Season 4 would be in some ways reminiscent of the old seasons (retaining all the lead characters), but would be dealing with whole new set of circumstances and problems, giving the show fresh life, giving the show sooo much potential for future season. Anyway just thought I'd make this post think would have been awesome, not that I wasn't a fan of OC Season 4, it just seemed to fight the prospect of the characters growing up and moving on in the world, rather than embrace it; a stance that from the offset was always going to make Season 4 the OC's final season