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osh Schwartz has been having
trouble sleeping. Ever since
his new show, The 0.C,
began airing on Fox this sum-
mer, he's faced insomnia Tuesday
nights, anxiously awaiting the public's
response to each new episode.
He got a brief reprieve in late
September and October, when the show
went on hiatus for Major League
Baseball playoffs and the World Series,
but as of Oct. 29, The O.C. (for Orange
County, Calif.) has been back, and his
restlessness now comes Wednesdays.
Over coffee one recent morning,
Schwartz,. the 27-year-old who's being
touted as the youngest person ever to
create his own television network
drama, discussed his recent starburst.
The biggest change in his life?
"I got a job," he said, looking
disheveled by design in vintage green
T-shirt, powder blue cords and sneak-
ers. "It's just being immersed in some-
thing seven days a week, 16 hours a
day and just having that be this all-
consuming event. But its great."
There's no sign of that changing,
either. Fox has picked up a full season
of his teen drama — "It's not a soap"
— about a tony Newport Beach,
Calif, gated community.
The show seems likely to maintain
its summer spot as the highest-rated
drama with teens, as well as pulling
in the key coveted demographic of
18 to 49-year-olds.
The 0. C. is centered on the Cohen
family and Ryan (Benjamin
McKenzie), the troubled Chino-area
teen they adopt. •
Schwartz has infused a little bit of
Jewish soul into the predominantly
white-bread 0. C., with Sandy Cohen
(Peter Gallagher), a liberal Jewish
pro-bono lawyer, and his son, Seth, a
nerdy and sarcastic high school sen-
ior (played by the unlikeliest of
geeks, Adam Brody).
Kirsten Cohen (Kelly Rowan) is the
WASPy mom, who has garnered them
entree into this exclusive world — she
has the money from working in her
After 3:00 p.m.
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as Sandy Cohen,
Special to the Jewish News
Brody as Seth
Cohen, `Sort of
a smart-ass, but
with an under-
father's real estate development business.
And of course, there's Marissa (Mischa
Barton), the Neutrogena girl next door.
So far, hints at the characters' Jewish-
ness have been limited to throwaway
lines. Explaining why he can't get
along with Kirsten's uber-WASP dad
when he comes to visit, Sandy says,
"I'm still Jewish."
In two others, Seth makes refer-
ence to studying the Talmud and to
his "Jewfro," and Schwartz has prom-
ised a season finale involving
"Chrismakah," wherein Ryan has to
make the little money he has to pur-
chase one gift last for eight.
Schwartz explained his choice to make
Sandy and Seth Jewish: "For Sandy, it
just felt like one more thing to add. But
it felt like it was a natural thing for his
character, coming from his background
and how it would make him sort of feel
a little bit even more out of place in
Newport, and for Seth, as well."
Much of the basis for The O.C. is
autobiographical, Schwartz said. Raised