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Laguna Beach Ditches Laguna Beach

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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MOVIN' ON UP Formerly of Laguna

Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County had a good run, but after the third season tanked, MTV execs thought they might spice up the faux-reality series by moving the show to a new town. The new locale needed to be somewhere exotic, full of character, and different from Laguna Beach. Which is why it makes total sense to move the show to the same zip code—Newport Beach, less than 10 miles away.

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"Newport offers something new and different," MTV Executive Vice President Tony DiSanto tells the press. "The boating, the coastline, the homes. You have a different flavor when you watch the show." He also added an official statement: "The real O.C. is a beautiful backdrop to this universal story." Too bad MTV already dubbed Laguna Beach "The Real Orange County" in 2004. Perhaps Newport Beach is the new new O.C.?

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Even though MTV's change of scene is somewhat far-fetched, Newport Beach officials are excited for the move. "We are happy to have them here," says city rep Marilee Jackson. "Newport Beach has an aura. It began with The O.C. even though they didn't film it here, and that raised our profile. We've had the good fortune of being an 'in' destination for people."

MTV had to pass muster with the city board and visitor's bureau, and had to obtain dozens of permits to focus on the lives of Newport teens. The city agreed on the basis that, according to Jackson, "these kids weren't engaged in anything controversial." Hmm ... have they seen Laguna Beach?



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