Famous as reportedly the youngest person, as of the mid-2000s, to ever create, produce, and author episodes of a prime-time network series (he was 26 at the time), and as one of the individuals who helped resuscitate intra-program brand integration for scripted series dramas, Josh Schwartz bears chief responsibility for bringing the The O.C. into the world. As co-produced with former music-video helmer McG and aired on the Fox network from 2003 to 2007, the evening soaper -- its title an abbreviation for "The Orange County" -- dramatized the story of a public defender (Peter Gallagher) who takes a troubled young man (Benjamin McKenzie) into his upper-crust Newport Beach home. Schwartz conceived the series while a student at the University of Southern California; it sprang from his sociological research on Orange County. After The O.C. folded in 2007, Schwartz announced his launch of two additional television programs: Chuck, a comedy-adventure about a hopeless nerd (Zachary Levi) who embarks on a spy career when the world's most guarded secrets are embedded into his brain, and Gossip Girl, adapted from the novels by Cecily von Ziegesar, about a young woman with a secret identity who uses a blog to make public all the hottest gossip of New York City's elite teens. He made his feature directorial debut with Fun Size, a teen comedy, in 2012.
Biography by Nathan Southern
- Was inspired to create The O.C. while attending film school at the University of Southern California, where he first experienced the affluent Orange County culture portrayed on the show.
- Dropped out of USC after he sold his first feature script, Providence, for $500,000, which was ultimately never produced.
- Became the youngest person to ever create and produce a drama for network television at the age of 26.
- Met his wife through The O.C. star Rachel Bilson.
- During the 2008-09 television season, his shows Chuck and Gossip Girls aired opposite each other in the same time slot on two different networks.
- Joined forces with one of his creative partners, Stephanie Savage, to launch the production company Fake Empire.