Wayne Flies over “The O.C.”

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Wayne Flies over “The O.C.”

Fri Jun 11, 1:15 PM ET Add Television – E! Online to My Yahoo!

By Sarah Hall

Looks like John Wayne (news) has got more staying power than The O.C.’s fictional crew of tawny teens.

Two days after an Orange County supervisor made the ill-advised suggestion that John Wayne Airport be renamed in tribute to Fox’s prime-time teen soap, the idea has been kicked to the curb.

“Let’s just say it was a trial balloon. It crashed and burned,” Supervisor Chris Norby told the Los Angeles Times of his proposal to dub the airport “The O.C. Airport, John Wayne Field.” “With all the priorities we have, it is not going to be one of ours.”

(It sounds like someone learned a valuable lesson about thinking before he speaks.)

After the scheme was publicized, Norby’s office was inundated by irate phone calls and emails berating him for daring to consider retooling the Duke’s namesake.

By Thursday, he gave up on the idea, caving to his detractors and sending out an email announcing that he would not continue his quest to sex up the airport.

“I think people are happy with John Wayne Airport,” Norby said. “I’m happy with it, too.”

Despite his self-proclaimed satisfaction with the airport’s title, Norby had hoped that Orange County tourism could benefit from the show’s portrayal of the area as “Beverly Hills on the beach. A place built on money, power and prestige.”

He also suggested installing signs at county borders, bidding visitors a hearty “Welcome to the O.C.”

Unfortunately, it seems that not everyone is as taken with the hit show as Norby seems to be.

Wayne’s son, Ethan, announced his displeasure with the supervisor for even suggesting the scheme.

“I don’t think he’ll be coming up with any more ideas like that,” Ethan Wayne told the Times. “I think my dad stood for a lot more than this new TV show does. Nothing bad about this new TV show. But 72 years representing something, I think that’s more important than a fad.”

There has been no word from The O.C. cast regarding their thoughts on the matter.

The John Wayne Airport was named after the Oscar-winning actor days after his death in 1979, and it served 8.5 million people last year. Despite his demise, Wayne has consistently ranked among the top 10 most popular actors in the annual Harris poll of America’s favorite celebs.

E! Online

By Sarah Hall

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