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MTV OKs Laguna Spinoff

Fans of the spoiled rich kids on Laguna Beach will be, like, so excited to know the Laguna legacy will continue: MTV has greenlit a spinoff series centering on the show’s first-season protagonist, LC (a.k.a. Lauren Conrad).

The Hills, set to debut during second quarter of 2006, will follow LC in Los Angeles as she embarks on post-high school life, taking classes at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and interning at Teen Vogue. It will be filmed in the same reality-drama hybrid style as Laguna, shooting real-life teens with cameras that give the show the look of a scripted drama. Hills creator Adam DiVello will executive produce the show, along with Laguna creators Tony DiSanto and Liz Gateley.

Celebrity magazines, which helped make stars of Laguna's Orange County high school kids, have buzzed for weeks about a possible spinoff for LC. Laguna’s first season centered on a romantic triangle between LC, Stephen and Kristin, the protagonist of season two, which concludes tonight in a commercial-free episode.

Laguna premiered in September 2004 and soon became a cultural phenomenon. The first season averaged a 2.65 rating with MTV’s target 12-34 audience and spawned a multi-disc DVD set from MTV and Paramount Home Entertainment that sold more than 300,000 copies.

The show improved in its second season. The premiere bettered season one’s debut in the demo by 54%; subsequent episodes have earned consistently high ratings.

Earlier this month, MTV greenlit a third season of Laguna and a new drama/reality – or “dramality” – called 8th & Ocean for 2006.