5 Films and TV Shows Set in Newport Beach


Even Hollywood knows that Newport Beach is a great place to live

Newport Beach is a hot spot for a reason—with its close proximity to the beach and its fantastic weather, it’s no wonder Hollywood likes to film stories set in the area. 

The following list discusses some of the many television shows and movies that are set in Newport Beach or have filmed scenes there. You might even see some places you’ve been to before while watching!

The O.C.

The O.C. is a classic Newport Beach television series. This Fox series is also considered to be one of the best teen dramas in TV history. It helped launch the careers of Rachel Bilson, Mischa Barton, Adam Brody, and Benjamin McKenzie. 

Despite being off the air for over a decade now, the series is still discussed often. The O.C. follows Ryan Atwood after he is brought into the upper-class world of the Newport Beach family, the Cohens. He befriends their son, Seth, and the two navigate the world of teen angst and drama together.

Arrested Development 

Arrested Development is a critically acclaimed sitcom primarily set in the Marina del Rey and Culver City areas of Newport Beach. The series follows the various Bluth family members who are very wealthy, but extremely dysfunctional. 

Starring Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Michael Cera, Will Arnett, and more, the series was nominated for multiple Primetime Emmy and Golden Globe Awards. It influenced numerous other sitcoms that followed, such as Community and 30 Rock.

The Thirteenth Year

The Thirteenth Year is a Disney Channel Original Movie from 1999 that was actually filmed in multiple locations, including Corona del Mar, the Balboa Fun Zone, and in other areas of Newport Beach. 

The film has become something of a cult classic since its initial debut, with many fans instantly rewatching it when it started streaming on Disney+ last year. Chez Starbuck played the lead role of Cody Griffith, who discovers that on his thirteenth birthday he has begun his strange transformation into a merman.

Dirty John

Dirty John is a true crime anthology series adapted from the podcast of the same name. The first season focused on the real story of conman John Meehan and Debra Newell. It starred Connie Britton and Eric Bana in the leading roles. 

The real story took place in Newport Beach, so the series is also set in the same town as the show tried to follow along carefully with the facts of this horrific case. The series was well-received by critics and renewed for a second season, which is about the Betty Broderick case.

To Have and Have Not 

To Have and Have Not is a classic film from 1944 starring Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. The movie filmed multiple scenes in Crystal Cove. 

This romantic war drama focuses on a tumultuous romance between a gorgeous American woman and a local Martinique fisherman. In the past, the Crystal Cove Conservancy has shown the film at movie night events to honor its history.

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