Laguna Beach replacement Newport Harbor debuts tonight on MTV

Newport Harbor, which is Laguna Beach‘s fourth season or replacement, depending upon how you look at it, officially debuts tonight on MTV at 10:30 p.m. ET.

In a press release, the network declares that “MTV Ditches Laguna for Newport,” but also refers to the show by saying “this season” on Laguna. Either way, the show will pretty much be like its sibling/cousin, as it follows the drama in the lives of seven hot high schoolers with names like Allie, Clay, Grant, Chase, Taylor, and Sasha.

Among the drama we’ll see, according to MTV: “former best friends compete for the affection of a sophomore beauty,” and “the newest, hottest couple at school contend with an overprotective father and a girl that’s used to getting everything she wants” (yes, we’ll actually see parents).

“MTV did not make the ‘Newport’ premiere episode available early for review (never a good sign),” the Los Angeles Times reports, but from the preview that aired earlier this week, declares that the cast “all pretty much look alike” and notes that “[t]here is something both touching and infuriating about the cast’s seeming unfamiliarity with the concept of conversation.” In other words, it sounds just like Laguna.

Newport Harbor [MTV]
MTV’s ‘Newport Harbor’ rides in on the ‘Laguna Beach’ tide [Los Angles Times]