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One Tree Hill Director Austin Nichols: Baby Bump Takes Brooke/Julian In a New Direction

The CW’s One Tree Hill has baby fever when it resumes its eighth season this Tuesday at 8/7c — with an episode directed by none other than series star Austin Nichols. And while Nathan and Haley’s bundle of joy will most certainly be welcomed into the world by episode’s end, poor Brooke and Julian won’t be so lucky… again. We’ve got a preview of the drama to come, plus exclusive behind-the-scenes pics of Nichols’ directorial debut.

“What you think is going to happen for Brooke (Sophia Bush) and Julian may not happen in my episode,” a coy Nichols tells TVLine of his directorial debut.

Of course, he can only be referring to the one thing we are all expecting to see for the two by the end of the hour: the arrival of their adopted baby, courtesy of birth mother Chloe (played by guest star Leven Rambin). Instead, it sounds like that should be filed — for the time being at least — under “Not Gonna Happen.”

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“All I’m saying is that what’s great about our show, especially with Brooke and Julian, is we’re often led to believe that something is going to happen, and it ends up taking us in a different direction,” Nichols says. “There are five episodes left, but the possibility of a family for Brooke and Julian gets more complicated.” But from a glass half-full POV, he says that means things are “only going to get better.”

“The ending is going to be so sweet, after we go through what we’re about to go through,” he teases.

Tree Hill source echoes Nichols’ sentiment, telling us that Brulian’s seeming picture-perfect adoption agreement is perhaps not so perfect. Fans, though, are advised not to fret: By the end of the season (or series), the oft-pained couple will get the happy ending they richly deserve.

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And for what it’s worth, OTH showrunner Mark Schwahn is totally Team Brooke — even if Tuesday night’s baby venture doesn’t go off without a hitch. “It’s time for the clouds to part for Brooke Davis,” he says. “And while it may not be the journey that fans expect, ultimately it’ll be a satisfying and positive one for her.”

Schwahn also assures Tree Hill fans that Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) and Nathan’s (James Lafferty) Baby Lydia will arrive safe and sound: “Everybody can breathe easy on that one.”

Baby woes (and arrivals) aside, this week’s episode also boasts flashbacks to “Naley’s” love story, voiceovers from Jamie (Jackson Brundage), and Nichols’ aforementioned directing debut, which the star calls “bar raising moment” in his career.

“When I finished directing, I felt like I’d really done something new and bigger and better,” gushes Nichols. “It was an incredible feeling to accomplish a task like that. Tons of directors have come through and done it, so it isn’t something that’s miraculous, but to me, it’s miraculous.”

Check out this exclusive behind-the-scenes shot of Nichols in action, directing his real-life gal-pal, Sophia Bush: