At a press conference following The CW’s upfront presentation on Thursday, network honchos expressed confidence that Chad Murray and Hilarie Burton would be back for the soap’s’s just-announced ninth and final season.
“[New CW boss] Mark Pedowitz is going to talk with them,” the network’s outgoing preisdent Dawn Ostroff told TVLine. “I don’t think anything has been done yet, but now that everybody knows that this is the final 13 episodes… “
“… that makes it more possible as far as cast members coming back,” Pedowitz added.
As TVLine previously reported, an effort to lure the duo back for this week’s season finale failed. “Quite frankly, we just couldn’t make a deal,” exec producer Mark Schwahn explained at the time. “Hilarie now has a child and a family, and she’s doing some nice work [on USA's White Collar, where Burton is now a series regular]. Chad was working on a movie (The Haunting In Georgia) down in Louisiana, and there were dates we were trying to work around, but it’s tricky when you try to line up all those stars sometimes.”