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Tree Hill Twist: Tyler Hilton Returns As [Spoiler]!

What you may already know: Tyler Hilton will reprise his role of One Tree Hill‘s trouble-making musician, Chris Keller, during the CW series’ upcoming ninth season, as our friends at Zap2it shared over the weekend. But what you don’t know — and only TVLine can exclusively reveal — is that the singer/songwriter is coming back as a series regular.

That’s right, Hill devotees, a studio source tells us that Hilton’s onetime bad boy — who hasn’t shown his face on the CW sudser since Season 4 — has received an out-of-left-field promotion to full-time status. And The Powers That Be aren’t wasting any time getting Chris back in the game: He’ll first resurface in the premiere episode, airing at midseason.

Details surrounding Hilton’s return are being kept tightly under wraps, but we can say that fans should look forward to hearing lots of tunes from the performer throughout OTH’s upcoming run, which has been billed by the network as its “farewell season.”

Our prediction: Chris comes back to town for a quick visit, then decides to stick around. (They always do.) He’s a changed man. He reconciles with both Nathan and Haley. He performs at Tric. He hooks up with someone. (Maybe Mia?) And they all live happily ever after.

Are you happy to see One Tree Hill getting back to some of its roots? What trouble would you like to see Hilton’s character get into?