Sources confirm to TVLine exclusively that Chad Michael Murray has closed a deal to return during the show’s upcoming ninth and final season. He won’t, however, be accompanied by his onscreen bride Hilarie Burton (Peyton). According to sources, the actress — who is now a regular on White Collar — was not invited back.
To be fair, producers did ask Burton back last season and she declined. “Quite frankly, we just couldn’t make a deal,” creator Mark Schwahn told TVLine at the time. “Hilarie now has a child and a family, and she’s doing some nice work [on White Collar]”
Lucas was last seen driving off into the sunset with Peyton and their new baby Sawyer. According to The CW, Lucas returns to Tree Hill after Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti) reaches out to him for help.