Sorry, Leyton fans: One Tree Hill showrunner Mark Schwahn has officially put the rumors to rest, telling me exclusively that Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton will not be returning to the long-running CW drama before Season 8 signs off.
“It’s not going to happen,” a disappointed Schwahn reveals. “We won’t be seeing them this year.”
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Talk of the fan faves’ OTH reappearance has been swirling all season, and seemed all but certain just a few months ago. So what went wrong?
“Quite frankly, we just couldn’t make a deal,” Schwahn explains. “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.”
“Everybody had the best intentions,” Schwahn adds, making clear that both actors were interested in returning for what might (or might not) be the show’s final season. “But at the end of the day, it just didn’t work out.”
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As for fans still disappointed by Leyton’s failure to RSVP for the wedding of Brooke (played by Sophia Bush) and Julian (Austin Nichols), Schwahn is right there with you. “Creatively, I would have loved to have them,” he tells me, “or even at the end of the season. But unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.”
No duh. The past 2 seasons have been a joke, to be honest. I can’t stand Haley, and Naley lost their spark and are now just cheesy. Ugh. I miss Peyton and Lucas.
I lobe leyton and totally agree but I disagree with naley I like haley but I hate nathan I don’t think he can act at all.
Season 7 and 8 fells like a completely different programme – it lost meanings and the two best characters.
Season 1-6 AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!
Shut up this is the best two seasons ever Who Needs Lucas and Payton when Brook and Julian spark up the show like no other and for the Nathen Haley haters the rock too so there you go if you think its a joke dont watch it.
Yeah but Brooke and julian didnt make this show. Peyton and lucas did
That’s definitely true, seasons 1-6 are the great greatest ones, the rest they have lost the point, it just feels like they are too desperate to keep the drama going but they’ve drifted from the focal point which they were focusing on the previous seasons
I’m glad that it seems there was genuine effort all the way around (because I like when actors are appreciative of shows/roles etc that have been such a big part of their careers).
Why don’t they just let the two of them get in an off-screen car accident, get killed, and have Nathan and Haley named as guardians of their daughter? It’d add the extra twist to have new child on nop of the baby. Particularly if the child has the baggage of surviving a car accident when Mom and Dad didn’t.
Well, that sounds like a good idea.. it’s pretty strange anyways, that your best friends leave town, never call or come to visit and even fail to attend your wedding, so a story like that would bring a good end to the story and a new twist to tree hill.. like it!
at the beginning of the season (or maybe it was last season), haley was always talking to Lucas on the phone at the beginning of each episode.
Um no, that’s a horrible idea and Mark Schwahn would never hear the end of it if that happen.
…yeah I’m going to be the Debbie Downer here- but why on earth is this show still on the air?
I stopped watching seasons ago- but I must say, I am happy Peyton and Lucas ended up together.
But seriously- why is this show still airing?
Has it become better? I am honestly asking, because when I stopped watching it felt creatively drained and had awful writing and acting going on. I always liked Brooke/Sophia Bush even though I wanted Peyton/Lucas as “endgame”.
Ok going to stop writing.
I find comments like this funny “Why is this show still airing?” Here’s a simple answer: Money is made off the show. Period. The producers and the CW make money. That’s all there is to it.
As for the other reasons – not sure when you stopped watching. They did a 5 year jump. I do think that added some creativity. I think Peyton & Lucas leaving actually helped too. I think OTH has done a great job introducing new characters unlike a show that started the same season – The OC. But Stephanie, why bother writing a comment about a show if you are confused as to why it’s still on the air. Don’t read the article and move on!
OTH is still airing cause the story keeps twisting. Its your fault you stopped watching it, so dont bash on the show because you dont understand whats going on. The show repeats itself constantly on SOAP so catch up! your missing out!!
Okay, here’s a non-derisive answer to your comment, Stephanie: no, it hasn’t gotten better, only different. It’s less teenage drama and more adult drama. It’s less about romantic pairings and broken hearts and more about living in an imperfect world where bad things sometimes happen to good people and they have to pick up the pieces, move on, and enjoy the great moments when they come.
But is it a better show? I don’t think so. Have the characters grown and changed? Yes. Do I like them better for it? Not at all. Do the new character add anything to the show? Yes, from a storytelling perspective. But not from an emotional one, in my opinion. I havent connected with any of the new characters (especially not Julian) and I long for the days of the first five seasons when the characters I fell in love with were still recognizable. Now? I feel like they’ve changed or stagnated so much that I hardly know them anymore. It’s a shell of it’s former self and it really should end. It reminds me of what the original 90210 became in its last seasons: a sad attempt to carry on magic that was very clearly faded.
Do I still watch the show? Yes. But more out of loyalty than any actual enjoyment, and that makes me very very sad.
Great response. This sums up what ive been feeling.
Couldn’t agree more, especially about the last sentence. Thanks !
Uhhhh, that is soooo true and unbiased
I agree with you. I stopped watching in S7 and haven’t looked back since. The show isn’t even a shell of the show it used to be. It’s become an absolute trainwreck IMO.
It’s still on the air because it’s pulls in better ratings than a lot of other shows on The CW and still has fans. Which is quite obvious, I’m guessing you were making sarcastic statements rather than questions?
Anyway… If these two couldn’t return then they should have at least brought back Deb for the birth. Peyton not at the wedding I can live with (sigh) but not having Lucas OR Deb at Nathan’s baby’s birth is well, ridiculous.
Still on air because it’s better then Gossip girl and 90210… LOVE OTH! Still think it’s awesome!
But yeah.. Leyton not returning.. especially since it’s probably a SERIES finale… it sucks! Show should end with the two BROTHERS, like it started.
This really sucks! I understand that they both have moved on and have new jobs, but come on!
Their characters WERE the basis of OTH. You spent 6 years on this show. You couldn’t at least find one afternoon to be a part of “Brooke’s” wedding episode!
So much for loyalty to the show that made them the stars they are today.
Well Chad & Hilarie were busy when they filmed that episode so. If they didn’t have conflicts maybe they would have been apart of it.
I am so dissapointed that they’re not coming back, idk where they went either, i never saw that episode and i cant find it =( but they were a HUGE part of OTH so i deffinatly think that they need to make one more appearance on the show!
You didn’t see them leave. You saw them leave on their honymoon. They left in the year gap between seasons 6&7.
Schwahn said in an interview they’re travelling with Karen (now married to Andy) and Lucas is writing a new book.
I have watched the last two seasons in hopes for a glimpse of LP and not to be dramatic but hearing this makes me want to cry!
It’s a shame they couldn’t find some time to end the series RIGHT way. And for the FANS (who kept them employed for 6 years) to get a real ending with ALL the main characters.
That’s too bad. But I can understand that both had projects going at the time. I do believe Chad made more of and an honest effort but it just didn’t work out. And while I love Hilarie, from what I’ve heard in interviews, she had no intention of ever going back to Wilmington or OTH. Sad—but it is what it is. I would love to see Karen, Deb, and Dan again though!
Hilarie has a production company based in Wilmington, and has invested quite a bit of her time advocating for the NC motion picture/television industry. So, I think you might should be a little less harsh on her. Personally, I don’t think either one could work around their existing work schedules just like the article says. Actors contracts are incredibly complicated and its just not that simple to work out one afternoon for them to film. They were both awesome to try to work it out, and I’m sure they would have been there if they could!
^I definitely second your comment Merri. Yes, Hilarie has invested quite a bit of time advocating the NC film industry which is awesome and she is also on the NC Film Council which is also awesome. I’m from NC, proud of all the filming that goes on in NC and love that she is too especially since that she isn’t even from NC. :)
To @Sophia, Hilarie is proud of ‘One Tree Hill’ and she has NEVER said in any interview that she had no intention of ever going back to Wilmington or OTH.
I love her on White Collar, so I’m not upset that she’s committed to that show. And not to hate on Lucas, but I really haven’t missed him. I’ve always thought Nathan was the more interesting Scott brother. Doesn’t hurt that James Lafferty isn’t hard on the eyes.
its better without them anyway, i would of liked it maybe if they came back for the wedding or the finale, but i dont mind, when they left it was their time to leave anyway there was nothing left for the characters to do in my opinion.
One Tree Hill is probably one of the most evolving shows on TV. They have dealt with the jump from High School to adult life and losing two of the major character in a way that never skipped a beat. You can’t really compare it to shows like Gossip Girl or 90210 anymore because it isn’t like those anymore. It’s a unique show that centers around real characters with real lives in their mid to late 20’s. It would really be sad for the show to end this season as I think it does have some steam left in it. I understand them not coming back if an effort was made great but honestly the show evolved into something different without them. Sure we all miss them and their characters but the show has moved on. If it does come back maybe something could be worked out for an appearance. But if it doesn’t happen I’m okay with that too. If this is the last season I do think it would be nice for them to end with a finale tv movie though. But when you look at the other shows on the CW One Tree Hill’s ratings are very good. It wouldn’t have made it this far if it was on somewhere else and I realize that. I think if it ends it would be more because the cast members want to move on than the network doesn’t want it anymore.
I was really hoping they would both be on before the season or show ends. Hopefully OTH will get renewed for another season, it is still one of my favorite shows!
I think it is funny that CMM is filiming in Louisiana and couldn’t make a cameo at least one time this season. These two are biting the hand that fed them in my opinion. I like the person who has the idea of something happening to them and Naley raising the baby… That would be an OTH twist and a good way to tie up stories. I like Clay and Quinn better anyways, they have way more heat on screen.
Well Brooke is Sawyer’s Godmother so it would probably be Brooke & Julian who raises her if that happens. *Hope it doesn’t happen/never will*
Why is this show even on the air? It’s awful.
As a former OTH fan myself, I’ve been asking this question for a while now.
I was glad when they left OTH. The rest of the cast especially Sophia Bush & Bethany Joy Galeotti now get a chance to have a story line of their own without the hang up of Lucas or Peyton. I am really happy that Mouth & Skills are still around.
I understand that some fans were upset about the actors not returning as a kind of farewell but it’s playing on real life. You grow up & lose touch so it’s not all that weird.
Enjoy Tree Hill for what it is whether for loyalty or whatever. I for one will continue watching as long as Mark keeps it going.
Well now they can officially end this show. Im such a OTH fan, but its time to set this puppy down.
I love(d) their characters but their story is just done. If they would return it would feel forced. We didn’t even see the other stars still communicatin with them on the phone or mail. Just a few letters Haley send Lucas but she never got an answer. OTH has just changed since they left. They deserve to be happy ; and I figure they will always remain best friends but people grow up and stuff. I love the show how it is now, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I absolutely agree Ingmar. I was happy to finally see Lucas and Peyton leave. Their storyline was boring as was Peyton always being so annoying…I love the way the show is now. Any complainers you have already moved on so that’s great. For the rest of us who enjoy it, I hope it continues.
END THE SHOW.
Why do you care if you don’t watch? Get a life.
Well this is disappointing…the sure had not been the same since they left. I was hoping for at least an appearance!
After reading all of the bs Schwahn spews, it’s clear that it’s a good thing cmm and hb got out when then did.
True. I don’t like either CMM or HB but they got out at a time when their careers could still be salvaged. The longer the rest of the actors stay on, the more jeopardy they put their careers in.
I don’t miss Leyton either. But the show sucks now. The reason why it is still on the air is because faithful fans keep tuning in, hoping that they will return to the great writing we saw for 6 seasons. That, however, is NOT HAPPENING! The writing for the past two seasons has sucked! If this is the last season, they better have a damn fantastic finale, but I just don’t see that happening. For this reason, I think I’m done with OTH. If I want to watch some, I’ll go back to the old seasons… and try to forget season 7 or 8 ever happened.