What will Tree Hill be like without Lucas and Peyton? Viewers are about to find out.
According to Michael Ausiello, original series stars Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton won't return to The CW's "One Tree Hill" next season, making their final appearances in next Monday's (May 18) sixth season finale.
It had been widely reported that although The CW renewed "One Tree Hill" last month, Murray and Burton weren't under contract for a seventh season. Ausiello reports that a new deal couldn't be worked out.
Lucas and Peyton, an on-again-off-again-on-again-off-again couple, were married in this past Monday's episode, but that leaves some major finale resolution in the Peyton pregnancy storyline to avoid an audience uprising.
While fans are likely to freak out at Burton and Murray's departures, "One Tree Hill" is no stranger to adjusting and modifying its core premise. In addition to the occasional deaths and departures that have claimed a number of regular characters, the show even flashed forward by four years to somewhat avoid the awkwardness of the college years.
In addition to Austin Nicols' Julian returning to the show in a regular capacity, "One Tree Hill" will add new characters next season to fill that Leyton void.