Michael Ausiello is reporting the exclusive news at EW.com. Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray) and Peyton Sawyer (Hilarie Burton) are leaving Tree Hill behind. One Tree Hill was picked up for a seventh season without the show's two leads signed on. At that time, the rumor mill was buzzing that Murray was definitely not returning.
Sources confirm to me exclusively that Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton, whose characters tied the knot in last night's penultimate episode, will not be returning for the show's seventh season next fall. The CW is expected to formally announce their departures next Thursday at its "upfront" presentation.
Murray and Burton have been engaged in rather high profile contract negotiations for the past several months. Ultimately, a deal couldn't be worked out and both actors will make their final appearances in next Monday's season finale.
To fill the void next season, a Tree Hill insider tells me that two new characters will be introduced. Additionally, Austin Nichols (Julian) is being promoted to a series regular.
Tell us what you think about a Lucas-less One Tree Hill. I love newcomer Austin Nichols but can Brooke (Sophia Bush) and Julian fill the void left by Peyton and Lucas?