One Tree Hill is an American television drama series created by Mark Schwahn, which premiered on September 23, 2003 on The WB.[1] After the series' third season, The WB merged with UPN to form The CW, and since September 27, 2006, the network has been the official broadcaster of the series in the United States. The show is set in the fictional town of Tree Hill in North Carolina and originally follows the lives of two half-brothers, Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray) and Nathan Scott (James Lafferty), who compete for positions on their school's basketball team. Their relationship evolves from heartless enemies to caring brothers as the show progresses, and the drama that ensues from the brothers' romances with female characters including Peyton Sawyer, Haley James, and Brooke Davis.

Most of the filming took place in and around Wilmington, North Carolina. Many of the scenes were shot near the battleship USS North Carolina and on the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus. The first four seasons of the show focus on the main characters' lives through their high school years. With the beginning of the fifth season, Schwahn advanced the timeline by four years to show their lives after college, and he made it jump a further fourteen months from the end of the sixth to the start of the seventh season.[2] The opening credits were originally accompanied by the song "I Don't Want to Be" by Gavin DeGraw. The theme was removed from the opening in the fifth season; Schwahn said that this was to lower production costs, to add more time for the storyline, and because he felt that the song was more representative of the core characters' adolescent past than their present maturity.[3] The credits then consisted only of the title written on a black background. The theme was restored for season 8, in response to audience demand, and was sung by different artists each week.

The series premiered to 2.5 million viewers and rose to 3.3 million in its second week, becoming one of only three shows to rise in their second episode during the 2003–2004 television season. Season one went on to average 3.5 million viewers, and the second season was the highest rated in the series, averaging 4.3 million viewers weekly and a 1.9 Adults 18–49 rating.[4] The series received numerous award nominations, winning two Teen Choice Awards.

On May 12, 2009, it was confirmed that Murray and Hilarie Burton had declined to return for the seventh season, although accounts of what transpired vary. Their characters (Lucas and Peyton) had been two of the five main protagonists, and had provided one of its central love stories, throughout the show.[5][6][7] On May 17, 2011, The CW renewed One Tree Hill for a ninth[8] and final season, placing an order for 13 episodes.[9] Bethany Joy Lenz (Haley) and Sophia Bush (Brooke) were signed as full-time regulars for one final season,[10] and Lafferty appeared as a part-time regular.[11] Murray returned for a special appearance during the final season,[12] which premiered on January 11, 2012.[13] The show is the fourth longest running series on The CW network, or the networks that came together to make it up (The WB and UPN), only behind Smallville, Supernatural and 7th Heaven. The series concluded on April 4, 2012.


The main storyline in the early seasons is the relationship between two half-brothers, Lucas and Nathan Scott, who start out as enemies but bond as the show progresses. In the pilot episode, Lucas obtains a place in the Tree Hill Ravens (the high school basketball team) with the help of his uncle Keith. Nathan, the head of the team, takes a dislike to Lucas, and this becomes the basis of their rivalry. Lucas's romantic interest in Nathan’s girlfriend Peyton Sawyer also strengthens their feud. Peyton's best friend Brooke Davis tries to date Lucas, and Nathan attempts to date Lucas's best friend Haley James. The story of Lucas and Nathan's father Dan Scott is occasionally explored through flashbacks, which show his relationships with Karen Roe, Lucas's mother, and Deb Scott, Nathan's mother, and how he ended up with one woman rather than the other. He had a high school romance with Karen, resulting in Lucas's birth, but he refused to claim Lucas as his son. Leaving Karen, he married Deb and the couple bore Nathan. Seventeen years later, Deb begins a strong friendship and partnership with Karen against Dan's will. In later seasons of the show, the parents are seen less often. Karen dates her college professor Andy Hargrove.

Cast and Characters

Actor Character Duration
Chad Michael Murray Lucas Scott 2003-2009, 2012
James Lafferty Nathan Scott 2003-2012
Hilarie Burton Peyton Sawyer 2003-2009
Bethany Joy Lenz Haley James Scott 2003-2012
Sophia Bush Brooke Davis 2003-2012
Paul Johannson Dan Scott 2003-2012
Barry Corbin Whitey Durham 2003-2009
Craig Sheffer Keith Scott 2003-2007, 2012
Moira Kelly Karen Roe 2003-2009, 2012
Barbara Alyn Woods Deb Scott 2003-2009, 2012
Lee Norris Mouth McFadden 2003-2012
Antwon Tanner Skills Taylor 2003-2012
Danneel Harris Rachel Gatina 2005-2009
Jackson Brundage Jamie Scott 2008-2012
Lisa Goldstein Millicent Huxtable 2008-2012
Austin Nichols Julian Baker 2009-2012
Robert Buckley Clay Evans 2009-2012
Shantel VanSaten Quinn James 2009-2012
Jana Kramer [[Alex Dupre 2009-2012
Stephen Colleti Chase Adams 2006-2012
Tyler Hilton Chris Keller 2004-2007, 2012


  1. ^ One Tree Hill Episodes. TV Guide. Retrieved on July 26, 2009.
  2. ^ Michael Ausiello. Scoop: 'Ghost Whisperer,' 'Tree Hill' do time warp (again). Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on July 26, 2009.
  3. ^ Williams, Don (August 21, 2008). Exclusive Interview: 'One Tree Hill' Creator Mark Schwahn, Part 1. Retrieved on June 17, 2010.
  4. ^ "Primetime series", The Hollywood Reporter, May 27, 2005. Retrieved on May 25, 2007. 
  5. ^ Denise, Martin. "Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton leaving 'One Tree Hill'", Los Angeles Times, May 12, 2009. Retrieved on July 26, 2009. 
  6. ^ Lynn, Megan. ""One Tree Hill" Stars Staying Put?", SOAPnet, April 2, 2009. Retrieved on May 12, 2009. 
  7. ^ Lynn, Megan. "Stars Out at "One Tree Hill"", SOAPnet, May 12, 2009. Retrieved on June 16, 2009. 
  8. ^ Masters, Megan (May 17, 2011). Breaking: The CW Renews Nikita, One Tree Hill, Axes Hellcats. TV Line. Retrieved on May 17, 2011.
  9. ^ Seidman, Robert (May 19, 2011). Next Season of 'One Tree Hill' Announced as Its Final Season. TV by the Numbers. Retrieved on May 19, 2011.
  10. ^ Masters, Megan (April 26, 2011). Tree Hill Exclusive: Bethany Joy Galeotti Signs On for Season 9; Lafferty Back Part-Time?. TV Line. Retrieved on April 27, 2011.
  11. ^ MacKenzie, Carina (July 19, 2011). 'One Tree Hill': James Lafferty's reduced role in Season 9. Zap2it. Retrieved on August 31, 2011.
  12. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Murray_returns_to_OTH
  13. ^ Seidman, Robert (November 2, 2011). The CW Announces 2012 Midseason Schedule. TV by the Numbers. Retrieved on November 3, 2011.

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