One Tree Hill (TV series)


One Tree Hill (TV series)
One Tree Hill
One Tree Hill original opening credits.jpg
Intertitle, seasons 1–4; 8
Genre Drama, Sports
Format Teen drama, young adult
Created by Mark Schwahn
Starring Chad Michael Murray
James Lafferty
Hilarie Burton
Bethany Joy Galeotti
Sophia Bush
Paul Johansson
Barry Corbin
Craig Sheffer
Moira Kelly
Barbara Alyn Woods
Lee Norris
Antwon Tanner
Danneel Harris
Jackson Brundage
Lisa Goldstein
Austin Nichols
Robert Buckley
Shantel VanSanten
Jana Kramer
Stephen Colletti
Tyler Hilton
Narrated by Seasons 1–6:
Chad Michael Murray
Season 7; episodes 1–12:
Paul Johansson
Season 8:
Bethany Joy Galeotti
Theme music composer Seasons 1–4:
Gavin DeGraw
Season 8:
Various artists
Opening theme "I Don't Want to Be"
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 174 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Mark Schwahn
Michael Tollin
Brian Robbins
Joe Davola
Location(s) Wilmington, North Carolina
Camera setup Single-camera setup
Running time 39–42 minutes
Production company(s) Mastermind Laboratories
Tollin/Robbins Productions
Warner Bros. Television
Broadcast
Original channel The WB (2003–2006)
The CW (2006–present)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Original run September 23, 2003 (2003-09-23) – present
External links
Website

One Tree Hill is an American television drama created by Mark Schwahn, which premiered on September 23, 2003, on The WB Television Network.[1] After its third season, The WB merged with UPN to form The CW Television Network, and, since September 27, 2006, the network has been the official broadcaster for the show in the USA. 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). Their relationship evolves from heartless enemies to caring brothers, and the basketball drama, as well as the brothers' on-again/off-again romances with female characters, are significant elements within the series.

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 decided to skip the timeline four years ahead, showing their lives after college. In the seventh season, he adjusted the timeline fourteen months into the future after the sixth season.[2] The opening credits were originally intertwined with the song "I Don't Want to Be" by Gavin DeGraw playing in the background. The theme was removed from the opening in the fifth season; Schwahn said the decision was made to lower production costs, add more time for the storyline, and because he felt that the song was more representative of the core characters' adolescent past, not their present maturity.[3] The credits then only consisted of the title written on a black background. The theme was restored for Season 8, due 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, while 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] It has also won Teen Choice Awards. On May 12, 2009, it was confirmed that Murray and Hilarie Burton declined to return for the seventh season, although stories on what transpired vary. Their characters (Lucas and Peyton) had been two of the five main protagonists, as well as one of the central love stories, throughout the show.[5][6][7]

On May 17, 2011, One Tree Hill was renewed for a ninth[8] and final season, with a 13-episode order.[9] Bethany Joy Galeotti and Sophia Bush are signed on for one final season,[10] while James Lafferty will continue as a part-time series regular.[11] Chad Michael Murray will make a special appearance in the final season.[12] The season will premiere Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 at 8:00 pm.[13]

Contents

Plot

The main storyline is originally the relationship between the two half-brothers Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray) and Nathan Scott (James Lafferty), both of whom start out as enemies but bond as friends and as brothers as the show progresses. With the help of Keith (Craig Sheffer), who believes Lucas is a talented basketball player, Coach Brian "Whitey" Durham (Barry Corbin) recruits Lucas on the team. Nathan has the same love for basketball as Lucas. As Lucas falls in love with Peyton Sawyer (Hilarie Burton), who happens to be Nathan's girlfriend and later ex, Nathan falls in love with Lucas' best friend, Haley James (Bethany Joy Galeotti). Lucas later dates and falls in love with Brooke Davis (Sophia Bush). Both brothers share the same father, Dan Scott (Paul Johansson), who is also Keith's brother. Backstory given is that after having a high school relationship with Karen Roe (Moira Kelly), Dan conceived Lucas but never claimed him as his son; he did claim Nathan. After leaving Karen, he meets and quickly marries Deb Scott (Barbara Alyn Woods), with whom he conceives Nathan. Although having been married for seventeen years, they divorce and choose different paths. Deb starts having alcoholic problems on and off, until she finally recovers. She also begins a strong friendship, and later partnership, with Karen against Dan's will. However, in the later seasons, the show focuses less on them and the three of them leave the show. Karen marries her college professor, Andy Hargrove (Kieren Hutchison), Dan realizes his sins and temporarily leaves the town, and Deb returns to Tree Hill after an absence but eventually leaves again.

The first season deals with the first half of the main teenage characters' junior years (up to the playoffs). Major storylines include the rivalry between Lucas and Nathan, the blossoming of Nathan and Haley's relationship, the setup of the Peyton-Lucas-Brooke love triangle, along with the parents' own love quadrangle, and the basketball state championship.

The second season puts aside basketball and explores new romances. These romances consist of Lucas and Anna Taggaro (Daniella Alonso), Jake Jagielski (Bryan Greenberg) and Peyton, and Felix Taggaro (Michael Copon) and Brooke. Also featured is the unrequited love of Mouth McFadden (Lee Norris) for Brooke, the disintegration of Nathan and Haley's marriage, largely due to character Chris Keller, Peyton's temporary drug problem and related issues, and the repercussions of Dan's genetic disease hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – especially on Lucas. Karen goes back to school, beginning a relationship with her teacher, Andy Hargrove, in addition to starting the Tric club. Also in this season, a troubled Deb struggles with an addiction.

The third season puts the focus back on basketball and features the arrival of trouble-maker Rachel Gatina (Danneel Harris), who stirs drama in the Brooke-Lucas romance, the resurfacing of Peyton's romantic feelings for Lucas, Jake and Peyton's relationship drawing to a close, while Nathan and Haley reconcile and plan a wedding. Chris Keller exits the season permanently. Dan has a major subplot trying to solve the murder attempt made on his life during the previous season's cliffhanger. A major episode involving most of the main cast in a hostage situation at Tree Hill High ("With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept") culminates with Peyton getting shot in the leg and almost dying due to significant blood loss, and Dan murdering Keith.

The fourth season features the second infamous Peyton-Lucas-Brooke love triangle. Haley's pregnancy is threatened by Nathan's risky forays into gambling and loan sharks. Peyton is stalked by an impostor (referred to as Psycho Derek by the group) posing as her half-brother Derek. Lucas and the real Derek come and save her. Lucas looks for the truth behind his uncle's death, as visions of Keith lead him to suspect Jimmy did not kill him, while Dan is rekindling his romance with Karen. It also sees Lucas and Peyton entering into an official romantic relationship, the Chase Adams (Stephen Colletti) and Brooke romance, and the growing friendship between Brooke and Rachel. Chris Keller makes an appearance, and the group enjoy a "real prom" after theirs is ruined by incidents such as further interactions with Psycho Derek. The season builds up to Lucas discovering Dan killed Keith, the group's graduation from high school and Haley and Karen having their babies.

The fifth season jumps forward in time four-plus years. The gap is sometimes shown in flashback as the characters struggle with adulthood and return to the town of Tree Hill for various reasons. Lucas, a published author, is in a committed relationship with his editor, Lindsey Strauss (Michaela McManus), which becomes a love triangle when Peyton returns from a failed music career in Los Angeles. The marriage of Nathan and Haley goes into crisis as Nathan faces major depression after being seriously injured. Brooke looks for life beyond success in her work life and helps Peyton launch a music label. Lucas and Skills return to the Tree Hill Ravens as coaches and later ask Nathan to help with hot shot player Quentin.

The sixth season features the progression of the romance between Lucas and Peyton, as they plan a wedding and deal with Peyton's dangerous pregnancy. Brooke takes in a foster child, Sam, and fights her mother for control of her company. A major storyline follows Lucas as his book is optioned for a film, and Julian Baker (Austin Nichols) is introduced. Mouth and Millicent Huxtable (Lisa Goldstein) work on their relationship as Nathan and Haley reach for their individual dreams.

The seventh season is set one year into the future after the sixth season, where Lucas and Peyton have moved away and two new regular characters are introduced: Haley's sister Quinn; and Nathan's agent Clay. Danneel Harris makes a return as Rachel. The first half of the season focuses on Quinn and Clay's developing relationship after the death of Clay's wife, Sarah. Nathan's NBA career is jeopardized due to a growing scandal that also affects Haley. Dan becomes a motivational speaker with the support of his new wife, Rachel Gatina. Brooke releases her new clothing line, and faces conflicts with Julian and Alex, a model she hired for her company. The second half of the season deals with Haley's depression due to her mother's death. At the end of the season, the Tree Hill gang travel to Utah for the premiere of Julian's completed film.

The eighth season centers around the progression of Quinn and Clay's relationship after surviving a life-threatening attack, the awaited marriage between Brooke Davis and Julian Baker and the birth of Haley's second child. Another love triangle is formed between Chase, Mia and Alex, while Mouth and Millie rekindle their relationship together. As the season continues, Quinn attempts to capture Katie while Julian and Brooke explore adoption options and Nathan prepares to change his career path. A horrific storm reaches Tree Hill and leaves Brooke and Jamie's lives in danger. Katie returns to get revenge on Quinn. Julian's mother arrives and clashes with Brooke.

The ninth, and final season will have Brooke and Haley balancing family life with running a busy Karen's Cafe, while Nathan travels more as an agent. A possible wedding may occur with Mouth and Millie, or Clay and Quinn. Lucas will also return when Haley reaches out to him for help.

Cast

Original main five: Lucas and Peyton (center), Nathan and Haley (left), and Brooke (right).

Chad Michael Murray portrays Lucas Scott. Murray was the first person cast for One Tree Hill and Schwahn originally wanted him to portray Nathan, having seen him portray "bad guys" before. Murray felt a stronger connection to Lucas, however, as both have abandonment issues, which convinced Schwahn to cast him as Lucas instead.[14] Lucas and Nathan start out as enemies but bond as friends and as brothers as the show progresses. The character's best friend is Haley James, and he is a love interest for Peyton Sawyer and Brooke Davis as well. His love for the two continue to be an issue throughout most of the series. Aside from basketball, his greatest passion is literature; quotes from the books he reads are used on the show. Lucas tries to find a balance between basketball, his genetic heart disease hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and his love life. Season 6 was Murray's last season on contract as Lucas. He will return for season nine when Haley reaches out to his character for help.

James Lafferty portrays Nathan Scott, the son that Dan did claim, although his relationships with both his parents are strained even at the best of times. When Murray declined to portray Nathan, Schwahn considered Lafferty for the role, who was eventually cast in part due to his skill at playing basketball.[14] In Season 1, Nathan and Lucas start out as enemies, but bond as friends and brothers as the show progresses. He initially uses Haley as revenge against Lucas, but not long after emancipating himself, and with permission from her parents, he marries her because of love. Haley is initially threatened by Nathan's sexual experience, but they soon overcome this. Like his father and Lucas, Nathan has a love for basketball and a dream to play in college. However, his dream is complicated as his career on the court becomes tangled with supporting his family.

Hilarie Burton portrays Peyton Sawyer, whose two greatest passions in life are music and art; she uses her art to express the issues that play out in her life. When Burton auditioned for the part of Ed Harris's daughter in the film Radio, but did not get the role, the casting department remembered her and subsequently asked that she audition for One Tree Hill.[15] Schwahn said, "[Burton] is an old soul. She's great. She's always just thrilled to do the job, even though she's kind of new to acting. She's just a joy to be around."[16] Brooke Davis is Peyton's best friend, and Peyton is close friends with Haley as well. In Season 1, Peyton is a cheerleader and dates Nathan, the most popular basketball star in Tree Hill High. She becomes attracted to Lucas after meeting him, and soon falls in love with him. In Season 2, she and Lucas become distant and she turns to drugs. Seeing that she is in turmoil, Lucas calls Jake for her, someone she had began having romantic feelings for near the end of Season 1; the two begin dating and fall in love. Throughout the series, Peyton is met with one tragedy after another and faces the depths of her love for Lucas. Whether things are good or bad, Lucas is always there for Peyton. Season 6 was Burton's last season as Peyton.

Bethany Joy Galeotti (formerly Bethany Joy Lenz) portrays Haley James Scott, the quintessential girl-next-door who is best friends with Lucas Scott. Haley grew up with a large family but often spent her time by Lucas and Karen because she felt they needed her more in their lives. Working as a waitress at Karen's Café, and, more importantly as a tutor at Tree Hill High, has presented Haley with great opportunities, as well as obstacles. Her life is thrown for a loop when Lucas's half-brother Nathan asks her to tutor him. Risking her relationship with Lucas, Haley agrees but on the condition that her best friend is no longer tormented by Nathan and his friends. This moment changes the Scott family dynamic forever and allows a romance between Nathan and her to flourish. Like any relationship, Nathan and Haley experience many ups and downs together throughout the seasons and must deal with the consequences of each others' actions.

Sophia Bush portrays Brooke Davis. In high school, Brooke is the beautiful captain of the cheerleading squad and is Peyton's best friend but is also very close with Haley. She is girlfriend to Lucas twice. Though her life seems perfect, she is in pain dealing with her distant parents, her friends' inability to originally take her seriously, and the betrayal of Lucas and Peyton when they "date" behind her back. She eventually overcomes the betrayal, and is determined to live a full, happy life.

Paul Johansson portrays Dan Scott, a once great basketball player, who is father to both Lucas and Nathan, although he originally shuns Lucas. After his marriage to Deb crumbles and she and Nathan try to rid themselves of him, Dan's evil comes to the forefront. After Dan finds Deb sleeping with his brother, Keith, a war begins between the two brothers. Dan tries to make amends for all of his wrong-doings, but constantly battles his inner demons.

Barry Corbin portrays coach Brian "Whitey" Durham, the Ravens coach for over 35 years, retiring in Season 4. He and Dan never saw eye-to-eye and often bickered over their differing opinions on the team. Whitey often laments the death of his wife, Camilla, and the fact that he did not spend more time with her while she was alive. He retires after the Ravens finally win him the much-coveted NC State Championship title but later takes a coaching position in a college three hours away from Tree Hill, so that Nathan has the chance to play college basketball. Whitey makes an appearance in the Season 6 finale.

Craig Sheffer portrays Keith Scott, Dan's older, kinder, under-achieving brother. After Dan chose Deb over Karen, Keith helped Karen to raise Lucas (acting as a surrogate father to him) and fell in love with her; but they only get together in Season 3. He has a recurring drinking problem and an ongoing rivalry with his brother. When Dan mistakes him for the one who tried to kill him in the dealership fire, he shoots him after the siege at Tree Hill High, killing him instantly. After his death, Karen gives birth to their daughter, Lily Roe-Scott. Keith haunts Dan as a teen and as an adult ghost, but later forgives him for what he has done. He guides his nephews (Lucas and Nathan) as a sort of guardian angel throughout Season 4.

Moira Kelly portrays Karen Roe, Lucas's mother. Dan abandoned her after she became pregnant in high school, and with a lot of help from Dan's brother Keith (who, in later years is her lover and father of her second child), Karen raises Lucas to strive for his best potential. She is devastated by Keith's death in Season 3. In Season 4, she gets close to Dan again before learning that he was the one who killed Keith. She gives birth to Keith's daughter, whom she names Lily Roe Scott. In Season 5, Karen is traveling the world with Lily. When she returns for Lucas's wedding, she is accompanied by Andy Hargrove. She also makes an appearance at the end of Season 6.

Barbara Alyn Woods portrays Deb Scott, Dan's wife and Nathan's mother. Originally benefiting from a normal psyche, she later turns neurotic. Married to Dan for seventeen years has made her bitter and sad, and she eventually divorces him in Season 3, her hatred of him driving her to attempt to kill him at one point. Deb battles a pill addiction in Season 2 and again in Season 4, but overcomes it for good the second time. She also makes a return during Season 5, as Nathan and Hayley have some problems with nannies for their child. They decided that Deb would be the most suitable candidate. Woods will reprise her role as Deb Lee for the final season.

Lee Norris portrays Marvin "Mouth" McFadden, one of Lucas's oldest friends, originating from the Rivercourt. His father is named Joey, and his grandad is named Mel. Mel has Alzheimers and so cannot remember portions of his life, such as the 50 years he was married. Mouth is somewhat unlucky in love, being the victim of Brooke's unrequited love in Season 2, being dumped by Erica when she becomes popular and falling for Rachel, only to get sidelined for the older Cooper. GiGi, his co-sports announcer, has also broken up with him after only seeing him for a few weeks and Shelly Simon runs out on him after he loses his virginity to her. In Season 5, he has a fling with his boss, Alice, before finally settling down with Millicent.

Antwon Tanner portrays Antwon "Skills" Taylor, one of Lucas' oldest friends, originating from the Rivercourt. He takes on a more prominent role in Season 4 when he fills Lucas's vacancy on the Ravens. In Season 5, he becomes the assistant Head Coach of The Ravens basketball team and lives with Mouth, Junk and Fergie.

Danneel Harris portrays Rachel Gatina, who moves to Tree Hill in Season 3. After joining the cheerleading squad, she instantly clashes with Brooke as she pursues Lucas, although Brooke and Rachel later become friends. In Season 5, Rachel is a former employee of Brooke's and a heroin addict who takes an overdose after being fired by her friend. Brooke brings Rachel back to Tree Hill to help get her life back on track but Rachel leaves again, taking a load of Brooke's cash with her, after an encounter with Victoria. In the seventh season, Rachel returns to the screens as Dan Scott's new wife.

Jackson Brundage portrays Jamie Scott, Nathan and Haley's highly intelligent son. Jamie sees Nathan as a role-model. He is first introduced in the fifth season, and continues to act as a comic relief or a psych to other characters when they reveal their problems to him throughout the fifth, sixth and seventh seasons, where he is now age seven.

Lisa Goldstein portrays Millicent Huxtable, Brooke's assistant for Clothes over Bros. She is involved in a romantic relationship with Marvin "Mouth" McFadden. In the Season 6 premiere, she moves to Omaha with him. She returns to Tree Hill during the fifth episode to work for Brooke in her new store. She reunites with Mouth only to enter a series of mishaps.

Austin Nichols portrays Julian Baker, Peyton's ex-boyfriend from L.A.. He initially comes to Tree Hill to win Peyton back. He offers to produce a film, based on Lucas's first book. At first, Peyton does not reveal to Lucas that Julian is her ex-boyfriend, but she is forced to do when the plans of the movie takes form. Brooke rebuffs his advances until Peyton gives her blessing because she sees that Brooke has serious interest in Julian. After Brooke opens up to Julian, they begin a relationship.

Robert Buckley portrays Clay Evans, Nathan's sports agent. He is pretty reckless when it comes to love; however, it is revealed that he is the way that he is because his wife passed away.

Shantel VanSanten portrays Quinn James, the older free spirited sister of Haley. She returns to Tree Hill for Jamie's seventh birthday. At first, it looks like she is staying for a few days. She reveals to Haley that she left David, her husband, commenting that she feels like she is sleeping next to a stranger.

Jana Kramer portrays Alex Dupre[17] (Alice Whitehead), an actress turned model who moved to Tree Hill to become the new face of Brooke's fashion line, Clothes Over Bros. She later made sexual advances towards, Julian, Booke's boyfriend. She started out as a recurring character, but was upgraded to series regular status in the second half of season seven, through the end of the ninth, and final season.

Stephen Colletti portrays Chase Adams, a "clean-teen" introduced in season four as a potential love-interest for Brooke. He returned in season five and recurred until the later half of season eight where he was upgraded to series regular status.[18] In season eight, he became involved in a love-triangle with actress, Alex and musician, Mia.

Tyler Hilton portrays Chris Keller, first appeared in season two, Chris Keller was seen an arrogant, selfish guy, who constantly referred to himself in the third person. He connects with Haley in the second season through her music, and ultimately succeeds in breaking up Nathan and Haley. He returned for minor roles in seasons three and four. Hilton will return as a series regular for season nine as Mark Schwahn had wanted his return since the season five time jump.[19]

Production

Conception

Schwahn originally planned to make One Tree Hill a feature length film with the title Ravens, after the show's high school basketball team. However, he was convinced that it would be more interesting as a television series.[20] He said the idea for the story came from his own personal experiences. He was more like the character Mouth McFadden, and also went to school in a small town. He played on a basketball team, but some of his friends just played street ball. Schwahn said that in designing the show, he created Lucas as "this underdog kid from the wrong side of the tracks" who crosses over to the pretty and popular; he wanted to show what the life of such a person would be like in a basketball atmosphere. He felt basketball was a great platform for telling stories, not just about basketball.[21]

The title of the show and the name of the fictional town where the series takes place is derived from the song "One Tree Hill", which is actually named after the landmark in New Zealand. Most of the episodes of the show are titles of songs, bands or albums.[22]

Schwahn named the town "Tree Hill" because while he was writing the idea for the show, he had been listening to the album The Joshua Tree by U2.[20] At the start of the show, fans often asked Schwahn why the show was named One Tree Hill when the town was just called Tree Hill. The question is ostensibly answered when Karen tells Lucas in episode 1.22, "There is only one Tree Hill...and it's your home."[23]

Themes

One Tree Hill consists of various themes, such as love, friendship, rivalries and betrayal, and explores the reasons behind them.[24][25] Neal Solon of DVD Verdict explained, "Much of the show is based on the mistakes the teens' parents have made and the way these mistakes manifest themselves in the students' lives."[24] Two of the show's most prominent themes have been basketball and romance.

Basketball

Lucas and Nathan during the pilot basketball game, in the episode's climax. The pilot is considered one of the show's "most essential" episodes.[26]

Basketball is a core aspect of the show,[27] which helps to add a sense of masculinity and attract male viewers.[28][29][30] When regarding the show's early seasons, TheCinemaSource.com said, "The only thing you might notice that's strange is that the teens' school lives are heavily focused on basketball and cheerleading. If they do happen to be in a classroom, the only teacher they have is Coach Whitey."[31]

Schwahn stated of the basketball element, "A lot of times, the basketball games for us are like the crimes, or it's the courtroom, the police precinct, or the medical operating arena – it was like our home turf." He said the other shows rarely focus on "the actual case or medical issue [being dealt with]" and are more about the people. "For us, that's what basketball was. It was never about playing basketball, but it was about what was happening to the people when this game or tournament was approaching."[27]

In Season 2, the basketball drama was completely removed from the series, due to executive sentiment that the show was geared more toward a male audience.[32] David Janollari, then-entertainment president at The WB, partly attributed the show’s sophomore success to it shifting its focus from a male-driven sports plot to expand the stories of its girls. He felt they had time to "step back and learn from audience response" and that Schwahn tailored the show toward the "core audience". Schwahn said, "Girls watch the show in large numbers. [In the first season], the girls [on the show] were sort of appendages to the boys." Show producer Joe Davola and Schwahn agreed with the "sex sells" and "skin to win" sentiments. Less time on the basketball court could afford One Tree Hill more time for plots fueled by sex and drugs.[32] Lack of basketball drama, however, meant a decrease in male viewership. In a 2006 interview, Schwahn stated, "In the second TV season, we didn't play any basketball, which was the rest of their junior year, and I felt that the show suffered a little bit."[27] For Season 3, the basketball aspect was added back to a lesser degree, and has since continued to be a part of the series.[33][34]

Romance

Promotional picture of the Peyton (left)-Lucas-Brooke love triangle. One of the show's original staples,[3] promotional images, commercials and sexual situations were used to help promote the love triangle and entice viewers.[35]

The show features various couples which have contributed to the popularity of the series. Shipper fandoms have created portmanteaux for each, the most prominent being the Lucas and Peyton (Leyton or LP), Brooke and Lucas (Brucas or BL), Nathan and Haley (Naley or NH), and Jake and Peyton (Jeyton or JP) fandoms. Nathan and Haley's portmanteau "Naley" has been referenced in the show,[36][37][38] and three of the pairings have motifs. For Lucas and Peyton, "I'll be seeing you" (said by Lucas),[39] "You're always saving me" (said by Peyton), and "I'll wait for you" (said by both) serve as their primary themes. Nathan and Haley use "Always and forever," and Jake and Peyton use "Someday." Brooke and Lucas refer to each other by the nicknames "Boyfriend" and "Pretty girl" to occasionally express their love for each other.[40]

Of the Lucas and Peyton romance, Schwahn stated, "Here's what I'll say about that: From the pilot, we designed a world where Peyton and Lucas were meant to be together..."[41] "I would say that, um, for me, the seeds were planted for him to pick Peyton in the pilot – in [that] first episode... When Lucas is at the Rivercourt at the end of that pilot, you know," stated Schwahn, "I think we feel like this is the girl [who] is his soulmate. And, you know, the pilot ends with him saying, 'I'll be seeing you.'"[39] To complete their dynamic, Schwahn applied a brooding theme. "They're two kids that carry around the weight of the world quite a bit. Can they agree together to let go of that weight? The theme for Lucas and Peyton is, 'How do you learn to be happy when you've spent so much time carrying grief around?'" He added, "Do you feel guilty for being happy? Is it OK to let it go?..."[42] The pairing have been referred to as star-crossed,[43][44] and were additionally given their own theme music to assist their second primary theme – Lucas often rescuing Peyton (from either despair, dangerous situations, or herself). First heard in the school shooting episode "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept," where Lucas strives to save a dying Peyton, the theme titled "Saving Peyton" was composed by John Nordstrom.[45]

Making Lucas and Peyton the central love story created an intense fanbase rivalry between their fans and those who would rather he be with/end up with Brooke. "[These] are two very passionate camps. And don't think I don't know it," acknowledged Schwahn. "I think sometimes one camp thinks they're being ignored [in the name of the other]." Schwahn said that although he designed Lucas and Peyton to be together from the start, it did not necessarily mean that there was no chance of Brooke and Lucas having a genuine shot at ending up together, and that he was aware of their portrayers', and real-life ex spouses (Chad Michael Murray and Sophia Bush's), "great" chemistry. He was not stubbornly holding on to the idea of Leyton.[46] Schwahn said the Peyton/Lucas/Brooke love triangle is also by intricate design, and became a staple of the show.[3] "There is a huge fanbase dedicated to Brooke and Lucas, and sometimes [those people] feel a bit betrayed, just as the fanbase dedicated to Peyton and Lucas felt betrayed [in Season 2, and parts of Season 3]," said Schwahn. "That tells me that we've done things correctly – that's the strength of a love triangle."[42]

The sentiment of "fanbase betrayal" was first evident with Season 2's episode "Don't Take Me For Granted," where, after saying there is a girl that is "slipping away" and he needs to confess his love for her, Lucas shows up at Brooke's house instead of Peyton's. Most viewers (including Lucas/Peyton and Brooke/Lucas fans) could not relate the "slipping away" line to Brooke, since Peyton had been the girl Lucas was in love with in Season 1 and had now sort of become a stranger to him. Fans pondered four specific questions: When was Brooke slipping away? Did Lucas just mean he did not want to lose her? Was it a plot device to make it seem like Peyton? Or was it Peyton? Speculation that Murray and Bush's marriage affected Lucas's sudden change of heart, including whether or not Brooke and Lucas would be together, was also rampant.[47] Schwahn stated:

That's a much debated line... 'I feel like she's slipping away.' Obviously, I planted it there and specifically then cut from his words to a close up of Peyton because I wanted to tell the audience, "Well, he's talking about Peyton. Clearly, he's talking about Peyton." As we know, that wasn't ultimately where his journey led him and it's been debated online and in certain circles that he never really said who it was. So there are camps that root for Lucas and Peyton and camps that root for Brooke and Lucas, and camps that root for others, which is all good for the show.[48]

The other prominent pairing, Nathan and Haley, emerged as one of the show's supercouples. "I think Nathan and Haley... Well [Mark] Schwahn always says that he had that sort of as an 'ace in the hole' the entire time," stated James Lafferty, portrayer of Nathan. "As he was writing the pilot script, he was planning on doing that, he really didn't know how it would pan out or what would happen. But, the fans have responded so passionately towards it, and I'm not really sure why." However, Lafferty said there is a genuine relationship between Nathan and Haley. "...It started as something sort of based on betrayal and deceit. It then kind of transgressed over into something based on actual true love", said Lafferty. "So, I think that it's a transition that the fans really bought into, and I think that people really enjoy to watch."[49] Schwahn called the couple "gold"[50] and said, "I love Nathan and Haley, and most of our audience does as well."[42] He explained that Nathan and Haley's fan base is strong because they have always been the most stable couple on the show, opining that it confuses him when people ask when he is going to let them be happy. "They have a lot of obstacles come their way," said Schwahn, "but I see them growing – especially with the jump ahead and aging them a little bit – I see them growing into some really great places, not only as individuals, but as a family."[50]

Music

Main article: One Tree Hill discography

Music plays a significant part in the plot and the movement of the scenes throughout an episode.[51] Schwahn revealed that each episode title is named after a particular song, band, or album that has something in common with the theme of the episode.[22]

In addition to featuring popular indie music on the show, various artists have guest-starred. The show has used the musical aspirations of two characters (Peyton and Haley) to integrate the guest storylines. The in-universe bar and dance-club 'TRIC' and 'Karen's Café' have been the settings of most of the musical performances.

The show has released three soundtrack albums: One Tree Hill – Music From The WB Television Series, Vol. 1, Friends with Benefit: Music from the Television Series One Tree Hill, Volume 2 and The Road Mix: Music from the Television Series One Tree Hill, Volume 3. Proceeds of the second soundtrack go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to tie in with a storyline on the show involving breast cancer. On November 13, 2008, iTunes published a soundtrack called Music From One Tree Hill that contained songs from the sixth season.[52]

Episode format

For Seasons 5–7 (3.16 first use this title), the intertitle and opening theme only consisted of the credits "One Tree Hill" written on a black background, a creative decision by Schwahn.[3] Originally, the black background was usually used for "sensitive nature" episodes.

Episodes follow a regular structure. An episode usually begins with a recap of events relevant to the upcoming narrative; however, this is sometimes dropped due to time constraints. During the first four seasons, the theme tune is played either immediately after the recap, or after the first few scenes. Whenever an episode features sensitive or violent subjects, or when an episode's running length is close to the total allotted time, there is no opening montage but only One Tree Hill written on a black background. With the beginning of Season 5, the theme song "I Don't Want to Be" by Gavin DeGraw was abandoned and only the single black-credit title was used. The theme was restored for Season 8, sung by different artists each week. Schwahn's reasons for having removed the theme are various:

It’s interesting about the theme song. Not only is it costly – and that never sort of drives what we do creatively, but I think fans don’t understand that there’s money on the table every time they hear the theme song. That sounds like a bullshit producer response, too, but that’s a part of it because every year our budget is pretty challenged. Knowing that, when I looked at the jump ahead, the four year jump, I felt like "I Don’t Wanna Be" was very much an anthem for their adolescent lives. It was very much about who am I going to be and who am I and who am I going to be someday. Not to mention that it was 42 seconds of screen time that I knew I could use for story. So a lot went into the decision to drop the theme song, it wasn’t done lightly.[3]

One Tree Hill is known for its numerous voice-overs featuring either literary quotes, or characters reflecting on events of the episode. Most of them have been made by Chad Michael Murray's character Lucas. However, there have been several occurrences where other characters have done so. Guest stars Bryan Greenberg, Sheryl Lee, Torrey DeVitto and Ashley Rickards have also given their voice to an episode each. Characters who interact with the main cast such as Bevin, Chase, Shelly and Glenda helped to narrate the joint episodes being portrayed by Bevin Prince, Stephen Colletti, Elisabeth Harnois and Amber Wallace.[53] As the show progresses, more and more songs have replaced voiceovers. In the beginning of Season 7, Paul Johansson's character, Dan Scott, has taken over the narrator's role.

In 2008, the show planned a black and white noir-themed episode, to be written by Chad Michael Murray. Schwahn said, "I think that noir-themed is very risky, because I think that can be very dark and very guy-ish in its approach. I'd say this is more Casablanca infused."[3]

Series timeline

One Tree Hill's timeline was set as complex by Schwahn in 2003. In the first season of the series, the main teenage characters are age sixteen.[54] The first and second seasons equate to one year, and the third and fourth seasons equate to another year.[27] Due to this, the main teenage characters are nearly age eighteen at the end of the fourth season; but instead of the show's timeline always contrasting the real world, it sometimes corresponds to it.[55] The timeline was further complicated in the fifth season of the series, where the show was "dramatically retooled and set four years into the future – after the characters [had] already graduated from college".[56][57] The fifth season began shooting on July 30, 2007 and premiered January 8, 2008.[57] With this, the characters were stated to be age twenty two.[58] In 2009, Schwahn decided to alter the timeline again, as the seventh season is set fourteen months after the show's sixth season, helping to better explain the somewhat abrupt departures of series leads Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton.[59]

Explaining the reason he chose to start the series with the teenagers as juniors, Schwahn said, "Lucas and Nathan were important players on the [basketball] team, the most important, and I just couldn't see that happening to freshmen." He also wanted to keep the characters in high school longer, saying, "I know a lot of the shows that we started with, the kids are out of high school now and into college and what have you, and I always thought that there was a loss of energy when that happened. It's hard to have everyone go to the same college and everyone stay together for whatever reason, or you lose some of your principles."[3] Schwahn wanted to reinvigorate the show. "The show in many ways has been refaced and reinvigorated. It's very much a twenty-something show now with some relevant adult characters, and I really like that energy for the show," he said,[3] and elaborated:

The reason that this compels me is, first of all, I can drop into a world that feels new and, yet, familiar. What I mean by that is this: you know the characters and you've been with them for four years, but you don't know what happened for the last four, and you can drop the audience into new situations. The [actors] can play closer to their age, and we've done a lot of what we would do in college in high school, in terms of that accelerated behavior. The other cool thing it does, and this was not by design, I'm not smart enough to design it this way, but the fact that Lucas and his mom and his dad, Dan, the fact that there was history, that we can always reach back and grab a piece of something over the last four years, like what happened with Dan and Karen, what happened before Lucas joined the team, etc. Like we dropped the audience into this world, but there was so much life before that, that you could always go back and grab a piece when you needed it. If Lucas is with a girl that we've never met, or with Peyton, or with Brooke, or living with Haley and Nathan or whatever, how did that happen and what choices framed that?[27]

Schwahn felt that altering the series in this way allowed the storylines to be a little more complex, and said the actors welcomed the change.[3] One critic said, "The fifth season of One Tree Hill completely reinvented the series... It was a risky move, but one that ultimately paid off."[3]

Sponsors

AT&T is prominently inserted into the show as a sponsor. Most of the characters on the show have AT&T Mobility (and earlier, Cingular) cell phones. The company has given One Tree Hill fans the chance to make several choices about the show's plot. One example was whether or not Nathan and Taylor would kiss when they met at the 'Swinging Donkey' bar in Season 2; the fans chose for them not to.[60]

Sunkist is another sponsor which can be spotted at concerts in episodes such as "When it Isn't Like it Should Be" and "Just Watch the Fireworks", in the characters' fridges, and on the school's vending machines. It held a contest to choose which town the characters would visit in "It Gets the Worst at Night", and Honey Grove, Texas won.[61]

In Episode 4.04: "Can't Stop This Thing We Started", Rachel takes part in a Maxim photoshoot which mirrored a real-life photoshoot for Danneel Harris, Hilarie Burton and Sophia Bush, and became available in stores on October 14, 2006.[62][63]

In Episode 4.07: "All These Things That I've Done", America's Next Top Model winner of a challenge, CariDee English, got to play a small role as a model named Tia in a fashion show.[64] In Episode 5.17: "Hate is Safer Than Love", Mia, played by Kate Voegele, agrees to take part in both Rock the Vote and a Starburst funded concert.[65] In 2008, The CW, Warner Bros. and Macy's partnered to offer eight passionate fans the chance for a walk-on role on the show and to spend a weekend with the cast, billed as the "Ultimate Fan Weekend in Wilmington".[66]

Departures of Murray and Burton

In 2009, Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton were confirmed as having declined to return to the series.[5][6][7] For months, rumors circulated on the Internet that the two would not be returning for the show's seventh season, when, in February, The CW announced a series renewal without specifying which cast members had renewed their contracts. A video of Murray, seemingly unaware he was being filmed, saying the show was not bringing him back because they wanted to save money, with Murray encouraging fans to rally behind him, intensified speculation.[5] A video of Burton saying she would stay if she had creative control also surfaced, fueling speculation that The CW did not want to keep Burton on the show without Murray.[67] There was speculation that Murray gave The CW a difficult time about resigning and The CW made the decision to stop negotiating with him. To some fans, One Tree Hill without Murray and Burton sounded "kind of like Seinfeld without Seinfeld... and Elaine". It elicited skepticism from fans who consider the show's heart to be the dynamic between their characters, Lucas and Peyton. A TVGuide.com poll found that nearly half of respondents, however, were willing to take a "wait and see" approach to a revamped version of the series.[68] In April, Schwann told a crowd in Paris that all of the actors had signed on for Season 7, except for Murray and Burton. "They're in negotiations right now and I know they've been offered great things, and hopefully they'll decide to come back," he said. "If they don't, that's always a possibility...[the show] has made it through some of the riskier moves we've done."[5] In May, CW entertainment president Dawn Ostroff stated, "We tried to get them to stay; we would have been thrilled if they wanted to." She said that since Murray and Burton were moving on, Tree Hill now had to reinvent itself a bit – as it did in 2007, with the four-year flash-forward. "A show going into its seventh year is very open to reinventing itself," said Ostroff. "And one thing I have to give [series creator] Mark Schwahn a lot of credit for is that he has kept the show so fresh all these years."[69]

Burton told Entertainment Weekly she may return for guest appearances if asked, and cleared up the matter of what happened behind the scenes in regards to her contract. "...[W]hen I hear that there’s turmoil or negotiations based on money, it kind of hurts my feelings, because it’s not what’s been going on at all," she said. "I think my fan base in particular knows that money isn’t necessarily a big motivator for me, that’s why I work in the world of independent film."[67] She said she had known "for a little while" that she was leaving, and that she made that decision. "For me, it was definitely an emotional decision. And a professional decision as well. I got really, really lucky. One Tree Hill was my very first television audition; it was a fairytale," said Burton. "I feel really lucky to have that level of success right out of the gate." Burton further stated:

The purpose of that video was to dispel the rumors that were being circulated. I was on your end of it for a very long time when I worked at MTV, and I understand how the rumor mill works. Everybody wants a sensational story. People even back then were blaming it on money, and [on me] being high maintenance.... Those rumors were really hurtful. Of anybody on the show, I was the one who was very excited about doing all the extracurricular stuff – the mall tours, the radio tours, going to the upfronts... I loved my involvement with this show, and I really just wanted my fan base to know that I wasn’t turning my nose up at this wonderful opportunity I’ve had for the last six years. There’s an ugly trend where actors think they’ve surpassed the show that made them or the film that made them and badmouth it. I will never say a bad word about One Tree Hill. The entire shape of my world changed because of that show, so I’ll always be very affectionate toward it.[67]

Criticism regarding how their characters, Lucas and Peyton, were written out of the series mainly focused on a lack of explanation about where they went/were going,[43][70] and the exit not having been morbid enough for a star-crossed couple. Although the episode is initially grim, this changes by its end; given Lucas and Peyton's history, combined with the show's penchant for shocker finales, it was not expected that the two would be free of any type of tragedy. MTV even composed tragic scenarios as to how they would have written the couple off the series, but also said, "OK, OK. Maybe after all they've been through in six seasons, these two deserved their happy ending. Lucas and Peyton, you were this generation's Joey and Pacey: the overly dramatic couple we couldn't help but root for. We'll miss you."[70] The exit was picked as one of the "12 most essential episodes of One Tree Hill" in 2009 by fans at starnewsonline.com.[26] Schwahn said, "I know there are a lot of fans who are going to watch to see how we explain Peyton and Lucas’s absence.... They’re traveling, they’re spending time with [Lucas’s mom] Karen and [her husband] Andy, they’re raising their child, he’s working on his book." Schwahn said he found it realistic that Lucas and Peyton would be out just living their lives. "I’ve been very upfront with the studio and network in saying, 'Look, the audience may not accept a new version of the show. But we’ve reinvented it a few times before. I don’t want to be dismissive of [Murray and Burton]. But when you see the first couple of episodes [in the new season], you’re either in for this new show or not,'" he stated. "So every week, to talk about Lucas and Peyton actually feels like it hurts us more than it helps us. Obviously, they were a huge part of One Tree Hill. But you move forward.[43] To fill the void of Murray and Burton's departures, Robert Buckley and Shantel VanSanten were cast as Nathan's agent Clay and Haley's sister Quinn respectively. Austin Nichols, who plays Julian Baker, was also upgraded to series regular status.[5]

Plans for Murray and Burton to return to the series in Season 8 were confirmed. Schwahn said that the actors' busy schedules could possibly prevent a return in time for Brooke's wedding, but hoped they could return later in the season.[71] On December 7, 2010, Kristin Dos Santos stated that Murray and Burton would definitely not be back for Brooke's wedding, but that they were still expected to return.[72] In January 2011, Burton confirmed at the Winter TCAs that she would not be returning.[73] The CW revealed that Chad Michael Murray will return for a guest appearance in the final season,[12] while Hilarie Burton will not return as she was not asked back.[74]

Reception

Critical reception

The show has received mixed reviews. Critics have compared it to The O.C. and Dawson's Creek, but with a more masculine appeal,[29][30][75][76][77] while a significant number of fans of the series have especially been involved in One Tree Hill versus The O.C. debates. Comparisons between Lucas and Ryan Atwood, brooding blond male lead characters coming into a new situation where they are clearly outsiders, have a rich jock nemesis, and first fall in love with the jock's popular girlfriend (Peyton/Marissa Cooper), have been prominent; comparisons between Brooke and Summer Roberts, dark-haired vixens who are best friends with the popular female lead, have also been made. Chad Michael Murray was even chosen for the part of Ryan Atwood but declined,[78] had previously guest-starred on Dawson's Creek as a minor character, and is subject to even One Tree Hill referencing Dawson's in the first episode.[29] "Where Dawson's was about relationships, especially between boys and girls, One Tree Hill tries to be about masculinity, especially as negotiated through sports," stated Tracy McLoone of PopMatters.[29] McLoone said despite this, it would likely be pinned as a girl's show. "This doesn't mean boys won't watch it, just that they won't talk about it."[29] Allison McCracken of flowtv.org, on the other hand, called it a "boys soap opera" (soap operas specifically designed for the male audience). "The new boy-centered soap employs 'feminine' generic serial elements to explore male adolescence and relationships between males, often focusing around brothers or fathers & sons," she said.[30] "The boy soap is as pleasurable a text for female viewers as television offers today."[30]

Chris Carle of IGN said, "One Tree Hill, like The O.C. is helping to infuse network television with a much-needed renaissance of teen drama. The series is a bit less fun and more dramatic than Fox's, and the themes and storylines hold a little more gravity than The O.C.'s sometimes soap opera dynamic, but it's a solid show."[76] Keith Helinski of Moviefreak.com disagreed with The O.C. comparisons. "Ever so often I hear people refer to the show as The WB’s version of The O.C., but I disagree. Summerland is more like The O.C. with similar scenarios and settings, while One Tree Hill is more suited as a Dawson’s Creek knock off," he said. "In fact, story lines, characters, and even the themes are so similar that one would think One Tree Hill is like Dawson’s Creek: The Next Generation."[79]

The Wall Street Journal said, "The WB's One Tree Hill, a slick prime-time drama about a small town packed with hunky teenagers and simmering family secrets, is one of the fastest-growing shows on network television."[61] The Star-Ledger commented, "One Tree Hill is a welcome surprise...Every choice it makes from pacing to photography to music seems just about right, and the casting is inspired."[61] Alynda Wheat of Entertainment Weekly called the show a "guilty pleasure" and said they had not had one "this guilty" since Melrose Place. "Their relationships change so quickly you'd need a spreadsheet to keep up," she stated. "As Brooke put it to Peyton, I think Nathan likes Tutor Girl, but I think Tutor Girl likes Lucas. And I know I like Lucas, and I don't know who the hell you like anymore."[75] However, Wheat criticized the lack of parents in most of the teenage characters' lives. "Any time order threatens to reign, the writers ship out the parents – to Italy, a boating accident, whatever," said Wheat.[75] Daniel Fienberg of zap2it.com said that though the show has all the elements that make for a good show about teenagers/young adults, "it's also a show that has stubbornly refused to be categorized merely as a guilty pleasure" such as with its critically acclaimed school shooting episode "With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept," and that "its myriad artistic pretensions – Lucas's 'Bartlett's Familiar Quotations'-spewing narration, Peyton's (Hilarie Burton) pedantic lectures on indie rock, countless expositional monologues lifted from a Philosophy 101 lecture—have often rendered it merely bad, rather than so-bad-its-good". Fienberg did, however, compliment the school shooting episode.[80] Cynthia Boris of DVDVerdict.com, on the other hand, said, "One Tree Hill doesn't claim to be anything more than it is. They acknowledge that they're a teen fantasy complete with an appropriately emo WB soundtrack."[24]

Ginia Bellefante of The New York Times criticized the show's lack of insight into consequences surrounding teenage pregnancy. "In the wake of the discussion surrounding Juno and the horror over Jamie Lynn Spears, the show displays an almost aggressive aversion to moralizing about teenage pregnancy," she stated. "Refusing to lay out the grim consequences of premature motherhood, it seems as if it wants to make fans on either end of the political spectrum stick their heads in fiery hampers."[81] Author Emily B. Anzicek said that pregnancy seems to be the only possible physical consequence for the residents of One Tree Hill and that discussion of STDs is non-existent, criticizing the "potential threat" due to the amount of promiscuity, such as several characters having sex with people they hardly know. "Of all the episodes in the first three seasons, there are two mentions of condoms. One happens when Deb catches Brooke and Lucas at the drug store buying condoms and whipped cream," said Anzicek. "The second happens in season two when Brooke throws a wedding reception for Nathan and Haley and decorates the room with condoms blown up like balloons." Anzicek said the teenagers, who are only supposed to be sixteen and seventeen at this time, are presented as very sexually-experienced, especially Brooke, and that the one exception is Haley.[35]

Ian Arbuckle of Chud.com complimented the series on its musical aspect. "Pop music is built on repetition of themes and structures. Pop television follows a similar pattern, revisiting old plots with new characters in a sort of 'Here comes the new show, same as the old show' mode," he said. "One Tree Hill is firmly couched in both the pop television and pop music traditions."[51] Chris Carle of IGN said, "Like the series itself, the offering is a little more adult (read: adult contemporary) and a little less fresh than other similar soundtracks. It's not without its standouts, but overall the selection is plucked from the lighter fare on alt rock radio."[76]

Regarding the show's flexibility, Arbuckle stated, " One Tree Hill doesn't focus exclusively on the teenagers, but also stretches out to include dedicated subplots for their parents and other adults." He said there is not much of a maturity gap between the two sides. "[In]stead, to keep the structure somewhat separate, the respective focuses are on different emotions. For the teens, it's love; for the adults, it's revenge."[51] For example, one of the audience's main concerns has been "Who should Lucas end up with?"[82] "If you're a huge fan of One Tree Hill, chances are you've had a debate at some point about who Lucas Scott should ultimately settle down with," stated Don Williams of BuddyTV.com. "[ These shippers ] can be an extremely rabid bunch. There are some fans who want Lucas with Peyton, others who'd like to see him go back to Brooke, and even a few who think that Lindsey was his perfect match."[82]

The show's first season has been well regarded.[77][24] "One Tree Hill: The Complete First Season is a surprisingly rewarding experience," stated Neal Solon of DVD Verdict. "Throughout its first season, One Tree Hill distinguishes itself from other teen dramas by dealing with more than just the backstabbing, backbiting, and backwards morals of today's youth," he said. "Certainly, the show contains its fair share of this petty drama, but it also explores the reasons behind it." For example, the effect the parents' mistakes have had on the teenagers.[24] Solon felt that the Season 1 finale is partly "so strong" because its creators did not know if the WB would renew the show. "The last few episodes bring some form of closure to the major story arcs, while leaving the door wide open for further development should the show continue. It is an artfully employed strategy that paid off," he said.[24] Also reviewing Season 1, Paul Cooke of DVDActive.com stated, "If you take the time to invest some emotional capital in the lives of the characters, you usually will find yourself absorbed in their trials and tribulations. One Tree Hill is no different, in fact, it may be notch above some of the other teen angst shows." Cooke added, "All of the actors are pleasant to look at, the storylines are interesting and the music is fresh and enjoyable. How could someone not enjoy this show? Do yourself a favour, and visit One Tree Hill."[77]

Though Season 2 is the show's highest-rated season,[4] it is also one of its most criticized. The loss of basketball, confusion over who is Lucas's true love,[48] the backstabbing and plotting without anything making the show unique,[25] and Dan being turned into an almost cartoon-ish villain are among the complaints. "Dan is a jealous man, and the writers come dangerously close to making him nothing more than an evil man," stated Arbuckle. Amy Kane of Film.com called the character "the most ridiculous villain never to twirl a mustache".[83] Though calling the plot-level elements satisfying, Arbuckle also criticized the dialogue, saying it begins to break down. "The series' writers never have a good grip either of the rhythms of teenage slang (including painful forays into ebonics) nor the erudite beats of businessmen," he said.[51] He credited male viewers watching partly for the physically attractive girls.[51] In contrast, TheCinemaSource.com said of the show's third season, the dialogue is "clever and sarcastic from the last word of a scene to the very first of the next. Whoever writes Dan's witty comeback lines is hilarious".[31] One of the more complimented additions to Season 2 has been the creation of character Anna Taggaro,[25][84] credited by AfterEllen.com as the first recurring bisexual character of color on television; though whether the character is "truly bisexual" or simply gay is debated among fans.[84]

"As the show progressed, the focus changed [somewhat] to melodrama from backstabbing, scheming, murder attempts, love affairs/triangles."[85] The Season 5 timeline skip, showing the characters in their lives after high school and college, was successful.[3] It is thought to have successfully avoided jumping the shark, and viewership returned to an all-time high.[86] Ginia Bellefante of The New York Times, on the other hand, said, "Not one of the newly minted 22-year-olds on One Tree Hill blogs or dresses coolly or speaks cleverly or gives any indication of having learned anything at all in college." She characterized the portrayal of 20-somethings as "so wildly inauthentic and unfamiliar as to make watching it feel like foreign correspondence" but added that "One Tree Hill is a no-arrogance, no-entitlement zone, and I’m (shamefully) happy to pull up and park."[81]

U.S. television ratings

The series premiere was watched by 2.5 million viewers and achieved a 1.9 Adults 18–49 rating on September 23, 2003. However, the following week it rose to 3.3 million viewers and a 2.4 demo, becoming only one of three shows to rise in its second episode in the 2003–2004 TV season.[87]

The CW attracts a fraction of the audience its broadcast competitors do. "So the strategy is super-serving a young coveted demographics. The network's sweet spot is women 18–34 and with a viewer median age of 33, it boasts the youngest audience among its broadcast competitors by almost a dozen years."[88] Averaging 4.3 million viewers weekly, Season 2 was One Tree Hill's highest-rated season.[4] In its second season, the show emerged as one of The WB’s hits, particularly among the young demographics the network courts.[32] "Of all the shows that they’ve launched in the last two years, this one has the most traction," said Stacey Lynn Koerner, at the time an executive vice president at Initiative, a media planning agency. "It does have an audience it’s connecting with – a loyal audience that comes back week in and week out." Among women 12 to 34, the show was winning its Tuesdays 9 pm time slot, and in all of prime-time television, it was the No. 1 show among teenage girls.[32]

Below are the seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of One Tree Hill on The WB and The CW:

Season Timeslot Network Season premiere Season finale TV seasons Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1 Tuesday 9/8c The WB September 23, 2003 May 11, 2004 2003–2004 N/A 3.5[89]
2 September 21, 2004 May 24, 2005 2004–2005 #117[90] 4.3[90]
3 Wednesday 8/7c October 5, 2005 May 3, 2006 2005–2006 #139[91] 2.8[91]
4 Wednesday 9/8c The CW September 27, 2006 June 13, 2007 2006–2007 #136[92] 2.9[92]
5 Tuesday 9/8C (January 8 – March 18)
Monday 9/8C (April 14 – May 19)
January 8, 2008 May 19, 2008 2007–2008 #184[93] 3.3 (Tues)[93]
2.7 (Mon)[93]
6 Monday 9/8c September 1, 2008 May 18, 2009 2008–2009 #170[94] 2.8[94]
7 Monday 8/7c September 14, 2009 May 17, 2010 2009–2010 #130[95] 2.3[95]
8 Tuesday 8/7c September 14, 2010 May 17, 2011 2010–2011 N/A 1.8[96]
9 Wednesday 8/7c January 11, 2012 April 4, 2012 2011–2012 N/A N/A

Syndication

On February 7, 2007, SOAPnet announced that it would be picking up reruns of The O.C. and One Tree Hill. The deal made with the show's production company, Warner Brothers, states that SOAPnet holds on to the option of picking up the fifth season for syndication which SOAPnet did, airing fifth season episodes beginning in January 2009.[97]

Home release

Seasons 1–7 of One Tree Hill have been released on DVD in regions 1, 2 and 4. DVD releases typically include commentary by cast and crew members on a select number of episodes, deleted scenes, gag reels and some featurettes. Information on DVD release is available in each individual season article.

To date, two box set collectors editions of the series have been released. Edition one, was released in August 2009, and it contained the complete seasons 1 through to 6, focusing on the shows core characters. In August 2010, the second collectors edition was released, now contains seasons 1 through to 7, of the show.

Complete season Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1st January 25, 2005[98] September 5, 2005[99] February 1, 2006[100]
2nd September 13, 2005[101] April 10, 2006[102] September 6, 2006[103]
3rd September 26, 2006[104] October 23, 2006[105] July 4, 2007[106]
4th December 18, 2007[107] April 7, 2008[108] June 4, 2008[109]
5th August 26, 2008[110] October 6, 2008[111] April 1, 2009[112]
6th August 25, 2009 October 5, 2009[113] February 3, 2010[114]
7th August 17, 2010[115] October 11, 2010[116] May 4, 2011[117]
8th December 20, 2011[118] November 7, 2011[119] February 1, 2012[120]
9th TBA TBA TBA

References

  1. ^ "One Tree Hill Episodes". TV Guide. http://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/tree-hill/episodes-season-1/100339. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  2. ^ Ausiello, Michael. "Scoop: 'Ghost Whisperer,' 'Tree Hill' do time warp (again)". Entertainment Weekly. http://ausiellofiles.ew.com/2009/06/ghost-whisperer-tree-hill-do-time-jump.html. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Williams, Don (August 21, 2008). "Exclusive Interview: 'One Tree Hill' Creator Mark Schwahn, Part 1". buddytv.com. http://www.buddytv.com/articles/one-tree-hill/exclusive-interview-one-tree-h-22216.aspx. Retrieved June 17, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c "Primetime series". The Hollywood Reporter. May 27, 2005. Archived from the original on May 19, 2007. http://web.archive.org/web/20070519102605/http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/search/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000937471. Retrieved May 25, 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Denise, Martin (May 12, 2009). "Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton leaving 'One Tree Hill'". Los Angeles Times. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2009/05/one-tree-hill-stars-chad-michael-murray-and-hilarie-burton-exit.html. Retrieved July 26, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Lynn, Megan (April 2, 2009). ""One Tree Hill" Stars Staying Put?". SOAPnet. http://sn.soapnet.go.com/news/article/one-tree-hill-stars-staying-put. Retrieved May 12, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b Lynn, Megan (May 12, 2009). "Stars Out at "One Tree Hill"". SOAPnet. http://sn.soapnet.go.com/news/article/stars-out-one-tree-hill. Retrieved June 16, 2009. 
  8. ^ Masters, Megan (May 17, 2011). "Breaking: The CW Renews Nikita, One Tree Hill, Axes Hellcats". TV Line. http://www.tvline.com/2011/05/the-cw-renews-nikita-one-tree-hill-axes-hellcats/. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  9. ^ Seidman, Robert (May 19, 2011). "Next Season of 'One Tree Hill' Announced as Its Final Season". TV by the Numbers. http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/05/19/next-season-of-one-tree-hill-announced-as-its-final-season/93319/. Retrieved 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. http://www.tvline.com/2011/04/one-tree-hill-exclusive-bethany-joy-galeotti-season-9/. Retrieved April 27, 2011. 
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