Chad Michael Murray Leaves One Tree Hill

Original castmembers Murray and Hilarie Burton will not return after six seasons after failing to renegotiate contracts

By Gina Serpe May 12, 2009 11:50 PMTags
One Tree Hill, Sophia Bush, Joy Galeotti, Chad Michael Murray, Hilarie BurtonFred Norris /The CW

Chad Michael Murray no longer married to One Tree Hill.

The triple-named actor, along with fellow original castmember Hilarie Burton, will not be returning for the series' seventh season next fall, the CW confirms to E! News.

No formal reason was given for the departure of the stars, though the duo had been in protracted contract negotiations with the network for several months.

The CW said that two new characters will be introduced next season in an attempt to placate fans and rebuild the call sheet. Murray and Burton have been with the show since its 2003 debut on the WB.

Writers have wrapped up the storylines of characters Peyton and Lucas rather nicely: The duo tied the knot in last night's episode, and will make their final appearance on next Monday's season finale. Their departure was first reported by EW.com.

Overall, it hasn't been the best month, PR-wise, for the extended Murray clan. Just last month, his fiancée's sister, Kristen Dalton, was crowned Miss USA, only to be dramatically overshadowed by a certain runner-up, name of Carrie Prejean.

(Originally published May 12, 2009, at 1:33 p.m. PT.)


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