Can One Tree Hill Thrive Without its Stars?
Hilarie Burton and Chad Michael Murray, One Tree Hill
To some fans, One Tree Hill without Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton sounds kind of like Seinfeld without Seinfeld... and Elaine.
The CW's plan to replace the leads with three new characters has elicited skepticism from fans who consider the show's heart to be the dynamic between Murray and Burton's characters, Lucas and Peyton. (A TVGuide.com poll found that nearly half of respondents will take a "wait and see" approach to the revamped OTH.)
They may be right to hold off on a decision, because these types of major cast revisions can go either way. No one likes to think about Coy and Vance Duke. But the Law and Order franchise has flourished with a revolving cast, and Beverly Hills 90210's later seasons did just fine with a slew of new faces. (They didn't blow our minds, but some of the "classic" episodes haven't aged so well, either.)
If NBC's sitcom Valerie taught us anything (and the comedy's Very Special Episodes tried to teach us a lot), it's that everyone is replaceable. When star Valerie Harper sparred with the show's producers, they killed off her character and renamed the show Valerie's Family: The Hogans, adding Sandy Duncan to the cast. Soon enough it was just The Hogans, and Valerie's name was hardly mentioned again.
What do you think? Will OTH fans stay with the show? Will you?