Hilarie Burton and Chad Michael Murray with Bethany Joy Galeotti
CW entertainment president Dawn Ostroff is putting the best possible spin on the loss of One Tree Hill original cast members Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton, saying the show now has an opportunity to bring on new characters.
"We tried to get them to stay; we would have been thrilled if they wanted to," Ostroff told reporters at the CW's upfront presentation. But since Murray and Burton are moving on, Tree Hill must now reinvent itself a bit — as it did in 2007, with a four-year flash-forward.
"A show going into its seventh year is very open to reinventing itself," says 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."
As reported last week, Tree Hill will seek to "replace" Lucas and Peyton by adding three new characters, including Haley's older sister, Quinn. (Learn one of Quinn's "secrets" in this week's Mega Minute.)
"We look at shows like ER, shows that go on for many, many years, and a lot of those casts go through different people," notes Ostroff. "So we are sad to see [Chad and Hilarie] go — and grateful for everything they did for the show — but excited about seeing who else is going to join the cast."
Crave scoop on your favorite TV shows, from this summer or the upcoming fall season? E-mail senior editors Matt, Mickey and Tim at email@example.com. Also, follow TV Guide on Twitter.