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Hilarie Burton Morgan opened up on her “Drama Queens” podcast about how she and Chad Michael Murray found out they weren’t asked back for season 7 of One Tree Hill. While filming a scene for season 6, they were surprised to learn that the show had been renewed for another season, but they hadn’t received offers to return. Burton Morgan and Murray, who were the highest paid actors on the show, knew they were on the chopping block. Burton Morgan ultimately sees not returning to the show as a blessing in disguise, as it led her to meet her husband Jeffrey Dean Morgan, have kids, and work on other projects like White Collar.

Fans were surprised by Burton Morgan’s revelation, as many had initially thought she and Murray had chosen to leave the show on their own. Some viewers expressed disappointment in the decision not to bring back the characters of Peyton and Lucas, feeling that the show was never the same after their departure. One fan even said it was a mistake not to bring back Chad and Hilarie. One Tree Hill, created by Mark Schwahn, aired for nine seasons from 2003 to 2012, following the story of two half-brothers, Lucas and Nathan Scott, as they navigated life in their hometown of Tree Hill, North Carolina.

During an appearance on Dax Shepard’s podcast in 2018, Sophia Bush spoke out about the show’s producers taking advantage of people’s personal lives for storylines, calling it opportunistic and ugly. She mentioned that the producers did not protect the cast, as they should have, and instead thrived on drama. Bush, along with other women from One Tree Hill, has previously spoken out about misconduct behind the scenes, including harassment allegations against Schwahn. In 2017, they penned a letter detailing Schwahn’s misconduct, and they continue to speak out about these issues to this day, advocating for change in the industry.

Burton Morgan emphasized the importance of having each other’s support during difficult times, such as dealing with harassment and betrayal in the industry. She believes that it was their strong bond as a cast that helped them navigate challenging situations and come out on the other side. The women of One Tree Hill have remained vocal about their experiences and have used their platform to advocate for change within the entertainment industry. “Drama Queens” continues to address important issues and allow the former cast members to share their stories and perspectives with their audience. New episodes of the podcast are released every Sunday for listeners to stream.

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