Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton will not reprise their roles as a couple on the show before this season ends because their schedules do not work out.
Lucas and Peyton will not make any appearance at all in season 8 of "One Tree Hill". Showrunner Mark Schwahn has addressed long-running speculation that the couple will head back to The CW drama by saying, "It's not going to happen. We won't be seeing them this year."
"Everybody had the best intentions," Schwahn further says, revealing that Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton were interested to reprise their roles. "But at the end of the day, it just didn't work out." He adds, "Creatively, I would have loved to have them, or even at the end of the season. But unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be."
On why the good intentions did not come into fruition, he explains, "Quite frankly, we just couldn't make a deal." He goes on telling TVLine, "Hilarie now has a child and a family, and she's doing some nice work [on USA's "White Collar"]. Chad was working on a movie ["The Haunting in Georgia"] down in Louisiana, and there were dates we were trying to work around, but it's tricky when you try to line up all those stars sometimes."
In the meantime, Austin Nichols who plays Julian Baker teases the season finale. "There is a really cool device in the finale ... where we're jumping through months," he tells TV Guide, which hints the episode will fast-forward through time.
Since the drama series has not been picked up for a new season, Nichols gushes, "If it [is] in fact a series finale, it will be very satisfying." However, he adds, "I know that there are seeds planted if there's going to be another season. Everybody feels lucky to be a part of something that's been on so long, so we'll see."
"One Tree Hill" season 8 finale will air Tuesday, May 17 at 8/7c on The CW.