15 Things You Didn’t Know about One Tree Hill

2012 Winter TCA Tour - Day 9

It has been a decade since One Tree Hill ended after its impressive nine-season run on the now-defunct WB and still thriving CW. The stars of the teen drama have been able to find more projects after the show’s end. Sophia Bush, who played Brooke Davis, can now be found keeping the streets of Chicago clean on the NBC drama Chicago PD, while James Lafferty starred in the now-canceled action thriller Crisis. Take a look at these 15 interesting facts about the drama that also starred Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton. Even the biggest One Tree Hill fans may find out something they did not already know.

Credit: One Tree Hill

1. Chad Michael Murray was the very first actor to be cast on One Tree Hill

The show’s creator, Mark Schwahn, thought Murray would be better suited to play Nathan. He had seen Murray’s work as Charlie on Dawson’s Creek and thought he would make a good bad boy of the show. However, Murray insisted on playing Lucas because he felt connected to the character more. Since Murray was also abandoned as a young child just like Lucas, he thought he would be able to bring that real-life experience to the character. Schwahn agreed to that so the part of Nathan was ultimately given to James Lafferty.

Credit: One Tree Hill

2. James Lafferty was the only teenager on the show

Lafferty, who played Nathan Scott for all nine seasons of One Tree Hill, was the only actual teenager in the main cast during the first season of the show. Lafferty was 18 years old when the show premiered in September 2003. Bethany Joy Lenz and Chad Michael Murray were both 22 years old when they first began to play Haley and Lucas respectively, while Sophia Bush and Hilarie Burton were 21 years old at the beginning of the first season. Antwon Tanner, who played Skills Taylor, was the oldest as he was 28 years old during season one.

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3. One Tree Hill was named one of the top television shows in 2009

In 2004, the drama received nine nominations at the Teen Choice Awards in the categories of Choice Breakout TV Star Female for Hilarie Burton and Bethany Joy Lenz and Choice Breakout TV Star Male for James Lafferty and Chad Michael Murray. Murray would take home the surfboard in the category. After 2004, the show received 18 more nominations and one win, which would again go to Chad Michael Murray in the category of Choice TV Actor: Male.

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The CW Presents "An Evening With One Tree Hill"

4. The most popular season of One Tree Hill was the second season

It averaged 4.3 million viewers each week and was the 117th-ranked show for the 2004-2005 television season. The show saw an increase in viewers from season one by 800,000 viewers, which is a lot for the show on The WB. When the show moved from Tuesday nights to Wednesday nights for season three, the show lost roughly 1.5 million viewers. The lowest-rated season was the eighth which ranked as the #138 most-watched show and averaged only 1.8 million viewers. Season 9 was ranked at #180 but had 55k more viewers.

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MTV TRL With Beyonce, Chad Michael Murray, Hilarie Burton & Tyler Hilton

5. There were ongoing rumors about some cast members

When One Tree Hill was renewed for a seventh season, it was not clear to fans which of the show’s stars would be back, particularly Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton.

A video was released to the public that showed Murray saying he was not asked back to the show to cut down on production costs. Though it appeared he was unaware he was being taped, he did ask his fans to rally with him and boycott the show. Another video came out where Burton said she would have stayed on with the show if she has been granted creative control instead of having to leave because Murray did.

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6. AT&T had been a long-time sponsor of One Tree Hill

During the series’ second season, the company had fans text whether or not they felt that Nathan should kiss Taylor. Whichever answer had the most votes was how the storyline would play out on the show. Sunkist was another popular sponsor and held a contest asking fans to pick which town the gang would visit in the episode, “It Gets the Worst at Night.” Honey Grove, Texas was the overall winner. In season 4, Rachel was photographed for Maxim, which coincided with the real-life shoot that Dannell Harris, Sophia Bush, and Hilarie Burton did.

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DoSomething.org And VH1's 2013 Do Something Awards - Show

7. Music has always been a big part of One Tree Hill

The title of each episode of the series is named after a song, album, or band that is relevant to what is happening in that particular episode. Like The OC, many indie music artists are showcased and some have even guest-starred on the show including Jimmy Eat World and City and Colour. There have been three soundtracks released for One Tree Hill in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Proceeds for the second album went to the National Breast Cancer Fund after a storyline involving the disease had aired.

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One Tree Hill Charity Basketball Game

8. One Tree Hill was supposed to be a movie

Believe it or not, the show was supposed to be a movie first and it going to be called Ravens, which is the name of the high school mascot. The show’s creator, Mark Schwahn then realized that the form of a television series would work better and used his own personal experiences in the conceptual story. Schwahn said that he most resembles Mouth McFadden played by Lee Norris. In case you didn’t know, the title of the show and the fictional town where the series is set is based on the song “One Tree Hill” by U2.

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One Tree Hill Charity Basketball Game

9. The cast organized basketball charity events at the end of every season

At the end of every season of One Tree Hill, the cast and crew put together a basketball game with all the proceeds going towards a different charity. At the end of season two, a football game was also held. In 2005, the team at One Tree Hill had two charity events when they also hosted a softball game to benefit the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund. The entire cast and crew will be split up into two teams when playing the games at these events. In 2008, tickets to watch the basketball event cost $25 each. That year, the show raised $66,373 and donated the cash to Wilmington Family YMCA.

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Michael Jordan Announces his Return to Basketball

10. A majority of One Tree Hill is filmed in Wilmington, North Carolina

That is the same location shows Dawson’s Creek, Eastbound & Down, and Under the Dome are filmed. Countless movies have filmed all or parts of their movies in the city including A Walk to Remember, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and the first two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle films. The gym that is used to shoot the basketball games is the located in the high school Michael Jordan went to called Emsley A. Laney High School. The school mascot is the Buccaneers.

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One Tree Hill Charity Basketball Game

11. Jackson Brundage was only seven years old when he began playing James Lucas Scott on One Tree Hill

During his four years on the set, the cast created a swear jar to refrain from talking inappropriately in front of the young star. Each time a cast or crew member swore in the presence of Brundage, they were required to put $20 in the jar. At times, filming certain scenes would cause the cast to become frustrated, making the jar full quite frequently. The money in the jar went to a very important cause. Brundage would get to keep the cash and put it towards a college fund.

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12. Chad Michael Murray was also a writer and director of the show

Not only did Chad Michael Murray star in One Tree Hill, but he was also a writer and director. Murray would direct the fourteenth episode of the sixth season entitled, “A Hand to Take Hold of the Scene.” In this episode, Brooke has figured out that Jack’s brother is a murderer and has him arrested. Episode eleven of the sixth season entitled, “We Three (My Echo, My Shadow, and Me),” was the episode that Murray penned. It was set in the 1940s and was named after a Frank Sinatra song. The entire episode is from a dream Lucas is having when he dozes off at the start of the show.

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13. Moira Kelly was pregnant during season one

Moira Kelly played Lucas’ lovable single mother Karen. The actress was actually pregnant during the pilot episode and throughout the first season. Because the writers didn’t know how to write the actress’s pregnancy into the show, they had to go to great lengths to hide her baby bump.

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"Chicago Fire" And "Chicago P.D." Cast Photo Call

14. Hilarie Burton and Chad Michael Murray didn’t leave the show because of money

When Hilarie Burton and Chad Michael Murray left the series after season six, fans all around the world were left heartbroken and confused. The iconic duo was the lifeblood of the show so everyone was in shock that they decided to leave. It was believed that they were financially driven and that they accepted better deals. However, the truth was they left due to personal reasons. Hilarie Burton even admitted that she suffered emotional abuse from Mark Schwahn, just like her other female crewmembers, which was the main reason of her untimely departure from the legendary show.

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50th Annual CAS Awards From The Cinema Audio Society

15. Bethany Joy Lenz played Teenage Reva Clone on Guiding Light

Bethany Joy Lenz, who plays Haley on One Tree Hill, played Teenage Reva Clone on Guiding Light in 1998. The producers thought that Lenz did such a good job with the character that they rehired her to play the character of Michelle Bauer later that year. Lenz would stay with the soap opera until 2000 and guest star on other WB series Charmed and Felicity before getting her big break on One Tree Hill. Most recently, Lenz starred in the final season of Dexter as Cassie and just finished the pilot for the sitcom Songbyrd.

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