Monday morning a viral video was uploaded onto YouTube in which One Tree Hill star Chad Michael Murray told a crowd of fans, “[The producers are] not bringing me back because they want to save money. No, actually. I’m not kidding. I won‘t be back next year. They‘re not having me back. I‘m actually not joking.” Judging from the reactions on our site no one was laughing.
Haylstorms pointed out the risk of the move, adding, “Economically, the show’s budget should be able to pay for Murray to stay on. However, Murray probably demanded a salary too great for the show to accommodate. It’s pretty rash and dumb to be killing off the show’s protagonist; honestly, if it comes down to financial reasons, they should just pay Murray a bit extra rather than lose millions of viewers who watch simply for Lucas.”
As if to illustrate his point, TenInchEroGirl94 added, “The writers of One Tree Hill are making the biggest mistake ever! As well as the producers and directors. What the !$#!# are you guys thinking? Lucas is the main character and oh my God you people suck.”
HeyMony has seen this happen before, reminding readers, “Every show that got rid of the main character jumped the shark (no matter how strong it use to be). That 70’s Show (Topher Grace)… Beverly Hills 90210 (Jason Priestly).. Need I say more? Whether or not Lucas is people’s favorite character is fruitless. The show is definitely gonna suffer.”
Callie828 was in the majority in deeming the move incomprehensible, saying, “I am so confused about this. I don’t want to think that Chad would lie straight-faced to a group of fans. I doubt he would decide to leave and then mouth off about the network not bringing him back… However, it makes absolutely no sense to save money by cutting main characters. That show has such a huge cast, they could cut several of those characters without affecting it nearly as much as cutting the leads. But if any network would make a braindead move like this, it would be the CW. So I don’t know what to believe at this point. All I know is that Chad and Hilarie leaving is a huge detriment to the show and I am beyond disappointed.”
JDMgirl1976 stood alone in partially justifying the move – at least as a business decision.
“Actually, it makes financial sense to cut either Chad or Sophia because they are the ‘big’ names on the cast. They are the ones who gravitate more towards the movies (House of Wax for Chad, The Hitcher and John Tucker Must Die for Sophia). If they kick off Chad they can send Hilarie out also and have double salary savings there. Now is that best for the show? Not at all. But, that definitely makes the money sense.”
But as PurpleIllusion24 pointed out there is a wrinkle to the story.
According to TV Guide Online’s column The Buzz, “What if I told you that perhaps neither actor is leaving? A setsider tells the Buzz that Tree Hill producers seem to be allowing for such an outcome, seeing as the season finale script makes no reference to Lucas and/or Peyton and/or their soon-to-arrive baby/babies leaving town.”
Sounds like the beginnings of a whole new controversy.
-Henry Jenkins, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of The CW)