One Tree Hill is an American television series created by Mark Schwahn, who has also written over a third of the episodes, including each seasons premiere and season finale. Schwahn shares executive producer duties with Joe Davola, Greg Prange, Mike Tollin, and Brian Robbins. It is produced by Tollin/Robbins Productions and Warner Bros. Television. The series stars Chad Michael Murray and James Lafferty as half-brothers Lucas Scott and Nathan Scott, respectively, with Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, Sophia Bush, Lee Norris, and Antwon Tanner playing the parts of Peyton Sawyer, Haley Jame ...
The first season of One Tree Hill, an American teen drama television series created by Mark Schwahn, began airing on September 23, 2003 on The WB television network. The season concluded on May 11, 2004, after 22 episodes. The series premiere was watched by 2.5 million viewers and achieved a 1.9 Adults 18–49 rating on September 23, 2003. However, the following week it rose to 3.3 million viewers and a 2.4 demo, becoming only one of three shows to rise in its second episode in the 2003–2004 TV season. Warner Home Video released the complete first season, under the title of One Tree Hill: Th ...
The second season of One Tree Hill, an American teen drama television series, began airing on September 21, 2004 on The WB television network. The season concluded on May 24, 2005, after 23 episodes. Season two increased in ratings, averaging 4.50 million viewers weekly, and was its highest rated season. Warner Home Video released the complete second season, under the title of One Tree Hill: The Complete Second Season, on September 13, 2005, as a six-disc boxed set.
The third season of One Tree Hill, an American teen drama television series, began airing on October 5, 2005. The season concluded on May 3, 2006, after 22 episodes. It is the final season that aired on The WB television network. Season three dipped in ratings, averaging 2.8 million viewers weekly.
The fourth season of One Tree Hill began airing on September 27, 2006. The season concluded on June 13, 2007, after 21 episodes. This is the first season to air on the newly formed The CW television network. In this season, most episodes were named after rock albums rather than after songs. Season four rose in ratings, averaging 2.9 million viewers weekly, becoming #136 in the Nielsen ratings system.
The fifth season of One Tree Hill, an American television series, began on January 8, 2008 with a two-hour episode. This is the second season to air on The CW television network. Season five is set four years into the future from the season 4 finale, and after the main characters have graduated from college. Production for this season of One Tree Hill, along with production for all other American scripted television shows, was caught in the middle of a contract dispute between the Writers Guild of America, East WGAE, Writers Guild of America, west WGAw and the Alliance of Motion Picture an ...
The sixth season of One Tree Hill, an American television series, began on September 1, 2008 and concluded on May 18, 2009 with a total of 24 episodes. This is the third season to air on The CW television network. The seasons seventh episode, "Messin with the Kid" achieved a series high in Adults 18–34 with a 2.7 rating. Season six is the final season for original cast members Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton. Their characters, Lucas and Peyton, leave Tree Hill with their newborn baby in the finale.
The seventh season of One Tree Hill premiered on September 14, 2009. This is the first season not to include the shows original cast members Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton. After successful ratings for the first three episodes, The CW gave the series a full-season order of 22 episodes. The season premiere was seen by 2.55 million viewers and achieved a 1.2 rating in Adults 18–49. Episode 7 achieved season highs with 2.67 million viewers and a 1.3 rating in Adults 18–49. The season averaged 2.3 million viewers and a 1.1 rating placing it at #118 in the 2009–10 season.
The eighth season of One Tree Hill, an American television series, premiered on September 14, 2010. After successful ratings for the early episodes of the season on The CW, the network ordered a back-order of nine episodes, bringing the total episode count to twenty-two. Season eight features the return of the original opening credits and the original opening theme song "I Dont Want to Be" covered by various artists each week, while the original version is featured sporadically. Schwahn wrote 13 out of the 22 episodes, including the final six episodes of the season. The season opened to a ...
The ninth and final season of One Tree Hill, an American television series created by Mark Schwahn for The WB Television Network was officially renewed by The CW for a ninth season on May 17, 2011. Two days later, the network announced that the ninth season would serve as the series final season. Premiering on January 11, 2012, the series aired its 13 episodes uninterrupted. Series leads Bethany Joy Lenz and Sophia Bush continue as full-time regulars, while James Lafferty returned as a part-time regular. Paul Johansson and Tyler Hilton both return to the show for the final season as regula ...
ⓘ One Tree Hill (TV series)
One Tree Hill is an American drama television series created by Mark Schwahn, which premiered on September 23, 2003, on The WB. After the series third season, The WB merged with UPN to form The CW, and from September 27, 2006, the series was broadcast by The CW in the United States until the end of its run in 2012. The show is set in the fictional town of Tree Hill in North Carolina and initially follows the lives of two half-brothers, Lucas Scott and Nathan Scott, who compete for positions on their schools basketball team, and the drama that ensues from the brothers romances.
Most of the filming took place in and around Wilmington, North Carolina. Many of the scenes were shot near the battleship USS North Carolina and on the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus. The first four seasons of the show focus on the main characters lives through their high school years. With the beginning of the fifth season, Schwahn advanced the timeline by four years to show their lives after college, and he made it jump a further fourteen months from the end of the sixth to the start of the seventh season. The opening credits were originally accompanied by the song "I Dont Want to Be" by Gavin DeGraw. The theme was removed from the opening in the fifth season; Schwahn said that this was to lower production costs, to add more time for the storyline, and because he felt that the song was more representative of the core characters adolescent past than their present maturity. The credits then consisted only of the title written on a black background. The theme was restored for season 8, in response to audience demand, and was sung by different artists each week.
The series premiered to 2.5 million viewers and rose to 3.3 million in its second week, becoming one of only three shows to rise in their second episode during the 2003–2004 television season. Season one went on to average 3.5 million viewers, and the second season was the highest rated in the series, averaging 4.3 million viewers weekly and a 1.9 Adults 18–49 rating. The series received numerous award nominations, winning two Teen Choice Awards.
On May 12, 2009, it was confirmed that Murray and Hilarie Burton Peyton had declined to return for the seventh season, although accounts of what transpired vary. Their characters Lucas and Peyton had been two of the five main protagonists, and had provided one of its central love stories, throughout the show. On May 17, 2011, The CW renewed One Tree Hill for a ninth and final season, placing an order for 13 episodes. Bethany Joy Lenz Haley and Sophia Bush Brooke were signed as full-time regulars for one final season, and Lafferty appeared as a part-time regular. Murray returned for a special appearance during the final season, which premiered on January 11, 2012. The show is the fourth-longest-running series on The CW network, or the networks that came together to make it up The WB and UPN, after Smallville, 7th Heaven, and Supernatural. The series concluded on April 4, 2012.
1. Series overview
The main storyline in the early seasons is the relationship between two half-brothers, Lucas and Nathan Scott, who start out as enemies but bond as the show progresses. In the pilot episode, Lucas becomes a member of the Tree Hill Ravens the high school basketball team with the help of his uncle Keith. Nathan, already the head of the team, is threatened by this and it becomes the basis of their rivalry, also fueled by Lucass romantic interest in Nathans girlfriend Peyton Sawyer. Later on, Peytons best friend Brooke Davis tries to date Lucas, while Nathan attempts to date Lucass best friend Haley James. The character of Lucas and Nathans father Dan Scott is occasionally explored throughout, including his relationships with Karen Roe, Lucass mother, and Deb Scott, Nathans mother, and how he ended up with one woman rather than the other, thus abandoning Lucas as his son.
The first season deals with the first half of the main teenage characters junior year. The focus is on the rivalry between Lucas and Nathan during the basketball season. Other major storylines are Nathan and Haleys developing relationship, the Peyton-Lucas-Brooke love triangle, and the love quadrangle involving Lucas and Nathans parents.
The second season focuses on the second half of the characters junior year. It sets aside basketball and explores new romances and characters. Lucas dates Anna Taggaro, Jake Jagielski dates Peyton, and there is a love triangle between Felix Taggaro, Brooke and Mouth McFadden. This season also shows the disintegration of Nathan and Haleys relationship because of Chris Keller, and the repercussions – especially for Lucas – of Dans hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an inherited disease. Haleys decision to go on a music tour with Keller causes Nathan to file for divorce. Peyton deals with drug problems and the return of her biological mother, and Karen opens a nightclub and begins a relationship with a professor. A troubled Deb struggles with a drug addiction. The end of the season sees Nathan go off to High Flyers, an all-star basketball camp, as Haley tries to reconcile with him.
The third season focuses on the characters first half of their senior year, and also has the return of basketball. It features the arrival of Rachel Gatina, who brings conflict between Brooke and Lucas. Peyton deals with the return of her mom and tries to get to know her when she finds out she is dying from cancer. Jake and Peytons relationship draws to a close and Peytons romantic feelings for Lucas resurface later in the season. The later episodes of the season see Nathan and Haley plan their wedding. A major subplot consists of Dans efforts to solve the murder attempt that was made against him during the previous seasons cliffhanger. A major episode involves most of the main cast in a hostage situation at Tree Hill High and culminates in Peyton getting shot in the leg, Jimmy Edwards committing suicide and Dan murdering Keith. At the end of the season finale, after Nathan and Haley renew their vows, he, Rachel, and Cooper are left fighting for their lives after a car accident.
The fourth season features the second half of the characters senior year, and predominantly, the love triangle of Peyton, Lucas, and Brooke. Haley finds out she is pregnant, but the news is threatened by Nathans risky forays into gambling and loan sharks. Peyton is stalked by an impostor posing as her half-brother. Lucas looks for the truth behind his uncles death as he documents his life since joining the Ravens basketball team. Lucas and Peyton enter into an official relationship after the Ravens win the state championship, while Dan rekindles his romance with Karen, much to Lucass dismay. Brooke explores a romantic relationship with Chase Adams and a close friendship with Rachel. The season ends with the groups graduation from high school, Lucas discovering that Dan killed Keith, and Haley and Karen having their babies.
The fifth season jumps four years into the future. The characters struggle with adulthood after college and eventually return to Tree Hill for various reasons. Lucas, now a published author, is in a committed relationship with his editor, Lindsey Strauss, which turns into a love triangle when Peyton returns after a failed music career in Los Angeles. The marriage of Nathan and Haley goes into crisis as Nathan faces major depression after being seriously injured the night he was drafted into the NBA, and a stalker nanny who is in love with Nathan moves in. Brooke looks for life beyond success in her work and struggles to get acceptance from her mother Victoria. Lucas and Skills return to the Tree Hill Ravens as coaches and ask for Nathans help with star player Quentin. Mouth begins a relationship with his boss Alice, to get ahead in his job, but later settles down with Brookes assistant, Millicent Huxtable.
The sixth season features the progression of Peytons romance with Lucas as they reunite and deal with her dangerous pregnancy. Peyton also meets her birth father, Lucass book is optioned for a feature film by Peytons ex-boyfriend, producer Julian Baker, and Nathan and Haley struggle to reach their dreams after being terrorized by Nanny Carrie who tried to kidnap their son Jamie. Brooke is attacked in her store, leaving her scarred mentally. She later takes in a foster child. Mouth and Millicents relationship hits the rocks when Mouths ex returns. And a seriously ill Dan comes to terms with his life and how much time he has left. Brooke enters a relationship with Julian.
The seventh season jumps fourteen months ahead. Lucas and Peyton have moved away. Rachel returns and two new regular characters are introduced: Haleys sister Quinn and Nathans agent Clay, and their relationship develops after the death of Clays wife. Nathans NBA career is jeopardized by a cheating scandal that also affects his marriage with Haley. Brooke releases her new clothing line in the midst of conflicts with Julian and Alex, a model she hired for her company. Millicent struggles with a drug addiction which causes Mouth to break up with her. The second half of the season deals with Haleys depression due to her mothers death. At the end of the season, the characters travel to Utah for the premiere of Julians completed film, Haley announces shes pregnant again, Julian proposes to Brooke, and Clay and Quinn are shot.
The eighth season mostly centers around the wedding of Brooke and Julian, Haley and Nathans pregnancy, Clay and Quinn surviving their life-threatening attack, and Brooke losing her company. Mia returns and the romance between Alex and Chase turns into a love triangle, while Mouth and Millicent reconcile. Nathan returns to college but struggles to fit in so Nathan and Clay start a sports management company named Fortitude. A fierce storm reaches Tree Hill, endangering the lives of Brooke and Jamie. Brooke and Julian look into adoption and are connected to a pregnant teen who later decides to keep her baby, leaving Brooke heartbroken. Meanwhile, Haley gives birth to a baby girl and names her Lydia after Haleys mother. Alex and Chase finally get together. Brooke becomes pregnant and has twins.
The ninth and final season mainly focuses on the kidnapping of Nathan, while Haley faces multiple problems running the new Karens Cafe. Brooke and Julian adjust to life as parents, which leads Julian to make a life-changing mistake. A mysterious problem haunts Clay and he ends up in psychiatric care, where he meets his son, Logan, with the support of Quinn. Millicent is forced to deal with Mouths sudden weight gain, and Chase starts a friendship with Chris Keller. Lucas returns to Tree Hill as Haley reaches out to him for help. Nathan is later found alive with the help of Dan before he passes away. The series ends as Tric celebrates its tenth anniversary while the entire Tree Hill family face new and exciting possibilities for their futures. Jamie Scott is now a teenager and is the Ravens new shooting guard.
2. Cast and characters
- James Lafferty as Nathan Scott: When Murray declined to portray Nathan, Schwahn chose Lafferty, partly because of his skill at basketball. Nathan is an enemy to Lucas in season 1, but bonds with him in later episodes. He uses Haley to get revenge against Lucas, but not long after emancipating himself, he marries her out of love. Like his father and Lucas, Nathan loves basketball and dreams of playing in college. However, his dream is complicated, as his career on the court becomes entangled with supporting his family.
- Chad Michael Murray as Lucas Scott: Murray was the first person cast for One Tree Hill. Schwahn wanted him to portray Nathan, having seen him portray "bad guys" before, but Murray felt a stronger connection to Lucas, as both have abandonment issues, and this convinced Schwahn to cast him as Lucas instead. Lucas is the shows primary protagonist. He shares a rivalry with Nathan, which evolves to friendship as the series progresses. Lucass best friend is Haley James, and he is a love interest for Peyton Sawyer and Brooke Davis; his love for them adds conflict throughout most of the series. Basketball and literature being his greatest passions, Lucas tries to find a balance between basketball, his hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and his love life.
- Robert Buckley as Clay Evans: Nathans sports agent from season 7 onwards. Buckley described Clay as part bad boy, part good guy, a man who plays the field when it comes to relationships, but who is extremely dedicated to his job, clients, and friends. "He gets around, hes very popular with the females," said Buckley. "But at his core hes a very great friend to Nathan. Hes a very loving and protective person." The New York Post stated: "Its clear that hes the new Lucas in terms of stepping in and being Nathans buddy, but, even after the first two episodes, viewers can tell theres more purpose to Clay than just being a sidekick." Clay is initially shown as a flirt, but the back story reveals that he has adopted this persona to cope with his wifes death. Clay is romantically involved with Quinn James.
- Hilarie Burton as Peyton Sawyer: Her two greatest passions in life are music and art; she uses her art to express the issues that play out in her life. After Burton auditioned unsuccessfully for the part of Ed Harriss daughter in the film Radio, the casting department remembered her and asked her to audition for One Tree Hill. Schwahn said, found someone to love her quirks and all, which made her perfectly OK with being exactly who she is." Millicent is involved in a romantic relationship with Marvin "Mouth" McFadden. In the first episode of season 6, she moves to Omaha with him. She returns to Tree Hill during the fifth episode to work for Brooke in her new store. She reunites with Mouth only to endure a series of mishaps.
- Shantel VanSanten as Quinn James: Haleys free spirited older sister. Fans were unreceptive to the character at first, but eventually warmed to her. "Its funny. I feel that. I struggle because I take it personally. Obviously, it is a personal thing. Quinn is a character that the writers and myself have developed", said VanSanten. "And there was no way that I could ever change the way that we started last season where I came into the picture all of a sudden, crying all the time. It was a really emotional thing and it wasnt something that we could really explore a whole lot of. So, I think it was a hard place for people to accept as I came in. I wasnt bubbly and happy. You know?" Quinn is introduced in season 7 when she moves back to Tree Hill after her marriage breaks down.
- Tyler Hilton as Chris Keller: The character makes his debut in season 2 as an arrogant, selfish man who constantly refers to himself in the third person. He connects with Haley through her music and succeeds in breaking her relationship with Nathan. Chris returned for minor appearances in seasons 3 and 4, and again returned as a series regular for season 9, as Mark Schwahn had wanted him to return since the time jump into season 5. In season 9, Chris Keller manages Red Bedroom Records.
- Jana Kramer as Alex Dupre: An actress turned model who moved to Tree Hill to become the new face of Brookes fashion line. Later, she makes sexual advances towards Julian, Brookes boyfriend. Alex started out as a recurring character, but was upgraded to series regular status in the second half of season 7 until the end of the series.
- Austin Nichols as Julian Baker: Peytons ex-boyfriend from Los Angeles. "The funny thing about Austin is that there was initially much resistance from the folks who have to OK our casting choices. Which is not rare, by the way," commented Schwahn. "When that happens, I pick up the phone and try to rationalize with everyone, or pout or bitch or whine and eventually I get my way and probably get called an ass**** and this leads to Austin Nichols killing it as Julian, just as I suspected he would in the first place." Schwahn added, "This is not to say that there arent good people and good allies working on my show at both the studio and network, just that the fans would be surprised at how things work behind the scenes." A regular from season 7, Julian initially comes to Tree Hill to win Peyton back. He offers to produce a film based on Lucass first book. At first, Peyton does not reveal to Lucas that Julian is her ex-boyfriend, but she is forced to do so when the plans of the movie take shape. Brooke rebuffs his advances until Peyton gives her blessing when she sees that Brooke has a serious interest in Julian. After Brooke opens up to Julian, they begin a relationship.
- Stephen Colletti as Chase Adams: A "clean-teen" introduced in season 4 as a potential love interest for Brooke. He had a recurring role until the later half of season 8, when he was upgraded to series regular status. In season 8, Chase becomes involved in a love triangle with actress Alex and musician Mia. He also becomes a Big Brother for Jamies classmate, Chuck Scolnik. In season 9, he develops a friendship with Chris Keller.
3.1. Production Conception
Schwahn originally planned to make One Tree Hill a feature length film with the title Ravens, the name of the shows high school basketball team. However, he became convinced that it would be more interesting as a television series. He said the idea for the story came from his own personal experiences. As in the setting of the show, Schwahn went to school in a small town and played on a basketball team. He described himself as similar to the character of Mouth McFadden. Schwahn said that in designing the show, he created Lucas as "this underdog kid from the wrong side of the tracks" who crosses over to the pretty and popular; he wanted to show the life of such a person in a basketball context, feeling that basketball was a great platform for telling stories.
The title of the show and the name of the fictional town where the series takes place are derived from the song "One Tree Hill", which is named after the landmark in New Zealand. Most of the shows episodes are titles of songs, bands or albums. Schwahn named the town "Tree Hill" because, while he was writing the idea for the show, he had been listening to the album The Joshua Tree by U2. In the early days, fans often asked Schwahn why the show was named One Tree Hill when the town was just called Tree Hill. The question is ostensibly answered when Karen tells Lucas in episode 1.22, "There is only one Tree Hill. and its your home." The same sentence was said by Haley to Jamie on the roof of Karens Cafe in episode 9.13, the series finale.
3.2. Production Music
Music plays a significant part in the plot and the movement of the scenes throughout the show. Schwahn revealed that each episode is named after a particular song, band or album that has something in common with the theme of the episode. Popular indie music has been featured on the show, and various artists have guest-starred.
Three soundtrack albums from the show have been released: One Tree Hill – Music From The WB Television Series, Vol. 1, Friends with Benefit: Music from the Television Series One Tree Hill, Volume 2, and The Road Mix: Music from the Television Series One Tree Hill, Volume 3. A portion of the proceeds of the second soundtrack go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation NBCF, tying in with a storyline on the show involving breast cancer. On November 13, 2008, iTunes published a soundtrack called Music From One Tree Hill, which contained songs from the sixth season.
3.3. Production Episode format
Episodes follow a regular structure. An episode normally begins with a recap of events relevant to the upcoming narrative, although this is sometimes dropped to satisfy time constraints. During the first four seasons, the theme tune is played either immediately after the recap or after the first few scenes. Whenever an episode features sensitive or violent subjects, or when an episodes running length is close to the total allotted time, there is no opening montage, but only One Tree Hill written on a black background. From the beginning of season 5, the theme song, "I Dont Want to Be" by Gavin DeGraw, was abandoned, and only the single white-on-black title was used. The theme was restored for season 8, sung by different artists each week. Schwahns reasons for removing the theme were various:
Its interesting about the theme song. Not only is it costly – and that never sort of drives what we do creatively, but I think fans dont understand that theres money on the table every time they hear the theme song. That sounds like a bullshit producer response, too, but thats a part of it because every year our budget is pretty challenged. Knowing that, when I looked at the jump ahead, the four year jump, I felt like "I Dont Wanna Be" was very much an anthem for their adolescent lives. It was very much about who am I going to be and who am I and who am I going to be someday. Not to mention that it was 42 seconds of screen time that I knew I could use for story. So a lot went into the decision to drop the theme song, it wasnt done lightly.
One Tree Hill is known for its numerous voice-overs featuring either literary quotes or characters reflecting on events of the episode. Most of them have been made by Chad Michael Murrays character Lucas. However, other characters have done so several times. Guest stars Bryan Greenberg, Sheryl Lee, Torrey DeVitto, and Ashley Rickards have also done voice-overs for single episodes. Characters who interact with the main cast, such as Bevin, Chase, Shelly and Glenda, helped to narrate the joint episodes, being portrayed by Bevin Prince, Stephen Colletti, Elisabeth Harnois and Amber Wallace. As the show progresses, songs continue to replace voiceovers occasionally. At the beginning of season 7, Paul Johanssons character, Dan Scott, has taken over the narrators role.
In 2008, a black and white episode on a Film noir theme was planned, to be written by Chad Michael Murray. Schwahn said, "I think that noir-themed is very risky, because I think that can be very dark and very guy-ish in its approach. Id say this is more Casablanca infused."
3.4. Production Series timeline
One Tree Hill starts in 2003 and has a complicated timeline, which varies between contrasting with and corresponding to the real world. In the first season, the main teenage characters are aged sixteen. The first and second seasons cover one year, and the third and fourth seasons another, so the main teenage characters are nearly eighteen at the end of the fourth season. The timeline was further complicated in the fifth season, when the show was "dramatically retooled and set four years into the future – after the characters mothers." "Music Faced," the Life Unexpected episode of the crossover, also featured Sarah McLachlan, Ben Lee, and Rain Perry, whose song "Beautiful Tree" serves as the series opening theme.
One Tree Hill consists of various themes, such as love, friendship, rivalries and betrayal, and explores the reasons behind them. Neal Solon of DVD Verdict stated, "Much of the show is based on the mistakes the teens parents have made and the way these mistakes manifest themselves in the students lives." Two of the shows most prominent themes have been basketball and romance.
4.1. Themes Basketball
Basketball is a core aspect of the show, helping to create an atmosphere of masculinity and attract male viewers. TheCinemaSource.com said of the shows early seasons, "The only thing you might notice thats strange is that the teens school lives are heavily focused on basketball and cheerleading. If they do happen to be in a classroom, the only teacher they have is Coach Whitey."
Schwahn stated of the basketball element, "A lot of times, the basketball games for us are like the crimes, or its the courtroom, the police precinct, or the medical operating arena – it was like our home turf." He said the other shows rarely focus on the court case or medical problem being dealt with, but are more about the people. "For us, thats what basketball was. It was never about playing basketball, but it was about what was happening to the people when this game or tournament was approaching."
In season 2, the basketball drama was completely removed from the series, as executives felt that the show was geared more toward a male audience. David Janollari, then entertainment president at The WB, attributed the shows sophomore success partly to its shift in focus from a male-driven sports plot to expanding the stories of its girls. He felt they had time to "step back and learn from audience response" and that Schwahn tailored the show toward the "core audience". Schwahn said, "Girls watch the show in large numbers. ahead and aging them a little bit – I see them growing into some really great places, not only as individuals, but as a family."
5.1. Reception Critical reception
Cosmopolitan and Digital Spy listed the series as one of the greatest teen dramas of all time, while TheWrap named it one of the shows that can be watched at any age. The first season received mixed reviews. Critics compared it to The O.C. and Dawsons Creek, but with a more masculine appeal. "Where Dawsons was about relationships, especially between boys and girls, One Tree Hill tries to be about masculinity, especially as negotiated through sports", wrote Tracy McLoone of PopMatters, who predicted that, despite this, it would probably be pinned as a girls show. "This doesnt mean boys wont watch it, just that they wont talk about it." Allison McCracken of flowtv.org, on the other hand, called it a "boy soap opera", saying, "The new boy-centered soap employs feminine generic serial elements to explore male adolescence and relationships between males, often focusing around brothers or fathers & sons" and "the boy soap is as pleasurable a text for female viewers as television offers today."
Chris Carle of IGN said: One Tree Hill, like The O.C. is helping to infuse network television with a much-needed renaissance of teen drama. The series is a bit less fun and more dramatic than Foxs, and the themes and storylines hold a little more gravity than The O.C.s sometimes soap opera dynamic, but its a solid show." Keith Helinski of Moviefreak.com disagreed with The O.C. comparisons, feeling that Summerland is similar to The O.C. with its "scenarios and settings, while One Tree Hill is more suited as a Dawsons Creek knock off."
The Wall Street Journal called the show "a slick prime-time drama about a small town packed with hunky teenagers and simmering family secrets," while The Star-Ledger said it was "a welcome surprise. Every choice it makes from pacing to photography to music seems just about right, and the casting is inspired." Alynda Wheat of Entertainment Weekly called the show a "guilty pleasure" and said they had not had one "this guilty" since Melrose Place, adding that the characters relationships change quickly. However, Wheat criticized the lack of parents in most of the teenage characters lives. "Any time order threatens to reign, the writers ship out the parents – to Italy, a boating accident, whatever," said Wheat. AOL TV placed the show in its list of TVs Biggest Guilty Pleasures. Daniel Fienberg of Zap2it said that while the show has all the elements that make for a good show about teenagers/young adults, "its also a show that has stubbornly refused to be categorized merely as a guilty pleasure and its myriad artistic pretensions – Lucass Bartletts Familiar Quotations -spewing narration, Peytons Hilarie Burton pedantic lectures on indie rock, countless expositional monologues lifted from a Philosophy 101 lecture - have often rendered it merely bad, rather than so-bad-its-good". Fienberg did, however, compliment the school shooting episode. Cynthia Boris of DVD Verdict, on the other hand, said, One Tree Hill doesnt claim to be anything more than it is. They acknowledge that theyre a teen fantasy complete with an appropriately emo WB soundtrack."
Ginia Bellefante of The New York Times criticized the shows lack of insight into the consequences of teenage pregnancy, stating that "the show displays an almost aggressive aversion to moralizing about teenage pregnancy" and that by "refusing to lay out the grim consequences of premature motherhood, it seems as if it wants to make fans on either end of the political spectrum stick their heads in fiery hampers". Author Emily B. Anzicek said that pregnancy seems to be the only possible physical consequence for the residents of One Tree Hill and that discussion of STDs is non-existent, criticizing the "potential threat" due to the amount of promiscuity, such as several characters having sex with people they hardly know. "Of all the episodes in the first three seasons, there are two mentions of condoms. One happens when Deb catches Brooke and Lucas at the drug store buying condoms and whipped cream", said Anzicek. "The second happens in season two when Brooke throws a wedding reception for Nathan and Haley and decorates the room with condoms blown up like balloons." Anzicek said the teenagers, who are only supposed to be sixteen and seventeen at this time, are presented as very sexually experienced, especially Brooke, and that the one exception is Haley.
Ian Arbuckle of CHUD.com complimented the series on its musical aspects and flexibility, feeling that One Tree Hill is firmly couched in both the pop television and pop music traditions" and that the show "doesnt focus exclusively on the teenagers, but also stretches out to include dedicated subplots for their parents and other adults." Chris Carle of IGN said, "Like the series itself, the offering is a little more adult read: adult contemporary and a little less fresh than other similar soundtracks. Its not without its standouts, but overall the selection is plucked from the lighter fare on alt rock radio." Arbuckle stated that the show adds division between the teenagers and adults by having the teenagers focus on love and the adults focus on revenge. One of the audiences main concerns had been which girl Lucas would end up with.
Writing for DVD Verdict, Neal Solon commended the series first season for being about more than betrayal and questionable morals, and instead highlighting the impact of the parents mistakes on the teenagers lives, which was something he identified as lacking in other teen shows. He felt that the season 1 finale was strong partly because its creators did not know if the WB would renew the show. "The last few episodes bring some form of closure to the major story arcs, while leaving the door wide open for further development should the show continue. It is an artfully employed strategy that paid off", he said.
Although season 2 is the shows highest-rated season, it was also criticized. The complaints include the loss of basketball, confusion over which girl Lucas should end up with, stereotypical backstabbing and plotting and Dan being turned into an almost cartoon-ish villain. Arbuckle said, "Dan is a jealous man, and the writers come dangerously close to making him nothing more than an evil man." Amy Kane of Film.com called the character "the most ridiculous villain never to twirl a mustache". Although Arbuckle called the plot-level elements satisfying, he criticized the dialogue, saying that the writers fail to convince with the slang or Black English of the teenagers, or the language of businessmen. He credited male viewers with watching partly for the physically attractive girls. One of the more complimented additions to season 2 was character Anna Taggaro, credited by AfterEllen.com as the first recurring bisexual character of color on television; some fans, however, debated whether the character was bisexual or gay.
TheCinemaSource.com said the shows third season dialogue is "clever and sarcastic from the last word of a scene to the very first of the next" and complimented "Dans witty comeback lines". By the fourth season, the show had shifted to melodrama. The fifth seasons timeline skip, showing the characters in their lives after high school and college, was successful, and is thought to have successfully avoided jumping the shark; viewership also returned to an all-time high. BuddyTVs Don Williams said, "The fifth season of One Tree Hill completely reinvented the series. It was a risky move, but one that ultimately paid off." Conversely, Ginia Bellefante of The New York Times stated, "Not one of the newly minted 22-year-olds on One Tree Hill blogs or dresses coolly or speaks cleverly or gives any indication of having learned anything at all in college." She characterized the portrayal of twenty-somethings as "so wildly inauthentic and unfamiliar as to make watching it feel like foreign correspondence", but added that the show was "a no-arrogance, no-entitlement zone" and that she was content to continue watching it.
5.2. Reception U.S. television ratings
The series premiere was watched by 2.5 million viewers and achieved a 1.9 Adults 18–49 rating on September 23, 2003. The following week, it rose to 3.3 million and a 2.4 demographic, becoming one of the three shows to rise in its second episode in the 2003–2004 TV season.
The CW only attracts a fraction of the audience its competitors do. "So the strategy is super-serving a young coveted demographics. The networks sweet spot is women 18–34 and with a viewer median age of 33, it boasts the youngest audience among its broadcast competitors by almost a dozen years." Averaging 4.3 million viewers weekly, season two was One Tree Hill s highest-rated season. During this season, the show emerged as one of The WBs hits. "Of all the shows that theyve launched in the last two years, this one has the most traction", said Stacey Lynn Koerner, at the time an executive vice president at Initiative, a media planning agency. "It does have an audience its connecting with – a loyal audience that comes back week in and week out." The show was particularly popular among the young viewership. It became the first choice of prime-time television for teenage girls and was reported in January 2005 to be the program in Tuesdays 9 pm time slot most viewed by women aged 12 to 34.
The series finale was the highest rated among women 18-34 1.4/4 for The CW in more than a year. It was The CWs best Wednesday night in adults 18-34 since premiere week which took place on September 14, 2011 and best adults 18-49 and women 18-49 ratings since December 7, 2011. Comparing to a year earlier, One Tree Hill s last episode was up 50% in adults 18-34, 40% in women 18-34 and 33% in adults 18-49. The first hour of the finale event, a series of interviews with the cast, garnered approximately 1.37 million viewers, with 1.42 million tuning in for the actual series finale.
Below are the seasonal rankings based on average total viewers per episode of One Tree Hill on The WB and The CW.
5.3. Reception Awards and accolades
Over its 9-year run, One Tree Hill has been nominated for and won various awards, most commonly being honored by the Teen Choice Awards.
On February 7, 2007, Soapnet announced that it would broadcast reruns of The O.C. and One Tree Hill. The deal, made with the shows production company Warner Brothers, stated that Soapnet retained the option of picking up the fifth season for syndication. Soapnet did so, starting to air season 5 episodes in January 2009.
In India, One Tree Hill premiered on Star World India on February 27, 2013. Star World India aired seasons 1 to 7 of One Tree Hill at 10 pm on weekdays and season 8 and 9 at 7 pm on weekdays. One Tree Hill ended its run on Star World India on November 14, 2013. In Australia, One Tree Hill premiered on the Nine Network in December 2003, but the channel pulled the show after 3 episodes due to low ratings. It was subsequently picked up by Network Ten, with the channel airing seasons 1–2 and 4–6 with re-runs airing on both Network Ten and its Digital channel "Eleven". The show was aired in its entirety Seasons 1–9 on the paid service, Foxtel on the Arena channel. In Philippines, One Tree Hill premiered on RPN on March 7, 2007.
The entire series was available on internet streaming service Netflix until October 1, 2017.
It was announced on January 17, 2018, that the entire One Tree Hill series would be available on Hulu starting February 1, 2018.
6.1. Release Home media
Seasons 1–9 of One Tree Hill were released on DVD in regions 1, 2 and 4, with commentary on selected episodes by cast and crew members, deleted scenes, gag reels and featurettes. Four box set collectors editions were released: the first in August 2009 containing the complete seasons 1–6, and the second in August 2010 containing seasons 1–7 and in 2011 seasons 1–8. On May 12, 2012, the upcoming availability of a complete box set of the entire series was announced; it was released on June 11, 2012. This box set was initially for sale in the UK only; however, the set became available in Australia on October 31, 2012.
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