May 17, 2007
When it comes back at midseason next year, "One Tree Hill" will hit the fast-forward button and pick up four years into the future, after its characters have finished college and are starting their lives as young adults.
It's one of two CW shows that were toying with a leap forward as a way of reinventing itself. The other was "Veronica Mars," which won't be back for a fourth season. Its creator, Rob Thomas, had proposed changes that would follow Veronica (Kristen Bell) as a young FBI agent, but the network opted not to renew the ratings-challenged series.
"It was something we talked about, but I honestly don't think it's going to happen," CW Entertainment president Dawn Ostroff told reporters Thursday at the network's upfront. She also said she had talks with Thomas about doing "something else" for the network but declined to elaborate. (Bell, meanwhile, will serve as the narrator for the network's new series "Gossip Girl.")
The "One Tree Hill" reboot also originated with its creator, Mark Schwan. The change will allow the show's core cast, most of whom are in their mid-20s, to play closer to their own ages and will also avoid the difficult high school-to-college transition that has tripped up shows ranging from "Beverly Hills, 90210" to "The O.C." and "Veronica Mars." Online video diaries will give fans a glimpse into the intervening years between seasons.
"We just felt that the storylines [the show] would have at college are probably not as interesting as the storylines we could do if they've already graduated college," Ostroff says. "It also allows us to show what did happen to them in college through flashbacks. We felt it could go more places creatively, and Mark Schwan wanted to do it, so we're very excited."
In giving the series a midseason premiere, Ostroff also hopes to be able to run it with as few repeats as possible. The "24"-style scheduling is a mini-trend this season, with ABC's "Lost" and CBS' new drama "Swingtown" also adopting that model.