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Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton leaving 'One Tree Hill'

May 12, 2009 |  2:32 pm

Oth It's seems unreal, but a rep for the CW tells us it's true: Lucas and Peyton are moving out of "One Tree Hill."

Rumors that the shows stars, Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton, would not be returning for the show's seventh season began circulating in February when the CW announced a series renewal without specifying which cast members would be back.

Soon after, a video of Murray talking to his fans surfaced. Seemingly unaware he was being filmed, the actor told fans, "They're not bringing me back next year ... because they want to save money." He even encouraged them to rally behind him: "Start blogging and being pissed off."

In April, "One Tree Hill" executive producer Mark Schwann told a crowd in Paris that all of the actors had signed on for Season 7, except for Murray and Burton. "They're in negotiations right now and I know they've been offered great things, and hopefully they'll decide to come back. If they don't that's always a possibility...[the show] has made it through some of the riskier moves we've done."

Looks like the public negotiating didn't take. A rep for the network confirms the two are out, and EW.com additionally reports that two new characters will be introduced next season. Austin Nichols, who play's Brooke's man Julian, meanwhile, will be upped to a series regular.

When last we saw the blissfully happy Lucas and Peyton, they had just been married. Unfortunately, in the final moments of Monday's episode, a very pregnant Peyton began to bleed and passed out cold on their honeymoon bed.

Does this news spell trouble for Peyton? She did record those video messages to her baby a couple of weeks ago (in an episode directed by "One Tree Hill's" own James Lafferty). And what about Lucas? His heart's been ticking fine for some time.

Guess we'll all find out what happens to the pair together during Monday's season finale.

-- Denise Martin

Photo: Hilarie Burton and Chad Michael Murray. Credit: The CW

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