×

One Tree Hill

This might just be the year for teen soap operas. Fox's "The OC" bowed to encouraging summer numbers, and "One Tree Hill" strings together enough cliches that it just might work as a companion to "Gilmore Girls." This series about half-brothers and basketball won't rival "Smallville's" ratings, but it should get some sampling by the young and restless.

With:
Lucas Scott - Chad Michael Murray Nathan Scott - James Lafferty Peyton Sawyer - Hilarie Burton Whitey Durham - Barry Corbin Dan Scott - Paul Johansson Keith Scott - Craig Sheffer Karen - Moira Kelly

Who knows, this might just be the year for teen soap operas. Fox’s “The OC” bowed to encouraging summer numbers, and “One Tree Hill” — an 11th-hour replacement for postponed crime drama “Fearless” — strings together enough cliches that it just might work as a companion to “Gilmore Girls.” Tapping into the WB’s seemingly bottomless reservoir of youthful talent, this series about half-brothers and basketball won’t rival “Smallville’s” ratings, but it should get some sampling by the young and restless before Fox’s baseball-delayed “24” can get into the game.

In some ways, “One Tree Hill” offers the flip side of the WB’s “Popular,” which involved two teenage girls reluctantly thrown together. Here, it’s half-brothers Nathan (James Lafferty) and Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) — the former a spoiled high school star hoopster, the latter the out-of-wedlock son their hissable father (Paul Johansson) wouldn’t acknowledge.

When half the basketball team gets suspended, the gnarled coach (Barry Corbin of “Northern Exposure,” a cross here between Bobby Knight and Mr. Clean) tries to recruit Lucas, leading to the inevitable sibling rivalry, further complicated by a triangle involving Nathan’s girlfriend, Peyton (Hilarie Burton). OK, so call it “Popular” with balls.

As trite as it sounds, the series plays it all earnestly enough for its target audience, and the show is beautifully shot in North Carolina, the basketball mecca where the fictional town is set. Even the sports scenes are well staged (in the pilot, anyway) and less schlocky than “The White Shadow” norm, with Lafferty, at least, looking like he’s actually got game.

On the downside, a few of those strategies out of the WB playbook are starting to wear a bit thin, down to Lucas’ adorable platonic friend (Bethany Joie Lenz), who even alludes to “Dawson’s Creek” and the Dawson-Joey relationship. Then again, when you’re appealing to teen girls, referencing the 1990s is the equivalent of paying homage to “It Happened One Night.”

“One Tree Hill” also borrows the “Gilmore” template of having parents who were teens at the time of conception, the better to cast the likes of Moira Kelly as Lucas’ mom and Craig Sheffer as his uncle. If not exactly Charlie Brown’s parents, the adults clearly take a back seat to the teen angst, though having them around at least provides the series some moving parts with which to play — always a plus in establishing a new sudser.

Whether that’s enough to help “One Tree” take root is anybody’s guess, but with a logical replacement waiting in the wings, the show seemingly has nothing to fear but “Fearless” itself.

One Tree Hill

Series; WB, Tues. Sept. 23, 9 p.m.

Production: Filmed in Wilmington, N.C., by Tollin/Robbins Prods. in association with Warner Bros. Television. Executive producers, Mike Tollin, Brian Robbins, Joe Davola, Mark Schwahn, Ann Hamilton; consulting producer, Mark Perry; producers, Jennifer Cecil, Greg Prange; co-producers, Mike Kelley, David Hartley; director, Bryan Gordon; writer, Schwahn.

Crew: Camera, Billy Dickson; editor, Les Butler; music, Mark Snow; production design, John Kretschmer; art direction, Linwood Taylor; costume design, Leigh Leverett; casting, Susie Glicksman, Alex Wald. 1 HOUR.

Cast: Lucas Scott - Chad Michael Murray Nathan Scott - James Lafferty Peyton Sawyer - Hilarie Burton Whitey Durham - Barry Corbin Dan Scott - Paul Johansson Keith Scott - Craig Sheffer Karen - Moira Kelly

More TV

  • Claire Denis attends the 32nd European

    Claire Denis and Phedon Papamichael Join Doha Film Institute's Qumra Lineup

    The Doha Film Institute has added French auteur Claire Denis and Oscar-nominated cinematographer Phedon Papamichael (“Nebraska”) to the lineup of star talent who will act as mentors for the Qumra Masters program during its upcoming Qumra event dedicated to fostering fresh Arab film fare that is opening up to TV projects. They join previously announced [...]

  • Rihanna

    Rihanna Pleads for Equality at NAACP Image Awards: 'Tell Your Friends to Pull Up'

    Rihanna was the recipient of the NAACP President’s Award. The honor is bestowed on an entertainer whose commitment to philanthropy is unparalleled. Rihanna, whose chosen charities include the Clara Lionel Foundation, Raising Malawi and UNICEF and was honored as Harvard’s Humanitarian of the Year in 2017, was in attendance for the NAACP Image Awards show, [...]

  • Bernie Sanders, Jane Sanders. Democratic presidential

    Bernie Sanders Projected to Win Nevada Democratic Caucus

    Bernie Sanders is now projected to win the Nevada caucus. Per the Associated Press, Sanders has captured 54% of the delegates with 4% of precincts reporting on Saturday afternoon. Joe Biden is currently in a distant second with 17.8%, while Elizabeth Warren rose to third with 10%. Pete Buttigieg is in fourth place with 8.7%, [...]

  • Lizzo51st Annual NAACP Image Awards, Arrivals,

    NAACP Winners 2020: The Complete List

    Lizzo was named Entertainer of the Year at the 51st NAACP Image Awards on Saturday. The singer-rapper edged out Angela Bassett, Billy Porter, Regina King and Tyler Perry for the night’s top prize. Warner Bros.’ legal drama “Just Mercy,” meanwhile, nearly swept the top film awards, taking home best motion picture, ensemble, best actor (Michael [...]

  • Leonine Takes International Rights to Premium

    Leonine Takes International Rights to Premium Series 'Herzogpark'

    German media group Leonine has taken international distribution rights to the six-part premium series “Herzogpark,” following a deal with its producers Letterbox Filmproduktion (“Bad Banks”). The rights for German-speaking territories are held by Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland. The dramedy centers on four women from Munich’s upscale Herzogpark district, for whom keeping secrets has become a life’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content