×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

  • DSC03586.ARW

    Virgin Media Partners With Amazon, Integrates Prime Video App

    Virgin Media is adding the Amazon Prime Video app to its TV service. The Liberty Global-owned cabler will integrate the app into its ultra HD settop from this summer, meaning customers with the high-end box can access Prime Video directly. Virgin Media will be the first Liberty Global pay TV business to integrate Amazon’s streaming [...]

  • PyeongChang Winter Olympics

    France Televisions to Sub-License Olympic Games for Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024 From Discovery

    France Télévisions has signed a deal with Discovery to sub-license exclusive free-to-air French broadcasting rights to the Olympic Games for Beijing 2022 and Paris 2024 from Eurosport, Discovery’s leading sports brand. Under the deal, France Télévisions will broadcast the 2022 and 2024 Olympic Games, as well as extended coverage, including dedicated streams covering every sport, [...]

  • Globe Centred On Asia And Oceania,

    APOS: Online Video Headed for 15% Annual Growth, Disrupting Asia Markets

    A blistering 15% annual growth of online video will give the Asian video industry (TV, pay-TV, home entertainment and streaming) a growth rate nearly double that of North America for the next five years. According to a new report from Media Partners Asia, published on the eve of the APOS conference in Indonesia, Asia’s online [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    Writers Guild Says Over 7,000 Members Have Fired Agents

    Over 7,000 members of the Writers Guild of America have fired their talent agents, the Hollywood union said on Monday. As promised, the guild delivered a first round of termination letters to agents in a show of support for the WGA’s full-on war with the Association of Talent Agents. “Today the Guild delivered a first [...]

  • The Spanish Princess Starz

    TV Review: Starz's 'The Spanish Princess'

    With sumptuous costumes and a cast including a couple of familiar and beloved costume-drama players, Starz’s “The Spanish Princess,” about the travails of Catherine of Aragon, seems designed to appeal to lovers of broadly drawn historical romance. (It hits the air May 5 with a built-in fandom: Like past Starz miniseries including “The White Queen,” [...]

  • TV News Roundup: Jada Pinkett Smith's

    TV News Roundup: Amazon's 'Sneaky Pete' Releases Season 3 Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Amazon Prime Video releases a trailer for Season 3 of “Sneaky Pete,” and “Red Table Talk” with Jada Pinkett Smith sets a return date on Facebook Watch. FIRST LOOKS The official trailer for the third season of “Sneaky Pete” on Amazon Prime Video has been released, showing off the new [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content