One Tree Hill Podcast Reveals New Co-Host Will ‘Take Over’ for Hilarie Burton, Leaving Fans With Deja Vu

One Tree Hill fans are expressing mixed reactions to a major announcement made on Monday’s episode of Drama Queens, the CW drama’s official rewatch podcast, as it prepares to explore the show’s final three seasons.

Robert Buckley, who joined One Tree Hill in Season 7, is coming aboard the podcast as a new regular co-host, while Hilarie Burton, whose character left at the end of Season 6, will have a reduced role moving forward. Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz, who remained on One Tree Hill for the entirety of its run, will continue to regularly co-host the podcast.

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“We have reached the end of my behind-the-scenes experience on the show,” Burton explained before announcing Buckley as her successor. “I really started to question what I brought to this, but also how we keep that storytelling alive and important. As we head into Seasons 7 through 9, it was important that we introduced a new queen who could take over for me. I’m still going to pop in here and there, but [we needed someone] who represented the same things that I brought to the show.”

On one hand, this shift makes perfect sense. As a series regular on the show’s final three seasons, Buckley will be able to provide unique insight and share the types of behind-the-scenes stories that have become a staple of the podcast. And fans aren’t unhappy about this new addition, with words like “thrilled” and “love” popping up in comments on the podcast’s Instagram announcement.

But amid the excitement of Buckley’s arrival come legitimate concerns from longtime listeners, many of whom were looking forward to hearing Burton’s thoughts about how the show changed after she and Chad Michael Murray literally drove off into the sunset at the end of Season 6.

“I love [Robert] Buckley so much, but this is the heartbreak that I felt after Lucas and Peyton left the show all over again,” one fan writes, while another says, “I really wish you would rethink Hilarie leaving. She is integral and could offer a first-time experience with the new episodes. Robert is great, I just think it’s a bad call to break up the gang more than halfway through.” If you scroll through the comments, you’ll find dozens of comments expressing similar sentiments.

At this point, it’s unclear what “pop in here and there” actually means for Burton’s involvement on the podcast, so fans will just have to keep tuning in to find out. But if there’s one thing Peyton Sawyer has taught us — and she has taught us many things — it’s that we probably should have been anticipated this happening. After all, people always leave.

How do you feel about Buckley joining the podcast as its newest Drama Queen? And are you hoping that Burton continues to appear as often as possible? Drop a comment with your thoughts on this shake-up below.

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