Last Thursday evening (Jan. 5, 2012), fans of the CW television show One Tree Hill were treated to an advance screening of the premiere episode of season 9 (Episode 901-“Know This, We’ve Noticed”). In attendance were Mark Schwahn, creator of the show and writer and director of the 9th season’s first episode, and most of the core cast members. The event took place at the Arclight Hollywood theater. Most of the audience of fans acquired their tickets through various contests on Facebook and Twitter. There was a standby line for those without tickets. Happily, everyone in standby was admitted to the theater. The audience was even treated to free popcorn and soft drinks. The theater staff waited until everyone was inside and situated before beginning the event. Then, the cast entered and took their seats. In attendance from the cast were Paul Johansson (Dan Scott), Bethany Joy Galeotti (Haley), Tyler Hilton (Chris Keller), Sophia Bush (Brooke), Robert Buckley (Clay), Stephen Colletti (Chase), Shantel VanSanten (Quinn), Jackson Brundage (Jamie), and Lee Norris (Mouth). Mark Schwahn gave a few brief introductory remarks and shout outs to executive produce Joe Davola and music supervisor Lindsey Wolfington, also in attendance. If you have enjoyed the music on the show, you can thank Lindsey Wolfington. As music supervisor, she is responsible for most of the tracks you hear in each episode and she does an awesome job. The theater lights dimmed and for the first time, we proceeded to watch a new episode of One Tree Hill on a movie screen instead of a television screen.
As of this writing, the episode has not aired so I will not give away any significant details. (Preview clips may be viewed on the show’s official website.) However, it is a riveting, intense, episode and no one who watches this show will want to miss it. The first 3 minutes of the episode are jaw-dropping. I thought to myself, “What are we in for this season?! How did the characters end up in whatever situation it is that they are in?!” We shall find out in the coming weeks. Of course, the print of the episode looked great too. The Arclight theater takes care to make sure that features are screened in their proper aspect ratio and that the sound is perfect. Once the episode was over, there was thunderous applause. Mark Schwahn and the cast then took their seats in front of the screen and proceeded to answer audience questions and share anecdotes about working on the show for close to an hour and a half.
Dan Scott (Paul Johansson) and Chris Keller (Tyler Hilton) will get a lot of screen time this season. They are in most of the episodes of season 9 according to Mark Schwahn. I’m really happy about this. I like all of the characters on this show but the Dan Scott character is always compelling because I can’t wait to hear what he is going to say or do when he enters a scene. After the Q&A was over and the cast proceeded to leave the theater, Mark Schwahn had a raffle and gave away close to a dozen copies of the recently released DVD boxset of One Tree Hill Season 8. I didn’t win but I already have the season 8 boxset. I had a great time and I want to thank Mark Schwahn and the cast and crew for the inspiring drama they have created each season. Schwahn remarked that this 9th season is his favorite of the show. View photos of the “An Evening with One Tree Hill in L.A.” on One Tree Hill’s Facebook page. I have included a couple of my own photos here on this page and several more in part 2 of this article.
The season premiere episode airs tonight at 8pm on the CW Network.