Raleigh, NC -- The CW Network has decided to film a seventh season of the Wilmington-based drama series "One Tree Hill," making it North Carolina's longest running TV series.
The show has generated more than $135 million to date in estimated spending in North Carolina.
"This is great news for Wilmington and for North Carolina," said Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco. "This decision to continue filming for another season means that the state will continue to benefit from more than 125 long-term jobs brought in by our film industry."
One Tree Hill has been filmed exclusively in Wilmington since 2003. The drama, which airs at 9 p.m. on Mondays, stars Chad Michael Murray, Hilarie Burton, James Lafferty, Bethany Joy Galeotti and Sophia Bush as former high school classmates coming to terms with adulthood.
The CW's order for a 22-episode seventh season will give the drama 152 episodes in total. That makes it the longest-running project to be filmed in North Carolina, surpassing Dawson's Creek by 24 episodes. Coupled with the state's extraordinary locations, phenomenal infrastructure, and support from the local community, North Carolina's film tax incentive helped keep One Tree Hill from leaving the state to film in other locations.
"Our film incentive helped keep the program going, along with a lot of hard work by the folks in Wilmington," said state Film Office Director Aaron Syrett said. "But if we want to keep these high-paying jobs coming into the state, we need to continue to be competitive with our incentive program. Other states are offering a lot more than we are."
North Carolina created a film incentive package in 2007 and improved it in 2008. (www.ncfilm.com/incentives-benefits.html). The film credit is 15 percent tax credits when a film company spends a minimum of $250,000 in the state.
WFMY News 2