hilarie burton getty 'One Tree Hill': Hilarie Burton would return if asked“One Tree Hill” fans were relieved to hear that The CW picked up the show’s back nine episodes, allowing for a full Season 8 — good news, especially considering the fact that it may be the veteran drama’s last hurrah.

Star Sophia Bush recently revealed via Twitter, “This is the last season anyone is contracted for. I don’t want to break any hearts, I just want to be honest with you guys. I guess we’ll see!”

Zap2it spoke with original “One Tree Hill” cast member Hilarie Burton, who left the show along with Chad Michael Murray in 2009, after the Season 6 finale. We couldn’t resist asking her whether she’d consider making a return to Tree Hill if, indeed, this is the final season.

“I’ll be perfectly honest with you. I haven’t been asked,” she says. “But if they wanted me, I love Wilmington and I love ‘One Tree Hill.’ I always will. The ball’s not in my court.”

Burton will next be seen in a guest arc on “White Collar,” and as a hard-working actress and a new mother — she and boyfriend Jeffrey Dean Morgan recently had a baby — her schedule isn’t exactly wide open. “I don’t know, contractually, what I’m allowed to do, because I’m kind of under a different canopy now, and I have things booked after ‘White Collar’ so I don’t know what I’m available to do,” she says. “If I could make it work, I would.”

There’s certainly no animosity between Burton and the powers that be at “One Tree Hill.” She’s still endlessly grateful for the opportunity to play the eternally unhappy teen artist turned record exec, Peyton Sawyer.

“I will say that ‘One Tree Hill’ gave me my start, and I’m very grateful for the years that I had there and the relationships that I formed there,” Burton assures us. “That’s a huge chunk of your life. It’s longer than you’re in high school; it’s longer than you’re in college. It’s six years with a small group of people. I love seeing them. Going there is always going home.”

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Posted by:Carina MacKenzie