Why Hilarie Burton Morgan Is Stepping Back From ‘Drama Queens’ Podcast

Hilarie Burton Stepping Back From Drama Queens Podcast Robert Buckley Steps In 389

Hilarie Burton, Robert Buckley.
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Hilarie Burton Morgan is moving on from “Drama Queens.”

The White Collar actress, 42, revealed that she’s stepping back from the hit One Tree Hill rewatch podcast she’s hosted with her OTH costars Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Lenz since 2021. Robert Buckley, who joined the cast of the long-running drama from season 7 to season 9, will be taking her place.

“We have reached the end of my behind-the-scenes experience on the show, and so I really started to question what I brought to this, but also how we keep that storytelling alive and important,” Burton Morgan told Bush, 42, and Lenz, 43, during the Monday, July 8, episode of “Drama Queens.”

Burton Morgan, who left the show after its sixth season, continued, “And so 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 gonna pop in here and there, but [someone] who represented the same things that I’ve brought to this show.”

Sophia Bush Hilarie Burton One Tree Hill

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Sometimes all you need is one … podcast. From the moment that Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz and Sophia Bush launched the “Drama Queens” podcast, they started spilling One Tree Hill secrets. The actresses, who starred in the hit CW series as Peyton, Haley and Brooke, respectively, launched the podcast in June 2021 to recap […]

The trio then introduced Buckley, 43, who Burton Morgan called “probably one of my favorite humans on the planet.”

The news was also announced on the official “Drama Queens” Instagram account, which posted a video of Buckley hilariously donning a queen costume. The Chesapeake Shores actor also posted the video via his own Instagram, which he captioned, “Very excited to be entering my Queen era.”

Hilarie Burton Stepping Back From Drama Queens Podcast Robert Buckley Steps In 388

Hilarie Burton, Bethany Joy Lenz, and Sophia Bush.
Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

Fans were quick to share their opinions in the comments section of both posts, with one social media user writing, “Commentary from Buckley on one of my fave show ever? I’m in!” Another wrote, “Excited to hear your point of view on the last couple of seasons!!”

However, some social media users weren’t as thrilled to hear about Burton Morgan’s replacement.

“Committee three years of faithfully listening to this podcast so I can hear Hilarie’s input on the absolutely unhinged seasons 7-9 for her to not be on it anymore,” wrote a separate Instagram user. “I am disproportionately disappointed by this. I’m so sorry ilysm [I love you so much] but I’m so so sad.”

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Burton Morgan leaving “Drama Queens” comes a little more than three months after fan speculation of a rift between the Grimoire Girl author and Lenz. Eagle-eyed fans noticed the two no longer follow each other on social media; however, neither parties have confirmed or spoken about tension in their friendship.

With her exit from the podcast, the Hallmark actress said she’s looking forward to not reliving the traumatic experiences she had on the show.

“It felt like I could finally take a deep breath,” she explained. “Because every single week, it was, ‘Oh my god, I gotta tell that story. Oh, my god. We have to relive that.’ And there’s, obviously, like, so much good stuff that was in it. But I would have to kinda psych myself up every week.”

She continued, “And this was the first week in years at this point that I’ve been like, I don’t have to. I don’t have to divulge s–t today.”

One Tree Hill premiered in 2004 and ran for nine seasons. Burton Morgan, Bush and Lenz were part of the OG cast, alongside Chad Michael Murray and James Lafferty.

Buckley joined in season 7 along with Shantel VanSanten, who played his character Clay’s love interest, Quinn. They appeared as main cast members through season 9.

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