Say what you will about “One Tree Hill‘s” often outlandish storylines and occasionally overwrought melodrama, but when it comes down to it, a network television drama that lasts nine years is nothing to shake a stick at. It’s no surprise that The CW is looking to stay in business with creator Mark Schwahn, whose J.J. Abrams-produced pilot “Shelter” is a contender for the fall schedule.
One of our favorite pilot scripts of the season, “Shelter” centers on a summer resort in Shelter Bay, Maine. Returning staffer Mitch, a mischievous young dreamer (aren’t they all?), comes home to Shelter for the summer in the hopes of reuniting with a former love interest, but instead, new romances and rivalries spark.
Though Mitch has yet to be cast — we’re hearing Schwahn is looking for a “young Channing Tatum” type — Hannah New was cast this week as female romantic lead Kathryn Gilchrist, who arrives at Shelter Bay for her wedding to a professional baseball player. New is well, new, with “Shelter” marking her English-language debut. Raised in London, New speaks fluent Spanish, Catalan and French.
Eka Darville will play Bobby Repeta, a townie fisherman and longtime friend of Mitch. Fans will recognize the Australian actor from roles on “Terra Nova” and “Spartacus: Vengeance.” He can also be seen alongside Hugh Laurie in “Mister Pip,” as Pip.
The first actor cast was British actress Elizabeth Henstridge, who will play Grace — the newly promoted hotel manager whose first week doesn’t exactly go as planned.
That marks three relatively unknown, foreign actors cast. Though there’s thus far a considerable lack of recognizable star power, “Shelter” will stand on a strong script. It recalls The WB’s signature fare like “Dawson’s Creek” and “Everwood,” the young casts of which were also made up of new faces.
“One Tree Hill” fans dreading the end of their favorite series, which wraps up with its finale event on April 4, will find some familiar ground here should The CW pick up “Shelter.” It harkens back to “OTH’s” humble beginnings, with no shortage of earnest young men, romantic pining set to indie music, and, of course, poignant sports metaphors.