'One Tree Hill': James Lafferty's reduced role in Season 9

oth-james-lafferty-1.jpgWhen "One Tree Hill" fans were rallying for a Season 9 pickup, veteran cast members like Sophia Bush and Bethany Joy Galeotti proudly announced that they'd renewed their contracts for one final season on the long-running drama.

When The CW finally announced that they were granting the show an abbreviated ninth season, the one cast hold-out remained James Lafferty

Now, details are emerging about the actor's reduced role. We've confirmed that James Lafferty will be listed as a series regular, just as he always has been. However, TVLine reports that despite the title remaining the same, Lafferty will appear in only about half of the 13 episodes.

Word is that Lafferty's character, Nathan, who is now a full-fledged Fortitude agent, will be traveling abroad for a significant chunk of the season. (Perhaps he'll visit his MIA brother, Luke!) We're hearing that Nate won't be too happy about the return of Dan Scott, or the way Haley seems to have warmed up to him.

Weigh in below, "OTH" fans. Last season was smooth sailing for Nathan and Haley, but it sounds like there are some major bumps in the road ahead.
Photo/Video credit: The CW
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