Chad Michael Murray books ABC Family's 'Ex-Mas Carol'

chad-michael-murray-getty.jpgYes, you read that right - CMM has a J.O.B.!

Chad Michael Murray, who you may remember from his groundbreaking role in Hilary Duff's "A Cinderella Story," or as the broody dude with a million hairstyles in Alicia Keys' "Unthinkable" video, has booked the made-for-TV ABC Family movie "The Ex-Mas Carol," with Christina Milian and "Pretty Little Liars" star Ashley Benson.

Listen, we should say this: we love "One Tree Hill." Yes, it can be silly, and once included a scene where a stoned dog ate a human heart that was a murderer's last chance to live. (Or something like that.) However, it's got positive girl-power messages, strong characters, and the super-hot Austin Nichols in it, so we keep on watching.

Plus, we've invested seven years in this show, and darn it, we're going to keep on watching until Brooke Davis ( Sophia Bush) gets her happy ending.

When stars Murray and Hilarie Burton left the show after its sixth season, fans practically revolted. There were rumors of salary disputes, and their characters have rarely been referenced since. In fact, the only explanation for their absence was in the title of the Season 7 premiere, "4:30 AM (Apparently They Were Traveling Abroad)."

CMM has a history with Warner Bros.TV - his career began on "Gilmore Girls," and then he moved on to "Dawson's Creek" before landing a lead role on "One Tree Hill." We figured that he was abandoning his show to further his movie career or write a book of poetry or somehing equally compelling.

"The Ex-Mas Carol" doesn't really seem like the kind of thing you ditch a starring role on a long-running TV show for, though. We love Ashey Benson, but otherwise, we're not sure this is what Murray had in mind for his career. It's more or about a comatose girl who visits her Christmas past, present, and future. Did no one learn anything from "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past?"

Murray used to do movies that actually aired in theaters -- like "A Cinderella Story" and "House of Wax" -- but it seems this may be another downgrade in a long and storied history of downgrades.

Can Lucas Scott come back from his trip abroad now?

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Photo: Getty