'One Tree Hill' picked up for Season 9: Will James Lafferty return?

one-tree-hill-additional-scripts.jpgCongratulations, "One Tree Hill" fans! After tirelessly campaigning with The CW, Season 9 is a go -- and we got word just in time for tonight's Season 8 finale.

The CW has picked up Season 9 for 13 episodes, and while no official announcement has been made, it's very likely that this will be marketed as the final season of the long-running WB veteran series.

There is no word yet on whether James Lafferty will return for the season. As many fans are aware, he was the final series regular in contract negotiations. Sources tell Zap2it that Lafferty will definitely be returning in some capacity next season, though he may appear as a guest star.

Season 9 will introduce us to Brooke ( Sophia Bush) and Julian ( Austin Nichols) navigating parenthood, while Brooke and Haley ( Bethany Joy Galeotti) team up to reopen Karen's Cafe in Tree Hill. Also on deck for Season 9? The return of Dan Scott ( Paul Johansson), which is sure to have a profound impact on our beloved characters.

[Update]: The CW has officially announced the renewal of "Nikita" and cancellation of "Hellcats."

In the meantime, tune in for "One Tree Hill's" Season (not series!) finale tonight, May 17, at 8 p.m. on The CW.
Photo/Video credit: The CW