Gossip Girl

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Gossip Girl
The words "gossip girl" written in light yellow on a black background. The letters are lowercase and the letter "p" has an extended descender.
Gossip Girl intertitle
Format Teen drama
Created by Josh Schwartz
Stephanie Savage
Starring Blake Lively
Leighton Meester
Penn Badgley
Chace Crawford
Taylor Momsen
Ed Westwick
Kelly Rutherford
Matthew Settle
Jessica Szohr
Kaylee DeFer
Narrated by Kristen Bell (as Gossip Girl)
Theme music composer Transcenders
Opening theme "Steps of The Met" by The Transcenders
Composer(s) Transcenders
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 121 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Josh Schwartz
Stephanie Savage
Bob Levy
Leslie Morgenstein
John Stephens
Joshua Safran (Seasons 1-5)
Sara Goodman (Season 6)
Location(s) New York City
(Manhattan and Brooklyn)
Long Island East End
Running time 39–44 minutes
Production company(s) Warner Bros. Television
CBS Television Studios
Fake Empire Productions
Alloy Entertainment
College Hill Pictures, Inc.
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channel The CW
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original run September 19, 2007 (2007-09-19) – December 17, 2012 (2012-12-17)
Chronology
Related shows Valley Girls (2009)
Gossip Girl: Acapulco
External links
Website

Gossip Girl is an American teen drama television series based on the book series of the same name written by Cecily von Ziegesar. The series, created by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, originally ran on The CW for six seasons from September 19, 2007 to December 17, 2012. Narrated by the omniscient blogger "Gossip Girl," voiced by Kristen Bell, the series revolves around the lives of privileged young adults on Manhattan's Upper East Side in New York City.

The series begins with the return of Upper East Side it girl Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) from a mysterious stay at a boarding school in Cornwall, Connecticut.[1] Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), whom creators describe as the queen at the center of their chess game,[2] is a longtime friend and occasional rival of Serena's, and the queen bee of Constance Billard School's social scene.[3] The story also follows Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), the bad boy of the Upper East Side, and "golden boy" Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford), Chuck's best friend and Blair's boyfriend for many years. However, their relationship had been rocky ever since Serena left for boarding school. Other characters of the turbulent Manhattan scene: Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley), Dan's best friend Vanessa Abrams (Jessica Szohr), and Dan's sister, Jenny Humphrey (Taylor Momsen).

The success of Gossip Girl led to adaptations outside the United States. The show has received numerous award nominations, winning 18 Teen Choice Awards. The CW officially renewed Gossip Girl for a sixth and final season on May 11, 2012.[4] The final season, consisting of 10 episodes, premiered on October 8, 2012, and ended on December 17, 2012.[5][6]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

The Gossip Girl book series was originally supposed to be adapted into a film starring Lindsay Lohan with head Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino.[7] When the film project did not get off the ground, Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz took over the project to create a television series. As of October 2006, Schwartz was working on the pilot. He said: "I was very skeptical. I don't want to do The O.C. NYC. But I thought the books were smart. The characters are worldly in a way that Orange County kids aren't."[8] The characteristics for each character in the pilot were based on the first Gossip Girl book.[9] In January 2007, the show was given the green light by The CW.[10]

Production team[edit]

The O.C. creator Josh Schwartz and fellow writer Stephanie Savage have served as the show's executive producers throughout the series' run, followed by Bob Levy and Leslie Morgenstein of Alloy Entertainment, who were assigned in aiding the adaptation of the novels into the series.[10] Following the success of Gossip Girl, Gilmore Girls co-producer, John Stephens was approached by Schwartz and Savage, having previously worked with him on The O.C., and hired him as an executive producer.[11] Joshua Safran, who started as a writer/consulting producer before becoming co-executive producer, was later added as an executive producer. On April 24, 2012, it was announced that he would leave the show at the end of the fifth season to be the new showrunner of NBC's now-cancelled musical series Smash.[12] To fill in Safran's void, co-executive producer Sara Goodman was promoted to executive producer for the sixth season.[13] Alexandra Patsavas who worked with Schwartz on The O.C. was in charge of the music.[14] Eric Daman was at the head of the costume department; he previously had assisted Patricia Field on Sex and the City.[15]

Casting[edit]

"When Veronica Mars was canceled, the following season of pilots for The CW had been announced, and one was Gossip Girl. I read it, and I knew I was sort of old to play any of the kids. I called Dawn Ostroff -- who was the head of The CW at the time -- and said, 'Hey, I did so much narration on Veronica Mars, can I narrate this show? And she said, 'Hey, that's a very good idea.' They knew I had a younger voice, they liked me and they knew I'd show up for work, and I guess that was all I really needed. It was so clear to me how sassy and catty she needed to be."

Kristen Bell on how she landed the narration spot of the show[16]

Featuring nine regular speaking roles, the majority of the ensemble cast was assembled from February to April 2007. Leighton Meester and Blake Lively - who started auditioning in December 2006[17] - were the first two actresses to be chosen in February for the lead roles of Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen, respectively.[18] Penn Badgley, who had previously worked with Stephanie Savage on The Mountain,[17] Taylor Momsen, Chace Crawford, Kelly Rutherford and Connor Paolo also auditioned successfully and landed roles in the series in March, as did Florencia Lozano who appeared only in the pilot, and was replaced by Margaret Colin.[19][20][21] Badgley had initially turned down the part of Dan.[22] Actors for the roles of Chuck Bass and Rufus Humphrey were found in April when English actor Ed Westwick, and Matthew Settle were cast.[23] Westwick first read for the role of Nate but was then asked to try Chuck.[17] As rumors swirled about the impending cancellation of Veronica Mars, it was revealed at The CW's 2007 Upfronts on May 17, 2007 that Kristen Bell had narrated the pilot, thus making her the title character of another show on the network.[24] Jessica Szohr was signed on to portray the recurring role of Vanessa Abrams and received regular status during the fourteenth episode of the first season.[25][26] Kaylee DeFer joined the series in the eighteenth episode of the fourth season and was promoted to series regular for the show's fifth season.[27]

At the conclusion of the fourth season, Momsen, who went on an indefinite hiatus during the season while retaining regular billing,[28][29] and Jessica Szhor both left the show.[30] Throughout the series' run, Connor Paolo consistently declined to elevate his recurring role of Eric van der Woodsen to regular status, citing personal reasons for his decision.[31] After becoming a regular on the ABC series Revenge, Paolo confirmed his departure from Gossip Girl in August 2011.[32]

As the show progressed, numerous recurring guest stars appeared in the show. Michelle Trachtenberg signed on to portray Georgina Sparks.[33] The role had previously been offered to Mischa Barton who passed.[33] Francie Swift and Sam Robards took the parental roles of Anne and Howard Archibald, respectively.[34][35] Caroline Lagerfelt portrayed Celia "CeCe" Rhodes, Serena and Eric's grandmother and Lily's mother.[36] Sebastian Stan made several appearances as Carter Baizen throughout the show's first three seasons.[37]

Filming locations[edit]

Gossip Girl filming in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, France

Primarily filming in New York, Gossip Girl has been declared by New York Magazine as the "Most Restauranty Show Since Sex and the City," citing the pilot episode filming locales such as the Japanese restaurant, Geisha, the Campbell Apartment where Nate and Serena were filmed having sex and the New York Palace Hotel bar Gilt.[38] Other New York City landmarks and well-known establishments were filmed throughout the first season. Victor/Victrola filmed the fictional infamous Chuck Bass burlesque club, Victrola, at The Box Manhattan, a sister club to The Box Soho in London.[39] The fictional Constance Billard-St.Judes School, based on novel writer Cecily Von Ziegesar's alma mater, Nightingale-Bamford used external shots of the Museum of the City of New York.[40]

The second season premiered at the Hamptons and began filming in mid-June. The season premiere opening montage showed a scene at Cooper's Beach that was instead filmed in Rockaway Beach followed by an elaborate white party.[41][42] For the sixth episode of the season, Columbia University was used to film the Yale campus, an episode that followed disappointment from Yale fans due to its erroneous portrayal of the admissions process and reliance on Ivy League university stereotypes.[43] During the season's seventh episode, the Brooklyn Inn is integrated into the show.[44] Remaining true to its New York locations, the show filmed at the Russian Tea Room.[45][46]

The fourth season premiered on September 13, 2010 with the first two episodes filmed in Paris.[47][48] New York Magazine revealed several locations shot at the French University, La Sorbonne in the Latin District (or Quartier Latin) of Paris on July 5.[49][50] Other locations include the Musée d'Orsay, the Eiffel Tower, the Gare du Nord, Avenue Montaigne.[51] and Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Columbia University became the primary filming location for the first few episodes of the season following the Paris story arc.[52]

The fifth season premiered on September 26, 2011 with the first two episodes filmed in Los Angeles, California.[53]

Because of its location in New York, executive producer Stephanie Savage said "We were quickly told it would be too expensive, too complicated" at the beginning of the series. She told it had been proposed to shoot in a Los Angeles studio that would recreate Central Park but they eventually filmed the series in New York.[54] Savage explained their choice to film there: "There's no New York City on TV, or there wasn't when we started making the pilot, except what you could see in the background behind the dead bodies on cop shows. We've never seen the city from the point of view of teenagers. It felt like a world with high stakes for young people." Schwartz added: "What's funny about these teenagers is they grew up watching Sex and the City, even though it wasn't about them. And I think they've probably incorporated that into how they mythologize New York. I fought really hard to shoot the show in New York because we want New York to be a character in the show."[55] Many scenes were filmed in the Empire Hotel on the Upper West Side.[56]

Episode format[edit]

Each episode begins with the home page of the Gossip Girl website with Serena's picture from the pilot episode. Afterward, a recap of events relevant to the upcoming narrative is shown, which ends again with the home page of the website, only this time with a picture from other character(s) with a text about a recent event connected with the picture.

The narrator is Gossip Girl, voiced by Kristen Bell. She begins the recap with the sentence "Gossip Girl here, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite," and ends the recap with whispered voices saying "Where has she been?" "Serena" then the voice of Gossip Girl says: "And who am I?! That's one secret I'll never tell. You know you love me.. XO XO Gossip Girl."

During each episode, there is always a social event taking place, whether small or large. Joshua Safran explained, "we structure it [the show] so that every week, the episode leads to an event. I feel like it is much like a procedural."[9]

Cultural references[edit]

All of the episodes' titles are based on the name of a film or a novel.[57] For example, episode "The Wild Brunch" evokes western film The Wild Bunch and "Seventeen Candles" Sixteen Candles.[57] Episode "All About My Brother" refers to Pedro Almodóvar's All About My Mother while "Pret-a-Poor-J" came from Prêt-à-Porter.[57] "There Might Be Blood" took its title from 2007 film There Will Be Blood.[57] "The Serena Also Rises" was titled after novel The Sun Also Rises. Episode "Easy J" was titled after Emma Stone's hit movie Easy A. Episode "The Age of Dissonance," which was titled after Edith Wharton's novel The Age of Innocence, saw a high school production of the novel taking place.[57] Also The Blair Witch Project (horror movie) into an episode called "The Blair Bitch Project."

Joshua Safran said, "we draw from classic works like Les Liaisons Dangereuses and The Great Gatsby as much as we do from pop culture."[9]

Product placement[edit]

"It was really about showing features on a device. We ususally do about between six and eight scenes in a season of 'Gossip Girl' -- you can't get that in many shows -- where the characters are using their devices. Initially, it was just a wireless phone, but eventually that became a smartphone, a tablet, all these other types of technology that took them through their day and showed how they used it to get from one place to the next."

— Barbra Robin, Senior Vice President, Integrated Marketing[58]

Gossip Girl is known for its product placement. The show had a contract with Verizon Wireless for its first five seasons; all the characters were seen with phones chosen by the brand until the deal ended by the sixth season.[59] During their contract, Verizon Wireless offered exclusive Gossip Girl content and created a website where ringtones of the songs featured on the show could be downloaded.[60] In the summer of 2008, executives of VitaminWater approached The CW for a placement deal. During the second season, the drinks were mentioned several times in dialogues. The partnership helped pay the costs of shooting on location in the Hamptons.[61] An HP TouchPad was prominently displayed in an episode of the sixth season.[62] According to OneNewsNow.com, other sponsors have included Procter & Gamble, L'Oreal, Target and Johnson & Johnson, which allowed the series to earn $28.2 million in ad dollars in 2007.[63]

Cast and characters[edit]

The first episodes of the first season included the original concept from the books, mainly following the lives of the five wealthy and privileged teenage characters in their high school years. Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) is often described as the 'it girl'. It is revealed that she has had a scandalous past that continues to haunt her throughout the show and she is notorious for her many on-again, off-again relationships with countless male characters as well as for her rebellious drive outs. Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) is an outsider who becomes a part of the turbulent Manhattan scene, an aspiring writer and fairly straight-arrow guy with a good heart and morals. Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) is the beautiful Queen Bee of Constance Billard School's social scene, as well as Serena's best friend and occasional rival. Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford) is the perfect "Golden Boy" of the Upper East Side, always being fought over by the prominent female characters, and deals with a lot of issues that compromise his "perfect" life. Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) serves as the show's antihero, being a womanizer and party lover with a troubled life and past that provide a hidden vulnerable side.

Besides the five regulars cast members mentioned above, three more characters appeared in the pilot episode. Jenny Humphrey (Taylor Momsen) is Dan's younger sister, who desperately tries to become the next queen bee, a goal that eventually makes her realize the true values of life; Lily van der Woodsen (Kelly Rutherford) Serena's mother; and Dan and Jenny's father Rufus Humphrey (Matthew Settle). They share a romantic past that follows them throughout the show and eventually leads to their marriage. The Humphrey family is centered upon as they explore life on the 'Upper East side', Dan trying to look after his little sister as she discovers the party scene.

Vanessa Abrams (Jessica Szohr), enters the show in its first season as Dan's past love, but still close friend, and becomes a series regular after the 14th episode. Other characters include Eric van der Woodsen (Connor Paolo), Serena's kind and compassionate brother, who comes out late in the first season and becomes very close with Jenny. Georgina Sparks (Michelle Trachtenberg) is an occasional antagonist in the show, with a recurring role. Carter Baizen (Sebastian Stan) appears as Chuck's enemy with a romantic interest in Serena.

Kaylee DeFer plays Ivy Dickens, an actress from Miami who is hired by Lily's sister, Carol Rhodes (Sheila Kelly), to portray her daughter, Charlie Rhodes, to access her trust fund. Ella Rae Peck plays the real Charlie Rhodes, who goes by the name of Lola.

Many characters appear as guest stars as parents and other relatives of the main cast. Eleanor Waldorf-Rose (Margaret Colin) and Harold Waldorf (John Shea) appeared as Blair's divorced parents, with Cyrus Rose (Wallace Shawn) as Eleanor's husband and Blair's stepfather. Dorota Kishlovsky (Zuzanna Szadkowski) is Blair's loyal maid. Anne Archibald (Francie Swift) and Howard "The Captain" Archibald (Sam Robards) are Nate's estranged parents, while William van der Bilt I (James Naughton) and William "Tripp" van der Bilt III (Aaron Tveit) are Nate's manipulative grandfather and cousin, respectively. Bartholomew "Bart" Bass (Robert John Burke) is Lily's late husband and Chuck's demanding father, and Jack Bass (Desmond Harrington) is Bart's brother and Chuck's manipulative uncle. Celia "CeCe" Rhodes (Caroline Lagerfelt) is Serena's grandmother and Lily's mother and Gabriela Abrams (Gina Torres) is Vanessa's mother. Introduced in Season 4 is Blair's new boyfriend/fiance, Prince Louis of Monaco (Hugo Becker).

Series overview[edit]

Season 1: 2007–2008[edit]

The first season's main focus is Serena's sudden return to the Upper East Side following her mysterious disappearance. Initially, Serena's one night-stand with Nate Archibald, boyfriend to Serena's best friend Blair Waldorf, was thought to be Serena's reason to leave. However, near the end of the season, the cunning Georgina Sparks, Serena's former friend, arrives on the Upper East Side, revealing that the night Serena slept with Nate didn't end there—Serena went to meet Georgina at the Stanhope Hotel and a man died in her presence under the influence of drugs, while being taped. The season also revolves around Serena's relationship with outsider Dan Humphrey; Blair's relationship with Nate and her affair with his best friend Chuck; brief romance between Serena's mother and Dan's father; Blair and Jenny's mentor-protege relationship; and the arrival of Dan's former best friend Vanessa Abrams. The season ends with the revelation of Serena's secret, causing the break up of Dan and Serena, and Chuck leaving Blair at the airport while she finds a new fun summer fling, before leaving for Europe. The pilot episode of the show follows the first book in the Gossip Girl series, but after that the show starts to separate itself from the books with different story lines.

Season 2: 2008–2009[edit]

The second season mainly explores the senior year of the characters with the premiere at the Hamptons and primarily focused on the relationship between Blair and Chuck, who were labeled "the heart of GG" by People magazine.[64] At first, both characters negate their feelings for one another, and go through random schemes and manipulations.

The first half of the season deals with Serena's growing prominence as a socialite which draws the attention of Blair as their friendship is tested when the character of Poppy Lifton (Tamara Feldman) arrives, a socialite who inadvertently drives a wedge between Serena and Blair after inspiring Serena to take her place in the spotlight during the early episodes of the season.[65] Nate faces the aftermath of his father's criminal past and pursues a relationship with Vanessa, who becomes further entangled into the world of the Upper East Side. Jenny reignites her rebellious nature by pursuing a career as a fashion designer, thereby challenging Rufus' skills as a parent while Dan's friendship with Nate and relationship with Serena slowly transforms him from a social outcast to an insider. The show finished its first half during the first week of December, with the shocking death of Bart Bass.

The second half of the season reveals the impact of Bart's death, causing a significant change of character direction for Chuck that subsequently leads to the growth of Rufus and Lily's relationship, the revelation of the two having a son together, and contributing to the decline of Dan and Serena's relationship. John Shea reprised his role as Harold Waldorf during a Thanksgiving episode and becomes entangled in Blair's striving ambition of attending Yale. Desmond Harrington entered the series as Chuck's manipulative uncle, Jack Bass. Feldman returned to the season with Armie Hammer as Serena's new love interest, Gabriel Edwards.[66] Michelle Trachtenberg returned to the role of Georgina Sparks and filmed her scenes during February, also adjoining her character's return to the second season mystery.[67]

A backdoor pilot for a spin-off premiered in May, but was not picked up by The CW to the limited number of spots available on their fall line-up.[68]

As the storylines progressed, the role of "Gossip Girl" is slightly decreased. She continues to run her blog, but she keeps the ultimate information for herself, sending it in the final episode as the last blast, where Serena decides to find out who "Gossip Girl" really is, but ultimately fails. The season finale ended with a well-received kiss between Blair and Chuck.

Season 3: 2009–2010[edit]

The third season focuses on Blair, Dan and Vanessa getting into New York University along with movie star Olivia Burke (Hilary Duff),[69] whom Dan starts dating; Nate getting into Columbia University; Serena taking a year off from school; Jenny becoming Queen Bee at Constance; and Chuck running Bass Industries, along with now adoptive mother Lily van der Woodsen. The first couple of episodes feature part of the summer vacation, respectively the week before the start of University classes and school. The role of "Gossip Girl" is slightly decreased throughout the season.

Many guest stars were cast throughout the season including Joanna García as Bree Buckley, a love interest for Nate; America's Next Top Model creator Tyra Banks as Ursula Nyquist, a larger than life actress whom Serena served as a publicist for a short time; William Baldwin as William van der Woodsen, Serena and Eric’s father, Lily’s ex-husband and Rufus’ long-time rival; and cameos by Lady Gaga, Tory Burch, Jimmy Fallon, Plastiscines, Georgina Chapman and Sonic Youth.[70][71][72]

The ninth episode of the season caused a significant amount of controversy. Parent groups urged The CW not to air the episode as it contained a threesome. The preview for the episode revolved around an "OM3" theme. CW ignored these requests and announced that it was going to air the episode as planned.[73]

Robert John Burke, who played Chuck's father, Bart Bass, returned for A Christmas Carol themed episode in December, while Desmond Harrington returned as Chuck's uncle Jack with a major storyline affecting Chuck and Blair's relationship again and involving Chuck's estranged mother Evelyn Bass Fisher (Laura Harring).[74][75]

The season focused hugely on Jenny Humphrey's development and downward spiral. She spends a good part of the season alienating herself from Eric, her former best friend, and chasing after Nate, who has his heart set on Serena. At the end of the season, due to her one night stand with Chuck Bass, and new drug dealing habit, Jenny's father and Lily send her to Hudson, New York, to live with her mother. Other story lines include: Blair and Chuck's attempt and ultimate failure at having a successful relationship; Dan and Vanessa moving from friends to something more; and Serena's attempts to find herself through a new job and brief love affairs with Carter, Nate's married cousin Tripp, and eventually Nate himself.

Season 4: 2010–2011[edit]

Season four's main mystery revolves around Juliet Sharp (Katie Cassidy), a secretive girl with an agenda against Serena involving her past. The second half of the season builds on the complications of Serena's new found relationship with her former teacher Ben, Chuck trying to regain control of Bass Industries from Russell Thorpe (Michael Boatman), and Dan and Blair's growing friendship. The season also focuses on Lily's past betrayals coming back to haunt her; Chuck and Blair's tumultuous relationship after their break up; Dan and Vanessa's deteriorating friendship; and the arrival of Serena's cousin Charlie Rhodes (Ella Rae Peck) to the Upper East Side. By the end of the season, Blair has ignored Chuck, Dan has told Vanessa they are no longer friends, and Serena is on that single grind.

The first two episodes of the season took place with Serena, Blair, and Chuck in Paris. While in Paris, Blair meets Prince Louis Grimaldi, to whom she later becomes engaged at the end of the season.

Taylor Momsen, who plays Jenny Humphrey, was absent for the majority of the season but made appearances in "Easy J," "Juliet Doesn't Live Here Anymore," "The Witches of Bushwick," and "Gaslit."[76]

Season 5: 2011–2012[edit]

The series was renewed by The CW for a fifth season on April 26, 2011.[77]

On May 9, 2011, it was announced that Taylor Momsen and Jessica Szohr would not be back as series regulars, although both have been invited back as guest stars. Kaylee DeFer plays a character named Ivy Dickens who is being paid by Lily's sister, Carol Rhodes (Sheila Kelley), to impersonate her daughter, Serena's cousin Charlie Rhodes (Ella Rae Peck). She was also promoted to series regular status for season 5.[78]

The season began in Los Angeles when a re-energized Chuck and Nate decided to pay Serena a visit. Chuck has a newfound philosophy and says "yes" to everything, even death defying stunts. Serena continues to work on the movie set, and is offered a full-time job at the end of the episode. Nate begins an affair with an older woman, Diana Payne, who may have an ulterior motive for being with Nate. Back in New York, Dan learns that Vanessa has published one chapter of his novel, and Blair continues to plan her wedding to Louis, and she also learns she is pregnant. After realizing she still had feelings for Chuck, Blair and Chuck decide to go away together, but their car crashes. As a result of the crash Blair loses her baby, Chuck nearly dies, and Blair eventually marries Louis. The season also focuses on Nate running online gossip site NYSpectator, Blair and Dan's friendship turning into a relationship, Chuck's quest to find his real parents which leads him to discover that his father, Bart, is still alive, and the effects of CeCe's death on Lily and her marriage to Rufus. At the end of the season, Blair makes a choice between Dan and Chuck, and Lily makes a choice between Rufus and Bart. Serena is seen leaving town while Dan decides to write a new book about the Upper East Side, with the help of Georgina.

Season 6: 2012[edit]

On May 11, 2012, it was announced Gossip Girl would return for a shortened sixth and final season, which premiered on October 8, 2012.[4][79] During the CW upfronts, network president Mark Pedowitz said the number of episodes had not yet been decided and could consist of 10, 11, or 13 episodes with a retrospective, meaning it would end before Christmas.[80]

The season premiered with 0.78 million viewers tuning in, marking a series low for the show. The following week, there was a further drop in viewership, with only 0.76 million viewers, once again breaking the record for series-low ratings.

On October 29, 2012, the episode "Portrait of a Lady Alexander" was postponed due to the impact of Hurricane Sandy on the Eastern Seaboard. Widespread power outages led to the decision of pushing the new episode back a week and re-airing the previous episode, "Dirty Rotten Scandal."[81]

On December 17, 2012, the series broadcast its finale on U.S. television on the CW network. Actress Kristen Bell, the narrator of the series during all seasons makes a cameo as herself (but is not revealed as Gossip Girl). Several former Gossip Girl cast members appear in the finale, including Jessica Szohr, who played Vanessa Abrams, and Katie Cassidy, who played Juliet Sharp. Former series regulars Connor Paolo (Eric van der Woodsen) and Taylor Momsen (Jenny Humphrey), each appear also with one line a piece.

Season 6 begins with Chuck and Blair who part ways after making a pact that they will unite once they both achieve their individual goals. Chuck goes on his way to try to regain Bass Industries from his father who stole it from him while Blair tries to find herself and her individuality by taking over her mother’s company at her mother's request. Serena pursues a relationship with someone older and who happens to have a 17 year old daughter, Sage who will do anything to try to split them up. Nate focuses on trying to get the Spectator to become successful and dates Sage. Meanwhile Dan focuses on completing his second book with Georgina’s help. In the end after a surprising turn of events Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) and Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) get married.[82] In the final moments the series speeds forward five years later where Chuck and Blair are revealed to have had a child and Nate Archibald appears successful and is rumored to be running for Mayor of New York. The show ends with the wedding of Serena van der Woodsen and Dan Humphrey. It's a small ceremony, in what looks like Blair and Chuck's home together, where Lily is with Serena and Eric's father, William, and Rufus seems to be happy with another woman (musician Lisa Loeb, who guest-starred in the first season) along with Dorota, Nate, Jack Bass and Georgina (who are now together), Jenny and Eric. A brief shot of The Spectator reveals that Lola Rhodes and Olivia Burke are now starring in a film about Ivy Dickens, based on her best-selling autobiography. It is revealed that Dan is Gossip Girl.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Gossip Girl poster featuring critical review

Gossip Girl initially received mixed reviews. Due to the show's pedigree as an adaptation of The New York Times bestselling novel series, the show was considered to be one of the more anticipated new shows of the 2007–2008 television season. An August 2007 survey by OTX, a global media research and consulting firm, placed the show on the list of top ten new shows that viewers were aware of.[83] Though the pilot was the recipient of many positive reviews from publications such as Variety, The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and the Boston Globe, other reviewers described it as a guilty pleasure rather than an hour's worth of must-watch television.[84][85][86][87] Metacritic gave it a score of 54, based on the reviews of 26 different publications.[88]

Toward the conclusion of the first season, Janet Malcolm of The New Yorker criticized the show for its deviations from the novels. She has stated that the series was, "related to the original only in the names and outlines of the characters." She further asserted that, "Without von Ziegesar's fast, mocking commentary to propel them, the TV episodes are sluggish and crass—a move from Barneys to Kmart."[89] However, author Cecily von Ziegesar has expressed support for the show, noting that all of her major plot points were present in the pilot.[90]

As the show continued its first season, the response became considerably more positive, and by the second season critical response was favorable. Metacritic gave the new season an improved score of 71. "Summer's been good to this girl," claimed Entertainment Weekly, who awarded the series its highest grade of "A."[91] The New York Daily News claimed the show had found its footing by stating "It knows exactly what it wants and needs its new hybrid product to be. The hockey fights video of teen romance drama." Gossip Girl was designated the "Greatest Teen Drama of All Time" by New York magazine.[92] The magazine wrote, "the show has resurrected the potential for scripted dramas to be effective social satire—to present a world more accurately than a "reality" program can. Gossip Girl presents a wealth-eye view of the city, but because it is a cartoon we can laugh along with the conspicuousness of the consumption."[93]

The Parents Television Council has shown particular criticism of the series, especially with its "OMFG" ad campaign from April 2008.[94] It also named the episode "Victor/Victrola" the worst television program of the week in which the episode originally was broadcast.[95] Quotes from the Parents Television Council review, as well as negative quotes from the San Diego Union-Tribune, New York Post and the Boston Herald, were used on various advertisements for the second season. The Hartford Courant chronicled a variety of negative responses to the ads. The ads included quotes like "Every Parent's Nightmare", "Mind-Blowingly Inappropriate" and "A Nasty Piece of Work" in what appears to be an effort to continue the 'rebellious teen' style of the show.[96][97]

With the approach of the fifth season, New York Magazine reviewed the life expectancy of the show, noting its waning cultural relevancy despite the growing prominence of its actors, and the loss of its status as The CW's No.1 show, having been beaten out in terms of ratings by other shows of the network like Supernatural and 90210. "The series itself hasn't quite kept up, even if its plotting is as juicy and lunatic as ever." and that "The cast would all rather be making movies, while the showrunners are focusing on launching new projects via their nascent Fake Empire production company (including CW newcomer Hart of Dixie). Barring an unexpected brand reboot or another stab at a spinoff, we're afraid the end is near. XOXO."[98] AOL TV ranked Gossip Girl the 20th Best School Show of All Time and the 4th TV's Biggest Guilty Pleasure.[99][100] The show was declared the tenth highest rated show for the first ten years of IMDb.com Pro (2002-2012).[101]

There was much controversy to Dan being revealed as Gossip Girl in the season finale. Dan had always struggled to be an insider among the Upper East Side and had supposedly created Gossip Girl to gain more power and had been the one “pulling the strings the whole time” as mentioned by Serena in the finale. However, there was much speculation and controversy regarding this decision. Penn Badgley who played Dan, stated in an interview that he himself found it funny that they had decided to make him be Gossip Girl as there were too many loopholes in the show for this to make sense. There were times during the show where he would be alone and read a Gossip Girl post and be completely blown away by it. In the interview he stated, “All those times that he was alone, that was him acting. So that means he was completely schizophrenic and transgender." [102]

Cultural influence[edit]

In 2008, The New York Times reported the show has had a profound impact on retail, saying Gossip Girl is probably "the first [show] to have been conceived, in part, as a fashion marketing vehicle." While it has had middling success in terms of ratings, it “may well be the biggest influence in the youth culture market,” said a trendspotter.[103] According to Zoe Fox of Mashable, the show popularized social media networks and mobile communication, becoming "a pioneer in its use of mobile."[104] In 2008, New York Magazine named the series as "Best Show Ever."[105] In 2009, Rolling Stone named the series as "TV's Hottest Show".[106]

On January 26, 2012, in honor of the series' 100th episode, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg visited the set and proclaimed the date Gossip Girl Day, citing the show's cultural influence and impact on the economy of the city. "Gossip Girl has made New York a central character. While Gossip Girl is drawing fans in with its plot twists, the show also attracts many of them to visit New York, contributing to our incredible 50.5 million visitors last year. In fact, the economic impact of Gossip Girl and other television shows and films that are made in New York really can be felt directly in all five boroughs. The 100th episode of Gossip Girl is a real landmark, and I want to congratulate the show's cast and crew," he stated.[107]

The popularity of the series was also indirectly responsible for the creation of the reality series NYC Prep, which ran for one season on Bravo.[108][109] The series has been referenced in films such as Fired Up!, Get Him To The Greek, Easy A, Vampires Suck, Just Go With It and Horrible Bosses, and TV series such as Royal Pains, Entourage, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, and Skins, among others.[110]

Popular among teenagers and young adults, Gossip Girl cast has posed on the cover of numerous mainstream magazines, including Rolling Stone, People, Nylon, New York Magazine, TV Guide, New York Post, Vogue, Out Magazine, Details (magazine) and, Entertainment Weekly.

A Russian social network Unface.me was launched in 2013 inspired by the series, where users can create an alter-ego and share secrets and gossips anonymously.[111]

Awards and accolades[edit]

Awards and accolades for Gossip Girl
Year Result Award Category Recipients
2008 Nominated Artios Award Outstanding Achievement in Casting – Television Pilot – Drama[112]
2008 Nominated ASTRA Award Favourite International Program[113]
2008 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Show Drama[114][115]
2008 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Breakout Show[114][115]
2008 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress Drama[114][115] Lively, BlakeBlake Lively
2008 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Breakout Female[114][115] Lively, BlakeBlake Lively
2008 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Breakout Male[114][115] Crawford, ChaceChace Crawford
2008 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Villain[114][115] Westwick, EdEd Westwick
2008 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress Drama[114][115] Meester, LeightonLeighton Meester
2008 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor Drama[114][115] Crawford, ChaceChace Crawford
2008 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor Drama[114][115] Badgley, PennPenn Badgley
2008 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Breakout Female[114][115] Meester, LeightonLeighton Meester
2008 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Breakout Female[114][115] Momsen, TaylorTaylor Momsen
2008 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Breakout Male[114][115] Westwick, EdEd Westwick
2008 Nominated People's Choice Award Favorite New TV Drama[116]
2009 Nominated ASTRA Award Favourite International Personality or Actor[117] Blake Lively
2009 Nominated Costume Designers Guild Outstanding Costume Design for Television Series – Contemporary Eric Daman
2009 Nominated Prism Award Drama Episode

For episode "Woman on the Verge"[118]

2009 Nominated Prism Award Performance in a Drama Episode[118] Blake Lively
2009 Nominated ASTRA Award Favourite International Program[117]
2009 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Show Drama[119]
2009 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor Drama[119] Crawford, ChaceChace Crawford
2009 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress Drama[119] Meester, LeightonLeighton Meester
2009 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Villain[119] Westwick, EdEd Westwick
2009 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice Music Soundtrack[120]
2009 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor Drama[120] Badgley, PennPenn Badgley
2009 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Parental Unit[120] Settle, MatthewMatthew Settle
2009 Won Young Hollywood Awards Breakthrough Performance Male[121] Ed Westwick
2010 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Show Drama[122]
2010 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress Drama[122] Meester, LeightonLeighton Meester
2010 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor Drama[122] Crawford, ChaceChace Crawford
2010 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice Female Scene Stealer[122] Duff, HilaryHilary Duff
2010 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress Drama[123] Lively, BlakeBlake Lively
2010 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor Drama[123] Badgley, PennPenn Badgley
2010 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Villain[123] Westwick, EdEd Westwick
2011 Nominated People's Choice Award Favorite TV Drama Actress[124] Lively, BlakeBlake Lively
2011 Nominated People's Choice Award Favorite TV Drama Actor[124] Crawford, ChaceChace Crawford
2011 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Show Drama[125][126]
2011 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Drama[125][126] Lively, BlakeBlake Lively
2011 Won Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Drama[125][126] Crawford, ChaceChace Crawford
2011 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Drama[125] Badgley, PennPenn Badgley
2012 Nominated People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Drama Actress[127] Blake Lively
2012 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Drama Series[128]
2012 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Drama Actress[128] Leighton Meester
2012 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Drama Actor[128] Ed Westwick
2012 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Drama Actor[128] Penn Badgley
2012 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Villain[129] Michelle Trachtenberg
2013 Nominated People's Choice Awards Favorite Network TV Drama[130] Gossip Girl
2013 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Show: Drama[131]
2013 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actor: Drama[131] Penn Badgley
2013 Nominated Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Drama[131] Blake Lively

U.S. television ratings[edit]

The series premiere was watched by 3.50 million viewers and achieved a 1.6 Adults 18–49, coming in last place in its 9:00 pm timeslot on Wednesday nights.[132] However, the show was noted to have held the best audience retention of America's Next Top Model.[133] The season ended with 3.00 million viewers.[134] The second season premiered with 3.43 million viewers.[135] The second season ended with 2.23 million viewers.[136] The third season premiered with 2.55 million viewers.[137] The third season ended with 1.96 million viewers.[138] The fourth season premiered to 1.83 million viewers and a 1.0 for adults 18–49.[139] Episode 4.04 hit season highs in all categories with a 2.8 rating in The CW's target of Women 18–34, a 1.7 in Adults 18–34 and 1.1 in Adults 18–49.[140] The fourth season ended with 1.36 million viewers.[141] The fifth season premiered with 1.37 million viewers.[142] The fifth season ended with 1.44 million viewers.[143]

Despite this, throughout season five, Gossip Girl continued to see a decrease in viewers. Season six premiered to 0.78 million viewers, making it not only the least viewed season premiere for the series, but also the least viewed episode in show's six-year run. The following episode saw a decrease to 0.76 million viewers, which once again marked a new series low in terms of viewers. The series finale was watched by 1.55 million viewers, the highest viewed episode since season four.

Season Timeslot Season premiere Season finale TV season Rank U.S. viewers
(in millions)
Rating
(adults 18–49)
1 Wednesday 9/8c
Monday 8/7c
September 19, 2007 May 19, 2008 2007–08 #196[144] 2.35[144] 1.2[145]
2 Monday 8/7c September 1, 2008 May 18, 2009 2008–09 #168[146] 2.48[146] 1.4[145]
3 Monday 9/8c September 14, 2009 May 17, 2010 2009–10 #135[147] 2.02[147] 1.1[147]
4 September 13, 2010 May 16, 2011 2010–11 #139[148] 1.64[149] 0.8[150]
5 Monday 8/7c September 26, 2011 May 14, 2012 2011–12 #188[151] 1.18[152] 0.6[152]
6 Monday 9/8c October 8, 2012 December 17, 2012 2012–13 140[153] 0.90[154] 0.5[154]

DVR ratings[edit]

Online ratings[edit]

The series was the 5th most-binged TV series on Subscription Video-on-Demand (SVOD) Services; derived from NPD’s VideoWatch Digital, consumer tracker based on data from 313,866 SVOD TV transactions across 26,176 SVOD subscribers that were completed between January 2012 and January 2013. [5]

Distribution[edit]

Gossip Girl aired on The CW on Mondays.[155] In addition to the television broadcast of the show, episodes of Gossip Girl have also been released on the Internet. In October 2011, The CW signed a deal allowing all Gossip Girl episodes to be streamed on Netflix.[156] The same month, the network signed a deal with Hulu. Both CWTV.com and Hulu streamed episodes for free, but only the five most recent installments were available for viewing.[157] All seasons of Gossip Girl are also available through the iTunes Store and Amazon Instant Video where each episode can be purchased separately or in complete season sets.

As of 2012, the series was broadcast in 197 countries.[17]

Syndication[edit]

On July 25, 2012, Style Network announced that it had acquired the off-network rights to Gossip Girl and started airing repeats of the show on August 15, 2012.[158]

Merchandise[edit]

DVD releases[edit]

The DVD sets of each season were released in various regions after their television broadcast.

DVD Name Release dates Technical details Bonus Features
Region
1
Region
2
Region
3
Region
4
The Complete First Season August 19, 2008 August 18, 2008 October 22, 2008 April 15, 2009
  • 5-Disc Set
  • Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Chinese, English, French, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai
  • Running time: 810 minutes
  • Unaired Scenes
  • The Beginning, XOXO: Concept to Execution Featurette
  • Gossip Girl Couture Featurette;
  • A Gossip Girl Wedding Featurette
  • LOL: Gag Reel
  • The Pierces "Secret" and "Boring" Music Videos
  • Downloadable Audiobook of the Original Best-selling Novel, read by Christina Ricci.
The Complete Second Season August 18, 2009 September 28, 2009 October 2, 2009 October 28, 2009
  • 7-Disc Set
  • Aspect ratio (image): 1.78:1
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Thai
  • Running time: 810 minutes
  • 5th Ave. Meets Gossip Girl: Tour the Gossip Girl Crowd's Favorite Haunts
  • Faces Behind the Design: Creative Forces Behind the Show's Art and Fashion
  • Chasing Dorota Webisodes
  • Gag Reel
  • Downloadable Audiobook of the Best-selling Novel Gossip Girl, You Know You Love Me by Cecily von Ziegesar, read by Christina Ricci; *Unaired Scenes
The Complete Third Season August 24, 2010 August 23, 2010 October 2, 2010 September 1, 2010
  • 5-Disc Set
  • Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Running time: 935 minutes
  • Gossip Girl Mode: Interactive Viewing Experience on Episode 16, "The Empire Strikes Jack"
  • A Gossip Girl Fabulous Affair: Throwing a Party Gossip Girl-Style
  • Lady Gaga "Bad Romance" and Plastiscines "Bitch" Music Videos
  • Gag Reel
  • Unaired Scenes
The Complete Fourth Season August 23, 2011 August 15, 2011 September 2011 September 7, 2011
  • 5-Disc Set
  • Aspect ratio: 1.77:1
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Chinese, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Running time: 935 minutes
  • Bisoux a Paris!: Go Abroad on a Spree in Paris with the Cast and Creative Teams
  • Exposing Gossip Girl: The Making of Episode 18: The Complete Lowdown on the Creative Processes Behind "The Kids Stay in the Picture"
  • Gag Reel
  • Unaired Scenes
The Complete Fifth Season September 25, 2012 September 3, 2012 October 12, 2012 September 12, 2012
  • 5-Disc Set
  • Aspect ratio: 1.77:1
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Chinese, French, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Running time: 1032 minutes
  • 5 Years of Iconic Style
  • Gossip Girl Turns 100
  • Gag Reel
  • Unaired Scenes
The Complete Sixth and Final Season[159] February 12, 2013 February 18, 2013 July 19, 2013 February 27, 2013
  • 3-Disc Set
  • Aspect ratio: 1.77:1
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French, Korean
  • Running time: 430 minutes
  • "A Big Farewell and XOXO to the Upper East Siders" Featurette
  • Gossip Girl Prequel: It Had To Be You (Audiobook)
  • Gag Reel
  • Unaired Scenes
The Complete Series[159] February 12, 2013 February 18, 2013 July 19, 2013 TBA
  • 121 Episodes
  • 30-Disc Set
  • Aspect ratio: 1.77:1
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese
  • Same Bonus Features as the Individual Season Sets

Notes:

  • In Australia there is alternative cover art for Season 1. There are also three different versions of Season 2 (the standard edition, a special 8-disc edition, and an alternative cover art—which is the same cover art used for Season 2, Part 2 in the UK).
  • Season 2 was first released in two parts in Region 2. Part One was released on April 13, 2009 and Part Two was released on August 10, 2009, while the complete season was released later, on September 28, 2009.

Soundtrack[edit]

The first soundtrack of the TV series, OMFGG – Original Music Featured On Gossip Girl, No. 1 was released digitally on September 2, 2008 and in stores on October 28, 2008.[160]

Fashion[edit]

The show has also made an impact on the fashion world, with multiple clothing lines and other products.

Clothing lines[edit]

In 2009, Anna Sui created a line inspired by Gossip Girl.[161]

On September 16, 2011, it was announced that Warner Bros. and label Romeo & Juliet Couture had partnered to create Gossip Girl's official clothing line inspired by lead characters Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf.[162] The launch of the fashion line took place on September 26, 2011, the same day as the premiere of the fifth season.[163]

Beauty box[edit]

Cosmetics online retailer Birchbox and Gossip Girl have teamed up to create a special Birchbox edition filled with beauty products inspired by the show. The products were chosen by Gossip Girl's makeup department head, Amy Tagliamonti, and hair department head, Jennifer Johnson.[164]

International adaptations[edit]

Gossip Girl spawned several adaptations in other countries. The Turkish version is known as Küçük Sırlar (Little Lies).[165] On March 5, 2012, it was reported that Warner Bros. International Television and Metan Development Group would produce a Chinese teen drama series called China Girl inspired by Gossip Girl. Production is set to start in June with the show airing in November. The show will follow the lives of students at a university instead of a high school.[166] A Mexican version of the series has been greenlit as well by Mexican producer Pedro Torres and is titled Gossip Girl: Acapulco.[167] The show will star Sofía Sisniega, Oka Giner, Jon Ecker, Vadhir Derbez, Diego Amozurrutia, and Macarena Achaga.[168] Filming of the Mexican adaptation began in January 2013 with the series set to air in July 5, 2013 on Televisa.[169][170] A demo of the series has been released.[171] The show will also air in the United States on Univision in 2014.[172] The show was not renewed for a second season.

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