Hey there, Upper East Siders! It's been almost 10 years since "Gossip Girl" concluded its six-season run on The CW, but the show is making its return to the airwaves this summer.
The reboot will arrive on July 8 with 10 episodes on HBO Max. While it is set in the same universe as the original show — with occasional Nate Archibald references, and so on — the cast and all the drama is entirely new.
Of course, it wouldn't be "Gossip Girl" if there weren't an omnipresent blogger keeping tabs on Manhattan's elite high schoolers, though this time around, the audience learns the identity of the elusive truth teller in the pilot episode. No spoilers here though — you'll have to tune in to find out who is behind the return of the scandalous blog and how it has been updated for 2021.
Josh Safran, one of the original executive producers, as well as show creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, said he was drawn back to the glamorous world of the Upper East Side.
He told TMRW that after years of discussions, he had met with Schwartz and Savage about a possible return to "Gossip Girl." Safran said he expressed his doubts, but after chatting with them over a meal — and before he could pull out of the parking lot — he had an idea that he "couldn't let go."
"I realized that there was more to look at," he explained, adding that they've now been working on the reboot for more than two years and he has loved it. "I actually think I would like to return to the show every generation ... so it's been really fun to go back and to wonder if this is my life's work in some way."
He explained that while the original version had explored what children inherit from their parents — both the obvious money and less visible psychological trauma — the newer show will take a look at what it means to be authentic.
Safran explained how the characters on the show are "highly curated" on social media and that events in real life will "blow them up."
"It's still got that 'Gossip Girl' math, which is everybody's gonna f---ing look amazing and have lots of sex and all arrive at the same party ... and everything's going to come to a head and explode," he laughed. "I think this version of the show, it's about ... like, be mindful of how you put yourself out in the world because there's always somebody ... to point out the differences between who you say you are (and) who you really are. And in our universe, that's Gossip Girl."
Safran added when they did the first show social media "didn't even exist anywhere close to the extent it does now," so he's excited to be able to dive into what that means for teens today.
"What does it mean to be putting ourselves out there all the time?" he asked. "Every year, there's a new platform and we all join that new platform so we have like 10 platforms running at once, and that's 10 versions of ourselves that we're putting out there and then, here is this thing — Gossip Girl — that is coming to say, 'All of those version of you are not you. What are you doing?'"
Whitney Peak, who plays NYC newcomer Zoya Lott, told TMRW that the show's theme of authenticity was something that spoke to her.
"I think it's like a lot more relatable, having personal and internal conflicts ... because it's like, that's something that everybody deals with," she explained. "Constantly having (in) the back of your head (who) you are versus where you want to be in whatever, your life."
The cast is also significantly more diverse than the original show, both in racial identity and sexual identity. That change was something that was important to the new cast when they signed on, they told TMRW, but they didn't want it just to be about that.
"I don't think it's something to like congratulate us for I think it's just something that's way overdue, and to be normalized," said Emily Alyn Lind, who plays Audrey. " And so yeah, I mean, it is great to be a part of that, because the truth is ... it needs to become a neutral, normalized pattern."
"Gossip Girl" will be available on HBO Max starting on July 8.
See you on the steps of the Met!