It's official: Gossip Girl is getting the reboot treatment. HBO Max, the upcoming streaming service being launched by WarnerMedia, has handed out a straight-to-series order for a new take on the popular series, which originally aired on The CW. The original creators behind the show are involved with the reboot, which will take place in the same universe as the original series, but will center on a new group of teens.
WarnerMedia announced the news that Gossip Girl will get a 10 episode first season on HBO Max. It's not yet clear when the series will debut, as the streaming service doesn't even have a firm launch date yet, but the service is expected to launch late 2019/early 2020. Josh Schwartz, who created The CW version of the show, is on board to executive produce alongside Stephanie Savage. Joshua Safran is also returning to write the script. Fake Empire, Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros. TV and CBS Television Studios are partnering for the series.
The new Gossip Girl will pick up eight years after the original website went dark. It will center on a new generation of New York private school teens who are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl. The show is said to address how much social media, and the landscape of New York overall, has changed in the years since the original series concluded. It hasn't yet been made clear if any of the original stars, such as Blake Lively or Leighton Meester, will appear in any capacity. It's certainly possible, given that this reboot takes place in the same universe, but it's clear the creators aren't going to hinge the show on the former stars. This is about a new generation.
Another big question is whether or not Kristen Bell will return as the ominous narrator who runs Gossip Girl behind the scenes. It would probably help to have a familiar voice, literally, to anchor this new series to the one that preceded it. The show is based on the series of novels of the same name by Cecily von Ziegesar.
This comes as HBO Max will try and set itself apart in a crowded streaming landscape that is currently dominated by Netflix. Disney+ and Apple+ are also coming out in the near future, with other services like Amazon Prime Video and Hulu (which Disney also controls) out there trying to carve out a corner of the market. While having shows like Friends will help attract some subscribers, HBO Max will need premium, original content in order to make a real go of it.
Gossip Girl originally debuted on The CW in 2007, running for a total of six seasons and 121 episodes. It proved to be a massive, influential hit for the network. There has been some buzz about a possible revival or reboot in recent months, but it wasn't clear exactly what form it would take, as it was mostly just talk. Until now that is, because things just got very real. This news was previously reported by Variety.