Gossip Girl Series vs. Gossip Girl Books: Stephanie Savage Speaks
Stephanie Savage is the producer of Gossip Girl.
Below, she answers a question from Entertainment Weekly about the differences between the television series and the books it is based on:
What do you want to say to the avid GG book fans who complain about the tweaked characters and plotlines on the TV show?
I think that one's a book and one's a TV show you have to write for the medium you are in. In television, a lot of the stories need to be more emotionally grounded. The books also have a longer reset period between them, so you can jump over big story issues between books, whereas with television, viewers kind of expect continuity between the episodes.
It would be very jarring for people if Serena and [her best friend] Blair [played by Leighton Meester] got into a giant fight in the first episode, but in the second episode they were friends again and we never explained why.
So I think you just have to deal with different expectations of the medium that you're working in, and you also have to be free as a writer. The series has 11 books in it right now, but God willing, we're hoping to make 100 episodes.
So you have to be able to find characters that, as a writer, you can just really dig into and live with and put a part of yourself in, and try to update them too. I think Cecily went to school in the '80s, and the books were written in the early 2000s, and there's certain things that might have worked in the books that maybe don't feel like they're going to work now.