Do We Really Need a Gossip Girl Reboot?

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The internet let out a collective sigh when it was announced this week that Gossip Girl was getting the reboot treatment. 

In this day and age, everything is being rebooted. That's not to say that creativity is lacking in Hollywood. It's the networks. They are banking on these legacy brands in bringing in the viewers as opposed to promoting the heck out of a new IP. 

But given how much the world has changed since the original Gossip Girl, a reboot could work. 

Gossip Girl Cast Poses

For one, the original series ended just seven years ago. That's the source of much of the skepticism from fans. Using the term "reboot" so soon feels a little silly, but that's the way things are going. 

The best thing going for the new take is that original series creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage are behind the wheel alongside OG series EP Joshua Safran to bring this reboot to life. 

In this day and age, it's rare for the original team to be part of the successor shows.

Schwartz and Savage perfectly encapsulated what life was like for some of Manhattan's elite in 2007, and it sounds like the new show could have an exciting hook. 

Related: Gossip Girl Reboot: Officially Happening!

Just read the official logline:

Eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl.

The prestige series will address just how much social media - and the landscape of New York itself - has changed in the intervening years.

gg serena blair

Many were quick to point out that a reboot completely ignoring the original would suck, but the logline certainly makes it seem like the previous events will stick and that someone else will be taking over the website. 

Of course, this means there will be a new crop of teenagers.

There was no getting away from that, but having it set in a world where the likes of Serena Van Der Woodsen (Blake Lively), Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), and the others exist would be beneficial to the potential series' success. 

Georgina Sparks - Gossip Girl

Making it easier to include references to the originals and leaving room for cameos is Warner Bros. TV's ownership of the original Gossip Girl, meaning it should be relatively easy to entice original stars. 

Given that the new show will focus on how much social media has changed in the years since the first iteration went dark, it's possible that instead of Gossip Girl having a website, it could be a YouTube page, a SnapChat, or Instagram account.  

GG 101 Screengrab 1

It's all about social media in this day and age and having a website seems a bit outdated for the age group.

We live in a world of people using their influence to help their followers make decisions. Whether it's fad diet products or clothing, or teeth whitening products, that's what the world has become. 

Related: Gossip Girl: How it Went from a Ratings Nightmare to a Network Darling

Thematically, Gossip Girl was always scandalous. As Kristen Bell once said in her role as the elusive blogger, the show was about "the scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite." 

Could Gossip Girl 2.0 even get away with half of the stuff that occurred in the initial six seasons?

The move from The CW to a streaming service should help with that, but the very notion of someone stalking a group of teenagers and coercing them into awful scenarios doesn't play well with viewers quite like it did a few years ago. 

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Another issue is that Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) was revealed to be Gossip Girl in the series finale.

The revelation rendered him a sociopath who manipulated the lives of the people in his inner circle, even going as far as to cause problems for his little sister. 

Making the most out of that pronouncement, Humphry still got the girl in the end after making a lame-ass excuse for stalking everyone. 

Related: HBO Max Will Be New Home to Friends, CW Dramas

Many viewers are still not impressed with the reveal, and that could prevent them from even sampling a new take on the franchise. Still, it is one of few shows that continually garners attention despite its long-past expiration date. 


Gossip Girl helped define the early years of The CW and helped the network hit the sweet spot of the female 18-34 demo to keep it afloat. 

The CW has changed considerably since those days and is more geared towards action-packed shows with superheroes at the helm than ever. 

Much of Gossip Girl's original success was because of its racy material. The PTC condemned the show, and The CW used that to its advantage with a sultry ad campaign with the characters in compromising positions. 

Like this:

The first and second seasons garnered strong reviews, and thanks to the relentless ad campaign, the show grew considerably in younger demos throughout the first 1.5 seasons, but then it stalled. 

Shows about the rich and famous were not resonating as well as they once were, and that's when Gossip Girl started imploding, both in the ratings and in the creativity department. 

Making the leap to a streaming network will likely work in its favor. YOU, starring GG alum, Penn Badgley, has become one of Netflix's most popular series, and it focuses on a sociopath who stalks a young woman through social media. 

You 3

YOU covered the pitfalls of social media by proving how easy it is to discover everything there is to know about someone from their friends to  their deepest, darkest secrets since we post everything there is to know in an attempt to keep up with others. 

If that's the direction Gossip Girl 2.0 is taking, it could become a worthwhile reboot. 

Related: YOU Season 2 Moving to Netflix

HBO Max will want shows that get people talking. The Gossip Girl brand alone should be enough capture the attention of many, but it needs to be different enough from its predecessor to make an impact. 

On top of that, the streaming world was in its infancy when Gossip Girl OG was on the air. Viewership at the time was strong for The CW website leading to the network to remove episodes to drive people to its linear broadcast. 


A new take beginning on a streaming destination will make a big difference.

We don't know how HBO Max will be rolling out its original content, but Netflix has found success with the binge model. All streaming networks other than CBS All Access and and Hulu tend to deliver their produced originals in a weekly format. 

We don't have any HBO Max originals for comparison since the service doesn't launch until 2020, but the "HBO" in the title brings to mind the newsworthy and controversial teen drama Euphoria that's airing on the premium cabler.

Rebooting Gossip Girl is risky, but it's good to know this new take is coming from the original team. They've had years to learn from the mistakes of the past and to understand the current television landscape.

It could turn out to be a show worth watching. 

Over to you, Gossip Girl Fanatics!

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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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