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Early ‘Gossip’ for CW

Network changes debut to Sept. 19

The CW has tweaked its premiere plans for buzzworthy new drama “Gossip Girl.”

Skein, from “The OC” creator Josh Schwartz and “OC” alum Stephanie Savage, will now bow Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 9 p.m. — a week earlier than planned. Move means “Gossip” will get a boost from the season premiere of “America’s Next Top Model.”

CW had originally planned to run a two-hour “Top Model” premiere on Sept. 19, then roll out “Gossip” the following week. So why the change in strategy?

Network insiders said execs realized that by Sept. 19, most high schools and colleges would be back in session. When it became clear that most new skeins wouldn’t bow until at least the week of Sept. 24, C-Dub suits decided it made sense to get out of the gate early — particularly because early buzz on the show has been positive.

It also means “Gossip” will avoid premiering against the much-hyped debuts of NBC’s “Bionic Woman” and ABC’s “Private Practice.”

Fox premiered Schwartz’s “The OC” in August, allowing the show to build up a core audience before the onslaught of other fall debuts.

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