CW seeks tentpole project for next season

The CW may utilize an episode of “Gossip Girl” later this year to test the spinoff waters.

According to netlet insiders, one of the hit teen skein’s segs later this season may double as a backdoor pilot for a “Gossip Girl” spinoff. Such a move would save in pilot costs, and allow the CW a chance to gauge viewer reaction before moving forward on such a companion show.

Rumors of a “Girl” spinoff have been percolating for some time, in part because Alloy Entertainment’s “Gossip Girl” book series — from which the TV show was based — already has a spinoff of its own, “The It Girl.”

But sources say a televised “Gossip Girl” spinoff would not be “The It Girl,” nor would it focus on the character of Jenny Humphrey (the character spun off from the “Gossip Girl” books for “The It Girl”), played on TV by Taylor Momsen.

The TV spinoff would nonetheless likely center on one of the show’s nine regular characters — although there’s always a chance a new character could be planted in the backdoor pilot.

A “Gossip Girl” spinoff is still in the very early stages of development, and didn’t seem likely earlier this year. However, the CW may have decided to move forward with one after all now that it’s been forced to scrap “The Graysons,” an origins tale revolving around Batman’s sidekick, Robin.

“The Graysons” was set to serve as the tentpole of this year’s CW development slate. With that project out of the picture, the CW has been hunting for another big-ticket title to prep for next season.

Warner Bros. TV is behind “Gossip Girl,” which comes from exec producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, as well as Alloy.

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