×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Four letters transformed youthful series ASAP

'Gossip Girl' 100th Episode

Its debut into society was hardly that of fairytales. Only 13 episodes into its freshman season in 2007, the writers’ strike yanked “Gossip Girl” off the air, and even then it was clear that the most downloaded program on iTunes was hardly the talk of the town.

In spring 2008, that was all about to change. To relaunch the show after a three-month break, CW exec Rick Haskins positioned screen grabs of the stars in compromising positions on billboards everywhere, accompanied by just four capital letters: OMFG.

“It’s probably the best ad campaign I’ve ever seen in (how) it so reflects the tone of a show,” says co-creator Josh Schwartz. “If you saw that OMFG poster, and you saw Chuck and Blair making out in a limo or Nate and Serena at the bar, it’s kind of like, ‘That’s the show!’ Tongue in cheek, racy.”

Haskins, who was allowed full creative license for the relaunch, decided to embrace the new age that “Gossip Girl” represented and speak to the show’s targeted audience, who (as evident from the very first scene of the show) were inseparable from their technology and spoke a different language altogether.

“We’ve always said that we’re the only broadcast network that was born in the digital age, and I think ‘Gossip Girl’ personified that,” says Haskins. “Once the show got up and running, and people started realizing that it really uses the vernacular that everybody was using on their cellphones, we decided to roll out a midseason campaign to solidify that.”

The campaign received its desired reaction and as a result cemented the CW’s status as the OMFG network known for pushing the envelope. Similarly brash campaigns have followed, like “Gossip Girl” WTF (Watch This Fall) ads, the nearly nude “What are you looking at?” posters for “The Beautiful Life” and “Catch VD” (“Vampire Diaries,” that is) billboards.

“We don’t want to be provocative just for provocative’s sake — we actually want to be smart about it,” says Haskins.

‘Gossip Girl’ 100th Episode
Program don’t preach | Four letters transformed youthful series ASAP | Top five OMFG moments in ‘Gossip Girl’ history | Upper East Side stories a feast for Meester | Fans fasten their seatbelts for a sartorial ride

More TV

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Signs of Solidarity and Strain Emerge as Week 2 of WGA-Talent Agency Standoff Begins

    Hundreds of WGA members rallied solidly behind their union last week as the industry grappled with uncertainties spurred by the sudden break between writers and their talent agency representatives. But as the standoff heads into its second week, signs of strain among some WGA members are beginning to emerge. Shalom Auslander, author and creator of [...]

  • Jon Snow Arya Stark Game of

    'Game of Thrones' Final Season Vegas Odds Reveal Wild Theories

    With “Game of Thrones” hype at an all-time high, Las Vegas may be raking in as much money as the Iron Bank. HBO’s fantasy masterpiece has seized the gambling world’s attention nearly as much as the Super Bowl or Kentucky Derby. Fans spew countless theories on social media, such as which characters will be axed [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • Adam Lambert, of Queen, performs at

    Adam Lambert Back to 'Idol' to Mentor Finalists Through Queen's Catalog

    Adam Lambert famously launched his career on “American Idol” a decade ago performing a brilliant audition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He wrapped that amazing eighth season performing with the band on the season finale, and years later earned his current spot as the front man touring as Queen + Adam Lambert. On April 28, Lambert comes full circle as he steps [...]

  • Lily Tomlin SAG Lifetime Acheivement Award

    TV News Roundup: Netflix's 'Laugh-In' 50th Anniversary Tribute Sets Premiere Date

    In today’s TV News roundup, Netflix sets the premiere date for its 50th anniversary special of “Laugh-In.” DATES “Laugh-In: The Stars Celebrate,” the 50th anniversary tribute to the original series by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, will premiere on Netflix on May 14. The special, which was taped at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, pays [...]

  • Texas Tech's Norense Odiase (32) shoots

    Live+3 Ratings for Week of April 8: NCAA Championship Game Dunks on Competition

    The final of the 2019 NCAA basketball tournament, in which Virginia triumphed over a spirited Texas Tech team, unsurprisingly finished way out in front in the Live+3 ratings for the week of April 8. Although the sports broadcast’s scripted competition made some gains, its 5.4 ratings still more than doubled that of “Grey’s Anatomy” in [...]

  • Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million

    Mueller Report Release Draws 11 Million Total Viewers Across TV News

    Coverage of the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report into whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice unsurprisingly caused a ratings bump across TV news yesterday. In terms of overall viewership, around 11 million people tuned in to see Attorney General William Barr’s news conference regarding the report’s release, and the news coverage surrounding it. According [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content