×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Program don’t preach

'Gossip Girl' 100th Episode

As the first pure CW show to hit 100 episodes, “Gossip Girl” can add durability to its list of achievements for the network.

“It was the CW’s first real cultural hit and truly shaped the brand of the network more than any other series,” says CW president Mark Pedowitz. “?’Gossip Girl’ spoke to audiences by looking at a world that was both relatable and not reachable.”

Narrated by an anonymous blogger keeping tabs on the rich and privileged in Manhattan, “Gossip Girl” launched in September 2007 as one of the most anticipated shows of the season. Four years and 100 episodes later, with the CW’s other early offerings like “Life Is Wild” and “Hidden Palms” having long ago faded to black, the exploration of wealth and manipulation on New York’s Upper East Side has proven to be a long-lasting phenomenon.

Thanks to its New York Times bestseller pedigree, the show had controversy and pop-culture cred even before its debut. In contrast to family-friendly shows from the CW’s ancestral WB network, including “Gilmore Girls” and the overtly religious “7th Heaven,” TV critics and the Parents Television Council were quick to condemn the racy teen romp that dealt with sex, betrayal, drugs and obscene amounts of money in the hands of morally questionable and troubled teens and their even more ethically challenged parents.

“I would never let my teenager do some of the things I saw on that pilot, that’s for sure,” says WB president Peter Roth with a chuckle. “But I don’t consider the show salacious. I consider the show truthful.”

For creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, the scandalous lives of the bratty and privileged was never what attracted them to the project.

“We certainly weren’t looking to use the show as a platform to teach kids how to behave,” says Schwartz. “But we didn’t conceive the show for shock value. We were excited about the idea of doing a show about the most exciting time of your life and the most exciting city in the world.”

Its risque reputation, fueled by Fox News repeatedly declaring the series the “Most Dangerous in Television,” is something the show has thrived on in campaigns. But those who really watch have come to realize that there is far more to “Gossip Girl” than the debauchery highlighted in promo posters.

“One of the things we really focused on was making sure that the characters were likable,” says Savage. “Because if you weren’t invested in their stories and their relationships with each other, rich kids acting badly wasn’t something that people were going to watch for 100 episodes.”

As the show reaches the 100-episode milestone, it is evident that the characters’ trials and tribulations, complete with threesomes, drug deals, corruption and an upcoming royal wedding, still resonate with the show’s fans, who reach far beyond the intended 18-34 female demo.

“?’Gossip Girl’ is ostensibly a soap opera about the Upper East Side, but when you really break it apart and look closely, it’s about issues of class and what we aspire to,” says director Norman Buckley, who has helmed 10 episodes since the show’s inception.

“It’s about what our values are, and the teen in you can really relate to these issues whether you’re 15 or 35 or 55. It still has the same traumatic pull.”

‘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

  • FC Edmonton defender Albert Watson (5),

    Mediapro Buys Tri-Lite TV, Sets 2019 Roadmap

    Furthering its expansion in  North America, Spain’s Mediapro has purchased Canadian services company Tri-Lite TV. Put through by Mediapro Canada, the deal comes days after Mediapro confirmed the acquisition of 10-year rights to the Canadian Premiere League, a new soccer competition to launch April 27 across the country. Mediapro has also announced global revenues for [...]

  • BBC Studios' ‘Great Bake Off’ to

    APOS: BBC’s ‘Great Bake Off’ to be Reheated in Thailand

    BBC Studios Distribution has sold the Love Productions format “The Great Bake Off” for production in Thailand. It is the cooking competition show’s first localized version in Asia. “Bake Off Thailand” will be produced by APJ&CO, a local production house known for producing the recent seasons of “The Voice Thailand.” Over eight weeks, 12 of the country’s [...]

  • Lutz Schüler Replacing Tom Mockridge at

    Lutz Schüler Replacing Tom Mockridge at Liberty Global’s Virgin Media

    Lutz Schüler is taking the reins at U.K. cabler Virgin Media, replacing media industry veteran Tom Mockridge who is stepping down. New Zealander Mockridge is exiting to move base himself in Italy with his family. He has had a long career in pay TV and newspapers. In TV he worked at several Rupert Murdoch baked [...]

  • Movistar+ Announces Ambitious Original Series ‘La

    Movistar+ Announces Ambitious Original Series ‘La Unidad’

    MELILLA, Spain — Spain’s pay TV leader Movistar+ has announced its newest original series, the anti-terrorist police drama-thriller series “La Unidad,” which started filming last week in the small autonomous Spanish community of Melilla, located on the Moroccan coast. One of the biggest international plays to date for Movistar +, the pay TV/SVOD unit of [...]

  • Visitors arrive at the Hudson Yards

    AT&T Sells WarnerMedia Hudson Yards Space to Pay Down Debt

    AT&T has cut a deal to sell and lease back its WarnerMedia office space in New York’s glitzy Hudson Yards development for $2.2 billion to help pare down its enormous debt load. AT&T said Tuesday it has set a deal to sell its office space at 30 Hudson Yards to an affiliate of Related Companies, [...]

  • Japanese actor Ken Watanabe poses on

    Ken Watanabe to Star in Japan Edition of 'The Fugitive'

    Warner Bros. International Television Production and Japan’s TV Asahi network are teaming to remake “The Fugitive” as a special program that celebrates TV Asahi’s 60th anniversary. Ken Watanabe (“The Last Samurai,” “Godzilla,” “Inception”) will star in the title role made famous by David Janssen in the 1963-1967 U.S. TV series and then by Harrison Ford [...]

  • black lgbtq actors hollywood representation

    TV Roundup: 'Pose' Season 2 Premiere Date Pushed Back on FX

    In today’s roundup, “Pose” gets a new Season 2 premiere date and Sara Gilbert is set to play a recurring role on Season 3 of Netflix’s “Atypical.” FIRST LOOK The TV Academy has unveiled the key art for the 71st Emmy Awards. The new design, which will be used across platforms including the Emmy’s website, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content