Gossip Girl revival is almost certainly too expensive to find a new home

Gossip Girl revival is almost certainly too expensive to find a new home

Whitney Peak and Jordan Alexander in Gossip Girl

Whitney Peak and Jordan Alexander in Gossip Girl Photo: Karolina Wojtasik/HBO Max

Say what you like about the (now former) HBO Max revival of Gossip Girl: It wasn’t shy about pushing its budget to the big screen. From the opulent homes of the young Manhattan celebrities to their opulent fashions to their opulent lifestyles, the show was dedicated to embodying a high-society world that, in a word, was… expensive.

Which has now become a pretty serious issue as the show, which was recently canceled on the pro-cancellation streaming service, was reportedly scouting for a new network that might be willing to foot the bill for its expensive taste. This is a post-mortem interview with series creator Josh Safran, who spoke to Vanity Fair this week about the apparent impossibilities facing a possible revival of the revival.

“It takes a lot of money to look this good,” Safran notes in the interview, pointing out that the show would only really break even if it pulled in event TV numbers like House Of The Dragon or recently hit- Premiere The Last Of Us. (Though he also notes, “Who even knows what someone’s numbers are?”, which is one of those enduring giant question marks of the streaming era.)

As for the actual search for a new home, Safran isn’t optimistic:

I don’t think we’re going to end up anywhere. We’re so expensive again. I am so thankful that this was given to me. We were able to throw extravagant events in the biggest places in New York, which I don’t think any of us who work on the show – actors, crew – can believe we even got to do. And that costs a lot of money. But it’s all on screen – I think this show is as great as any show on TV. I just don’t think we’ll end up anywhere else because everyone’s cutting costs.

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Safran says his hope has been to push the show into a fourth season, each covering a single semester of life at Constance Billard. (And notes that he and his writers had already set up a mini writers’ room to outline more specific plans for season three.) He also says that HBO Max actually asked him to tape additional cliffhangers by the end of season two , and now final, season before they switched directions and canceled the series; That being said, the streamer was gracious enough to allow him to “go in and change some of the stuff in the finale at the end. It’s not all related, but the story engine for season 3 started at the end of season 2 and I removed it.”