Gossip Girl’s more diverse and LGBTQ-friendly reboot has been renewed for a second season before the first has even finished airing.
The new series follows a fresh generation of private school teenagers who are being watched and talked about by the elusive Gossip Girl.
The second part of the reboot’s first season is set to air on HBO Max this November and is set nine years after the original came to an end.
Gossip Girl’s first episode quickly became HBO Max’s most-watched original series after surpassing 555,000 US viewers in the first four days.
A large part of the reboot’s success has been credited to the fact it more accurately reflects the diversity of New York, which is a stark contrast to the original show’s predominantly white and straight cast.
“Eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl,” reads an official synopsis. “The prestige series will address just how much social media—and the landscape of New York itself—has changed in the intervening years.”
Gossip Girl stars Emily Alyn Lind as Audrey Hope, Eli Brown as Obi Bergmann IV, Whitney Peak as Zoya Lott, Thomas Doherty as Max Wolfe, Jordan Alexander as Julien Calloway, Evan Mock as Aki Menzies, Zión Moreno as Luna La, Savannah Smith as Monet de Haan and Tavi Gevinson as Kate Keller.
Prior to the reboot airing, showrunner Joshua Safran, who wrote and executive produced the original series, said a majority of the character will be “diverse and/or queer”.
“There was not a lot of representation the first time around on the show,” explained Safran. “I was the only gay writer I think the entire time I was there. Even when I went to private school in New York in the ’90s, the school didn’t necessarily reflect what was on Gossip Girl. So, this time around the leads are nonwhite.”
In an exclusive interview with GAY TIMES and other media, Lind and Smith gushed over the original cast – which included Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Chace Crawford, Penn Badgley and Ed Westwick – and expressed interest in their characters coming back as queer.
Lind, who plays bookworm Audrey Hope in the reboot, said: “I wanna see all of them do it again, but everyone queer. That would be so fun. Our show is very queer, there can always be more!”
Smith, the star behind the manipulative Monet de Haan, added: “Always more queerness to be had.
“We’ve talked about it a lot, but the queerness in the show is approached in a really cool and authentic way, which is so refreshing. They don’t make us stamp our characters’ sexualities on our foreheads, which I think really reflects how we exist and talk about sexuality in our own friend groups.”
The first six episodes of Gossip Girl are available to watch on BBC iPlayer.