Gossip Girl CANCELED by HBO Max: Streamer ditches reboot and scuttles third season after it was branded a ‘stunning failure’ by critics
- HBO Max has opted not to renew Gossip Girl for a third season
- The show will air its second season finale on January 26
- The revived Gossip Girl failed to spark viewer interest and received poor reviews
- The original CW series ran for six seasons from 2007 to 2012
HBO Max has given its Gossip Girl revival the boot after just two seasons on the streaming service.
The cancellation, which ends hopes of a third season for the drama, was announced on Thursday.
Showrunner Josh Safran shared the news in an Instagram post from Thursday morning, in which he said the series was searching for a new home.
The new version of Gossip Girl, which featured an entirely new cast, mostly failed to live up to the reputation of the original Blake Lively and Leighton Meester–starring series and was panned by major television critics.
No more gossip: HBO Max announced it had canceled Gossip Girl after just two seasons on Thursday. The show failed to live up to critic’s expectations; still from the series
Safran developed Gossip Girl based on the popular novels by Cecily von Ziegesar, as well as the original series, which aired on the CW for six seasons from 2007 to 2012.
The original show was developed by Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz, both of whom served as executive producers on the new version.
Gossip Girl’s second season still has to play out on HBO Max, with the finale scheduled for January 26.
‘We are very grateful to showrunner/executive producer Joshua Safran, and executive producers Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz for bringing us back to the Upper East Side and all the scandals at Constance Billard,’ read a statement released by HBO Max.
Not over yet: Gossip Girl’s second season still has to play out on HBO Max, with the finale scheduled for January 26
‘Although we are not moving forward with a third season of Gossip Girl, we thank them for the enticing love triangles, calculated backstabbing and impeccable fashion this series brought to a new audience.’
Interest in the new Gossip Girl was initially high among fans, but it quickly burned out.
The show initially set a record for the most-watched opening weekend of a new HBO Max series when it premiered in July 2021, but viewer interest quickly died off.
Gossip Girl also was judge a pale imitation of the original by many critics.
The first season scored only a 31 percent rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes when surveying the most high-profile television critics, and although the second season was better reviewed, significantly fewer reviewers bothered to cover it.
In a representative review for USA Today, Kelly Lawler blasted the reboot as a ‘stunning failure.’
‘It’s a cringe-worthy slog, full of unappealing acting, atrocious writing and plot twists that verge on the sociopathic,’ she wrote, after mentioning that none of the original on-screen talent returned, despite being name-dropped in the new series.
Panned: The first season scored only a 31 percent rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes when surveying the most high-profile television critics
Pale imitation: In a representative review for USA Today , Kelly Lawler blasted the reboot as a ‘stunning failure,’ and blasted its ‘unappealing acting, atrocious writing and plot twists that verge on the sociopathic’; the cast seen in July 2021
However, the original narrator, Kristen Bell, returned for the latest show.
On Instagram, Safran announced Gossip Girl’s cancellation with the ‘heaviest of hearts.’
‘The EPs and I will forever be grateful to the network and studio for their faith and support; the writers for their devious brains and dexterous talent; the superstar cast for being the greatest of collaborators and friends; and the crew for their hard work, dedication and love for the project,’ he wrote. ‘This was honestly the greatest set I ever worked on, top to bottom.’
Although he said they were attempting to shop Gossip Girl around in hopes that another network would fund a third season, he admitted it was an ‘uphill battle.’
‘So if this is the end, at least we went out on the highest of highs,’ he added.
Safran concluded with a postscript thanking Gossip Girl fans across the globe.
‘You’re the reason we came back in the first place, and who knows, maybe the reason we will meet again. Much love,’ he added.
Trying to save it: On Instagram, showrunner Josh Safran shared news of the cancellation and said he was trying to shop the show around, though it was unlikely that another network would pick it up
Warner Bros. has lately been on cutting spree, and it streamer HBO Max has canceled several shows and even removed older properties from its streaming service.
However, Gossip Girl’s cancellation is believed to be in response to lackluster response from viewers, rather than an attempt to cut costs, according to Deadline.
By contrast, another revival of Pretty Little Liars has apparently managed to animate its original fan base more than Gossip Girl did.
The series followed a group of privileged high schoolers attending a prestigious private school nearly a decade after the original Gossip Girl blog went quiet.
This time, a group of teachers revive the gossip site as an Instagram account as they try to stir up the gossip mongering students who make their lives difficult.
New generation: The series followed a group of privileged high schoolers attending a prestigious private school nearly a decade after the original Gossip Girl blog went quiet; still from Gossip Girl