A Controversial New Teen Drama Was Just Canceled

HBO has cancelled the Gossip Girl reboot, which will conclude after the current season.

By Sean Thiessen | Updated

The rumors are true: HBO Max’s Gossip Girl reboot has been canceled. Per Deadline, the show will end with its Season 2 finale on January 26, 2023. The series acted as a standalone sequel to the original Gossip Girl television show, which was based on a book series by Cecily von Ziegesar and starred Blake Lively during its 2007-2012 run on The CW.

The Gossip Girl reboot focused on a new cohort of private school teenagers living in modern day New York City. The show leveraged changes in the technological landscape to modernize the spread of rumors and schemes among the show’s main characters. Kristen Bell returned to the series to reprise her role as the show’s narrator, the all-seeing Gossip Girl.

The show was executive produced by original Gossip Girl series creators Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz. Joshua Safran executive produced the CW series and took on the showrunner role for the Gossip Girl reboot. Though the show will no longer continue on HBO Max, Safran hopes that the series will find a new home soon.

Safran confirmed the show’s cancellation on Twitter and assured fans that he will not give up. “We are currently looking for another home, but in this climate, that might prove an uphill battle, and so if this is the end, at least we went out on the highest of highs.” He also told fans that they were the reason the Gossip Girl reboot happened, and may also be the key to its continuation.

The Gossip Girl reboot premiered on HBO Max in July 2021 with a record-breaking debut. At the time, it was the most-watched original series on an opening weekend the streamer had ever had. Despite a strong start fueled by fans of the original, as well as praise for its diverse cast and focus on LGBTQ+ stories, the show amassed mediocre reviews from fans and critics alike.

The show’s second season kicked off with a bang, and has been received much more positively than its first. As the show seems to have found its groove, HBO Max has struck the Gossip Girl reboot down in its prime. The cancellation comes at a time of budget cuts across the board for HBO Max’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, but some speculate that the premature ending of Gossip Girl has more to do with the show’s inability to catch on like the original series.

The original show’s stars have enjoyed continued success; Gossip Girl launched Blake Lively, Chace Crawford, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, and Kelly Rutherford into stardom. When the show was on, it was a cultural staple, a fashion trendsetting machine, and a vision of the near future in its portrayals of the internet and cell phone usage. 

The stars of the Gossip Girl reboot may not have tapped into the culture the way the cast of the original did, but if Joshua Safran and the rest of the Gossip Girl team have anything to say about it, they won’t be signing off just yet.