But ’s creators and show-runners, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, already had the beaches of Newport in their rearview mirror, with their sights on a next project.
They had been sent Cecily von Ziegesar’s popular ] and its kind of crazy four-year run that we wanted to take and apply to something moving forward, and we were really excited about doing something in New York,” Schwartz said over lunch in Los Angeles this past winter.
Ostroff recalled that, about seven or eight years ago, she had a meeting with Chinese executives, who told her that the most illegally streamed show in China was not During the filming of the pilot in 2007—the cast now assembled in New York—Schwartz and Savage felt confident they had magic on their hands.
In addition to Lively as Serena, they had cast relative unknowns Leighton Meester, Crawford, Penn Badgley, and Ed Westwick as Blair, Nate, Dan, and Chuck, respectively.
Eighteen years old at the time, she had just appeared in a small independent film and come to a crushing conclusion: “I realized that [acting] was a business as much as a craft,” she told me more than a decade after the fact, while on the West Coast, where her husband, Ryan Reynolds, was about to start shooting a prime-time soap opera about beautiful, articulate, sun-kissed teenagers living in Orange County, was wrapping up its four-year run.
And it was even more difficult for us, because we were going after a younger, more finicky audience.”It was a perfect storm: a buzzy property, a hot creative team, and a new network.I remember where I was [when watching it] and what I was doing in my life.’”Viewers wanted to dress like the characters; they wanted their haircuts and jewelry and ringtones; they wanted to talk like them and listen to the music they listened to.At some New York City private schools, the show—which featured its lead characters partaking in all sorts of illicit antics—was in fact “banned,” which of course only served, in all likelihood, to make the students want to watch it more.It’s currently available on Netflix, where a new generation is discovering the show for the first time.(Chace Crawford, who played Nate, noted, “It’s so weird how the same demographic has been frozen in time.