Teen drama series ran for six seasons and made names for Penn Badgley, Blake Lively, Ed Westwick and Leighton Meester
Goodbye “Gossip Girl,” XOXO.
The bi-atchy teen drama that turned into a guilty pleasure for millions, ends Monday with a two-hour finale (8 p.m. on The CW/Ch. 11) that producers say will leave fans satisfied.
“We feel like we got the characters to a good destination,” said Stephanie Savage, who created the show in 2006 with teen angst drama whiz, Josh Schwartz (“The O.C.”).
Among those producers will most fondly miss is the show’s most important personality: New York City.
“I think New York was a huge character in the show,” said Savage. “We joke that she’s our ninth lead.” For six seasons, the show followed the dramatic upheavals in the lives of spoiled, rich prep school kids living on the Upper East Side and playing in the Hamptons.
The backstabbing, snitching and gossip continued as some went to college and others took their shots at the kind of glamorous jobs found only in Manhattan —and script writers’ imaginations.
But always, there was the city.
“You could feel the energy and the color in the streets,” Savage said. “The sight of Dan Humphrey (played by Penn Badgley) running through a sea of yellow cabs, or Serena (Blake Lively) and her brother escaping from a hospital bed to shop at Henri Bendel (on Fifth Ave.) — there’s no substitute for shooting in New York.”
Savage said the network initially resisted the notion of allowing her and Schwartz to film on location in Manhattan, citing costs and other potential difficulties with production.
“It was a big battle,” she said. “Certainly a lot of people thought that when we first start that we’d never be able to shoot at the Met or in Grand Central Terminal — we did both.
“This city is great for shooting, the crews are amazing, the (Mayor’s) film commission is incredible and the people on the streets were always great.”
The show has been lauded as having a huge influence on youth culture and fashion. And of course it also turned some of its stars — like Lively, Taylor Momsen and Leighton Meester — into A-list names.
“We fell in love with our cast fast and hard and could never anticipate their success,” Savage said. “It’s been very emotional and I think we end in a great place.”