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As Ostroff put it, “It holds such a place in pop culture and in society where people just really say, ‘I remember everything around that show.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.The blonde Tarzana, California, native—who, one imagines, leaves a trail of sunflower emojis and the scent of cupcake icing in her wake wherever she goes—had had enough.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.But it has enjoyed a continuing popularity, even 10 years later.It’s currently available on Netflix, where a new generation is discovering the show for the first time.Lady Gaga performed “Bad Romance” on the show, right as she was approaching the height of her fame; David O.
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.
When they started to cast the show, Savage and Schwartz looked at online message boards, where fans of the book series had already decided that Lively—known at this point primarily for her role in 2005’s Lively was not completely sold, though. After the first year [of the show], it’ll quiet down.
Your life will go back to normal and you can start going to school. I’ll do this.’”When I asked Lively if that arrangement ended up working out (even though I already knew the answer), she responded, laughing: “This is advice to anyone: when they say, ‘We promise, but we can’t put it in writing,’ there’s a reason they can’t put it in writing.” She added, “But no, the show didn’t slow down.
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.
magazine featured the (scantily clad) cast of the show on its cover toward the end of the first season, proclaiming in its cover headline (only semi-tongue in cheek), “BEST. EVER.”At its core, though, while the fashion and music and Lively-ness of it all no doubt drew a large swath of viewers, the central, relatable dilemmas faced by the main characters—Blair and Serena, as well as Brooklyn “lonely boy” and eventual Serena boyfriend Dan Humphrey, ostentatious bad boy and Blair soul-mate Chuck Bass, and pinup prepster Nate Archibald—were what kept people tuning in.
Formed by the union of the WB and UPN, the new network—led by then President of Entertainment Dawn Ostroff—was searching for an identity.