'Gossip Girl' HBO Max Reboot Will Have 12 Episodes; Donna Murphy Cast As High School Headmistress
As Gossip Girl fans anxiously await the HBO Max reboot of the cult teen drama, scheduled to debut later this year, OK! is sniffing out all the details on the anticipated series — and has exclusively learned that there will be 12 episodes in its first season.
Additionally, Tony Award-winning stage and screen actress Donna Murphy, who can be seen on the crime drama Power — and is best known for her work on and Off-Broadway — has been added to the cast.
“Donna Murphy is playing the headmistress of the school,” showrunner Joshua Safran, writer and executive producer on the original CW series, exclusively tells OK!.
Murphy voiced the role of Mother Gothel in the Disney animated film Tangled, and she was most recently seen starring in the Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! (alternating the title role with headliner Bette Midler).
As previously reported, the upcoming HBO Max reboot will see a new group of fashion-forward and wealthy Manhattanites navigate the trials and tribulations of high school all the while dealing with, you guessed it … the latest goss.
The Gossip Girl of 2021 will live in the same world as the original 2007 television series, which aired on The CW and starred Blake Lively as It Girl Serena van der Woodsen and Leighton Meester as her frenemy, Blair Waldorf.
However, the reboot will include a new set of angsty teens, original plotlines and star a diverse cast representing students of all races and sexual identities.
A release date is not set, Safran confirms to OK!. “It’s the nature of COVID,” he explains, noting that, thus far, the team has shot two episodes. However, the timeline keeps on getting adjusted due to the ongoing global pandemic. Aside from the obvious challenges of ensuring that the cast and crew remain healthy, shooting itself has become a difficult task with trucks unable to park on the city streets due to outdoor dining in New York City.
The typical lavish events seen in Gossip Girl have been pared down due to the pandemic. “We’ve had to scale down because it would be unconscionable to fit that many bodies in a space if we even could,” Safran admits.
Stay tuned for more exclusive details from the series’ showrunner regarding the return of Gossip Girl.