‘Gossip Girl’ courts ‘The O.C.’ crowd


JOSH SCHWARTZ was shooting the finale of "The O.C." in Pasadena last season when he began to get an inkling about the potential of his next project. "All these teenagers from the neighborhood had gathered, upset the show was ending," said Schwartz, the young writer-producer who created the gauzy Newport Beach teen soap. "They said, 'You have to do another show for us.' "

In fact, Schwartz told them, he was starting work on a television series based on the popular "Gossip Girl" books. "They all started screaming," he recalled. "I thought, whoa -- this is deep." Set in the rarefied milieu of Manhattan's Upper East Side, the novels by Cecily von Ziegesar have an ardent following among teens, who lap up the tales of a set of pampered private-school students and the anonymous Gossip Girl blog that snarkily documents their misdeeds.

That built-in fan base -- according to its publisher, the 11-book series has more than 4.5 million copies in print -- combined with Schwartz's reputation as a purveyor of smart, sexy teen drama, has helped generate feverish anticipation for the CW television show long before its Wednesday premiere. 

(Source: Los Angeles Times)

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