Warning: This story contains spoilers from HBO Max’s Gossip Girl.
It may be nine years since the original Gossip Girl came to an end, but the characters live on in the new HBO Max sequel series of the same name.
The new show follows an entirely new group of rich students at the Upper East Side’s Constance St. Jude’s and just like those before them, they run the school. However, a few teachers are done putting up with it.
In the series premiere, a few of the administrators decide to come together to create a shift. How do they do that? Well, relaunch Gossip Girl, the blog that knocked some of the most elite students off their high horses by revealing some of their deepest and darkest secrets.
Since blogs are now out of date, apparently, the group — led by teacher Kate Heller (original influencer Tavi Gevinson) — decide to relaunch Gossip Girl from an Instagram account. That way, they can reach the popular group faster than ever.
While there are early mentions of the original cast, including Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley), Nate Archibald (Chace Crawford) and Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), don’t expect any of them to show up in person.
“We made a decision early on — and I was nervous about this decision, but definitely came to believe it was right — that the audience would never accept these characters if they were in the shadow of the original characters,” showrunner Joshua Safran told The Daily Beast ahead of the premiere. “They’re already in the shadow of the original characters, but if the original characters were there with them in some way, why would you want to briefly get to know Zoya if you suddenly can see Nate? Also, this show is much bigger than the first show. It’s got 16 series regulars instead of seven, and 22 recurring instead of 12, so because the show is bigger, there isn’t enough screen time.”
The producer added that he knew if Blair or another fan-favorite appeared early on, audiences would only want more.
“The decision was: Let’s get season 1 under our belt, and should we get season 2, we’ll have the chance to bring in cameos that are more than glorified cameos but actually give them storylines,” the Soundtrack creator said. “Hopefully we’ll get there and will reach out to the cast if that time comes and see if they’ll want to come. There are some cameos in season 1 from people on the original show, but not the series regulars.”
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So, how are the original cast mentioned? Scroll through the gallery below for every single reference: