Why None of the Original Core Gossip Girl Cast Is Returning for the Reboot

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Even though the show hasn't officially premiered yet, HBO Max's Gossip Girl reboot has been making headlines. The cast is bigger and more diverse. The relative unknowns are sure to be huge, just like their predecessors, and right now, the only returning cast member is the voice of Gossip Girl herself, Kristen Bell. According to the show's creator, Joshua Safran, keeping the OG cast off the new show was a conscious decision, but that if the show gets picked up for a sophomore season, fans might get more Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen.

"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," Safran told The Daily Beast.

Gossip Girl Cast
Gossip Girl Cast

Photo by CLINT SPAULDING/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

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Safran shared that there would be a familiar face or two from the show's original run, though none of them would be considered a "big name," Entertainment Weekly reports. Part of why Nate Archibald, Chuck Bass, Jenny Humphrey, and the rest of the gang aren't in the show is because it's just too big. The new cast has 16 series regulars (Gossip Girl 1.0 had seven) and 22 recurring characters (instead of the original's 12). Safran said that it would be a disservice to the characters if they came back for nothing more than gratuitous fan service.

"There isn't enough screen time," Safran added. "If Blair showed up for two scenes, you'd say, 'I want more Blair.' 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."

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Safran is hopeful that some of the cast would be open to coming back to reprise their roles as Manhattan's elite, though he's also realistic, noting that he'll have to reach out and hope that they'll want to participate.

"Hopefully we'll get there and will reach out to the cast if that time comes and see if they'll want to come," he finished.