Gossip Girl reboot 2021: cast of new BBC series, how many episodes are there - and will Blake Lively return?

The US teen drama was originally remade by HBO, with the aim of bringing a new generation of Gossip Girl romance and drama

If you grew up in the Noughties then Gossip Girl will inevitably be a standout TV drama from your teenage years - yes?

Much like Friends and Sex and the City,Gossip Girl is a must-watch drama and it was teased in 2019 that there would be a new season.

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HBO released the next-generation version of Gossip Girl in the US earlier this year and BBC bought the rights to the show for the eager UK audience.

So, who is in the cast and is it a follow up on all things Serena, Chuck and Blair? Not exactly, so here is what you need to know.

What is the reboot of Gossip Girl about?

While it is expected to largely be framed around American teenagers and the inner-cogs of friendship groups, young love and coming of age in today’s society, these kids are not the average teenagers.

The plot synopsis reads: “Eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl. The prestige series will address just how much social media—and the landscape of New York itself—has changed in the intervening years."

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Screenwriter Joshua Safran told THR, prior to its release in the states: "It’s just a new look at this particular society in New York, the idea being that society changes constantly.

"So how has this world changed, how has social media and its effect changed? All of those things allow us to look at the world 12 years on as opposed to just redoing the story."

As the BBC announced it would be bringing the show to the UK audience, Director of BBC iPlayer Dan McGolpin said: “The original series defined an era and we cannot wait for everyone to see the new series with its exciting new generation.”

Who is in the cast of the Gossip Girl reboot?

The new version of the show has paved a way for new acting talent, much like the original gave up Blake Lively and Leighton Meester.

In the millennial reboot, Canadian singer and actress Jordan Alexander plays Julien Calloway, a teen influencer.

Model Evan Mock plays Akeno "Aki" Menzies, as he breaks into acting. Mock is also a talented skater and you should expect to see his skills played out on screen.

Joining Aki in the show is his longtime girlfriend, Audrey Hope. Audrey is played by actress and musician Emily Alyn Lind.

Audrey is an old-soul, explained Lind to BAZAAR. “She’s very into classic, old-fashion type things,” she said, and her mum is a leisurewear clothes designer.

Her character is best friends with Julien and has been in a long-term relationship with Aki, but, according to Deadline, she’s "beginning to wonder what more could be out there."

The drama will also be the first booking for Savannah Smith, a NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts alumni. She plays Monet de Haan, which according to Cosmopolitan is  a "Greek-chorus-type role but still a fully fleshed-out character”.

The reboot of Dan Humphrey comes in the form of Zoya Lott, played by Uganda-born actress Whitney Peak. She is described by Cosmopolitan as the "relatable-ish tour guide" into the flashy world of the Upper East Side.

Other roles include Eli Brown as “rich do-gooder” Otto “Obie” Bergmann IV and singer and actor Thomas Doherty as Max Wolfe. Max is described by Cosmopolitan as a “libertarian,” with Doherty admitting "Yes, I do get naked, and yes, I do indulge."

Will any of the original cast members feature?

While its hard to imagine Blake Lively returning to her role as Serena van der Woodsen, you will hear a familiar voice in the new version of Gossip Girl.

Kristen Bell has returned as the voice of Gossip Girl, as the producers of the show said she “has always been and will always be the voice of Gossip Girl".

Sadly, aside from Bell, Blake Lively (Serena van der Woodsen), Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf), Penn Badgley (Dan Humphrey), Chase Crawford (Nate Archibald), and Ed Westwick (Chuck Bass) are not expected to make a return to the drama.

However, Chance Crawford did tell Digital Spy that he would "absolutely cameo" if invited to do so.

Lively made it clear, back in 2019, that  "she’s not taking part in the series in any way, shape or form."

Where can I watch Gossip Girl (2021)?

Gossip Girl premiered on BBC1 on 25th August at 10:35pm.

The subsequent five episodes will be available weekly on Wednesday’s at 10.35pm.

The entire series - six episodes - are also available to watch on BBC iPlayer now.