Keeping track of a show’s ratings is common practice among cast and crew alike, but for Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz, ratings are not such a big deal, considering his new brainchild is rapidly redefining what it means to be a television hit.

”This show is a bigger deal than the ratings are reflecting,” Schwartz told Entertainment Weekly.  “I can honestly say I don’t check the ratings after the show airs.”

Schwartz’s somewhat lax attitude towards ratings is due to the fact that while Gossip Girl is only earning 2.6 million viewers and trailing behind more than a hundred other shows on the Nielsen chart, it is doing extremely well in terms of the world wide web.  As it is, the series is the most downloaded show on iTunes, edging out NBC’s The Office soon after it premiered in September.

Moreover, Gossip Girl also experiences a 14 percent increase among the female teens demographic and 30 percent in 18 to 34-year-olds when DVR viewings are factored in, and is the most watched series by teenagers.

”We’re going through a big sea change in our business,” the CW’s President of Entertainment Dawn Ostroff said while acknowledging the show’s unexpectedly low viewership.  ”You can’t wake up in the morning and look at the ratings and know the whole story…  A lot of the rules are out the window.”

That said, it is no wonder why Schwartz is not so concerned with the ratings game.  What he is focused on is “the idea of cultural permeation,” and judging by how young viewers react when they see Gossip Girl stars in public, it seems the show has succeeded in permeating the minds and hearts of the youth.

”Someone came up to me and said [Gossip Girl‘s signature sign-off] ‘XOXO, Gossip Girl’ the other day,” Kristen Bell, who serves as the show’s unseen narrator, told Entertainment Weekly.  ”I’m never even recognized for shows I am on!”

At this point, Schwartz only has high hopes for his new series.

“Hopefully, people watching now will grow up with the characters,” he said.  ”The key is not blowing through the great story lines right away.  We worked really hard to pace ourselves this year.”

-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Entertainment Weekly
(Image Courtesy of the Associated Press)


Staff Columnist, BuddyTV