Gossip Girl quickly became one of the most popular teen dramas out there after its debut in 2007, but it almost went ahead without one of its most recognizable elements! In a brand-new podcast, the showrunners revealed why Kristen Bell's voiceover as the titular character almost didn't make the cut.
Bell's voiceover said to have initially distracted audiences
Gossip Girl star Jessica Szohr, who played "Vanessa Abrams" in the original show, recently launched a podcast called XOXO. Focused on Gossip Girl, the first episode saw Szohr have a conversation with show creators Jason Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, who revealed a surprising piece of information!
According to Schwartz, when the show was initially screened for audiences, people tended to tune out when Kristen Bell's voiceover came in. He and Savage shared that they had gauged interest by having viewers turn a dial up or down. Because of how interest levels "would drop" noticeably during Bell's voiceovers and people found them "distracting," at one point they considered cutting them altogether!
However, Schwartz said they ultimately decided that the voiceovers were "part of the show and we just have to ride with it." Gossip Girl was recently rebooted by HBO Max in 2021 for a modern audience, sparking renewed interest in the series. And as it turned out, Bell's narration as "Gossip Girl" became so pivotal that they didn't want to make the new series without her!