Our long national nightmare is almost over. Starting on March 16, Gossip Girl returns to the airwaves with new episodes after a six-week layoff. But don’t think for a minute that series creator Josh Schwartz spent his free time downloading new apps for his iPhone. To quote a growling Christian Bale in the totally ludicrous trailer for Terminator Salvation, “these hands have been busy.” In addition to producing the recently renewed Gossip Girl and the still-clinging-to-the-hopes-of-a-third-season Chuck, Mr. Schwartz is putting the finishing touches on the backdoor pilot for the as-yet-untitled Gossip Girl spin-off that will apparently factor heavily into the May 11 season finale of the flagship series. The ’80s-set show, about the younger years of Gossip Girl matriarch Lily Van Der Woodsen (crazy-eyed Kelly Rutherford), found its star last week—crazy-eyed actress Brittney Snow. And now, word comes today that ’80s magnate Andrew McCarthy (!) will be co-starring as Lily’s father (!!), a record executive (!!!). Make room on your DVR!
We had hoped this spin-off would play like Less Than Zero combined with the “Amanda Righetti becomes a stripper” episode of The O.C.; however, even we never thought Mr. Schwartz would be able to nail down an actual Less Than Zero star for a key role. The casting is almost too perfect. Between this and the reports that Mr. McCarthy’s fellow Less Than Zero co-star Jami Gertz would be making an appearance on the upcoming season of Entourage, we can only assume that the ’80s are officially back. Hopefully, Judd Nelson paid his phone bill.
The downside to all this great news is that Mr. McCarthy’s former series, Lipstick Jungle, has probably seen its chances of return dashed to less than zero (nyuck, nyuck). The surprisingly popular but lowly rated NBC series was pulled off the air last fall, but not officially “canceled,” leaving the small hope for fans that it might return. However, in the last two weeks, co-stars Kim Raver and Lindsay Price both signed on to pilots for the upcoming television season, and, now that Mr. McCarthy is booked up, too, it seems like only a matter of time before NBC officially puts the series to death. Of course, since NBC did just renew Heroes for another season, so we guess anything is possible. Maybe Brooke Shields, the last remaining Lipstick Jungle star without another job, can do the whole show herself.