“I’ll say Blake because we actually had a relationship at the time,” he spilled. After all, for a character nicknamed “Lonely Boy,” Penn’s Dan Humphrey sure didn’t have any problem keeping the ladies around.During his time on “Gossip Girl,” he managed to lock lips with Leighton Meester, Hilary Duff, Michelle Trachtenberg, AND Jessica Szohr.The show had arrived on the scene with a tidal wave of buzz, its actors almost immediately splashed on magazine covers and pushed out onto red carpets; but after burning through plot at a rapid pace (its leading lady, Mischa Barton, saw her character get killed off somewhat unceremoniously in the third season), the show sputtered to a close, ending with a truncated final season.But ’s creators and show-runners, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, already had the beaches of Newport in their rearview mirror, with their sights on a next project.
A decade ago this fall, just as social media was fracturing pop culture into a million pieces, a pair of sophomore show-runners, a start-up network, and a cast of barely of-age millennials aligned to capture one last old-fashioned teenage zeitgeist.
Unfortunately, though, those relationships don’t always work out (see both examples above), which can make things super awkward if your on-screen characters are still very much together.
That was also the case for “Gossip Girl” stars Penn Badgley and Blake Lively, who dated on and off from 2007 to 2010 — a time that overlapped with their characters’ on-screen relationship.
Formed by the union of the WB and UPN, the new network—led by then President of Entertainment Dawn Ostroff—was searching for an identity.
“We knew we needed the show,” Ostroff (currently president of Condé Nast Entertainment) said. You have to really hit something that’s in the zeitgeist, or really going to matter to people in a way that becomes an emotional connection.