The buzz on 'Gossip Girl'
"Gossip Girl" is the most downloaded television program on iTunes.
A tart teen drama finds an ardent, young new-media audience -- but little ratings help for the CW.
CW 是美國第五大電視廣播網，也是唯一以18 - 34 歲的年輕人為市場對象的電視廣播網。
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ON "Gossip Girl," the deliciously catty prep school drama that debuted on the CW this fall, Upper East Side socialites track each other's misdeeds on an anonymously penned blog that has the power to make or break reputations. When reformed wild child Serena van der Woodsen was snapped buying a pregnancy test in a recent episode, the photo zoomed through cyberspace and popped up on her classmates' cellphones within moments.
The show's young fans have shown a similar affinity for new media, helping to consistently make "Gossip Girl" the most downloaded television program on iTunes. But despite the program's online popularity, the network hasn't been able to translate the Web buzz into substantial TV ratings. Even after a marketing push, just 2.6 million viewers on average tuned in to watch the show's first 13 episodes -- about 500,000 of them teens, its target demographic.
"It's sort of become the first show that has managed to achieve some level of cultural permeation and success in the new world order where ratings don't really seem to apply," said executive producer Josh Schwartz.
For the young network, however, which made "Gossip Girl" the centerpiece of its sophomore season, ratings very much matter.
When viewers watch on different platforms, "we don't make the kind of money we make when it's on the air," said Dawn Ostroff, the CW's president of entertainment. "That's something still being figured out: How can we take advantage of viewership shifting to different places?"
Until then, the network needs to increase the traditional television audience for the glossy drama, and it believes it has an opening now that most scripted shows have been sidelined by the Writers Guild of America strike. Beginning Monday, the CW is giving the teen soap a second airing, packaging the old episodes with bonus material in the hopes of reviving the underperforming drama.
That the CW is still trying to boost interest in a program originally regarded as one of the hottest new entrants of the season speaks to the difficulty in gauging how new media are reshaping television watching. That's caused substantial anxiety in the entertainment industry, which is locked in a bitter labor dispute about how to value the digital space.