CW Keeps New ‘Gossip Girl’ Episodes Off Web
The CW’s Web site, CWTV.com, will not stream the newest “Gossip Girl” episodes in an effort to increase the show’s broadcast TV ratings, which have been low despite its high Internet buzz.
“For these next five weeks the epicenter of the ‘Gossip Girl’ universe will be on The CW’s broadcast television airwaves,” said Dawn Ostroff, The CW’s president of entertainment.
The show returns with five original episodes starting Monday, April 21.
“We feel we have a valuable property,” said Paul McGuire, senior VP of communications at the network. He added the decision was made on an “experimental basis,” in hopes of improving broadcast ratings for the show.
New episodes of the series will still be available for download through iTunes. The episodes also will be rebroadcast the following Sunday at 6 p.m.
Other short-form content will appear on CWTV.com, including interviews with series creator Josh Schwartz, two-minute episode recaps following the Monday night airings and viewer contests. The site will continue to have the first 12 episodes available for streaming.
While in reruns due to the writers strike, “Gossip Girl” moved to Mondays at 8 p.m. from Wednesdays at 9 p.m., losing its “America’s Next Top Model” lead-in.
The show has been averaging a 2.4 rating/6 share among women 18-34.