I’m going to be Away From My Desk™ for a couple weeks, but I’ll continue to post here when I get the chance. I want to take the opportunity to encourage a little more audience participation (aka letting commenters do the work I’m supposed to be doing), so here’s a question: do you think Gossip Girl will ever be a hit? Even by the standards of the CW network?
I’m not talking about a hit online, or a hit among critics and buzz-makers, or a hit in New York, or a hit on DVD (the first season is out this week and I’m guessing it will do well), I mean a hit in the only way that really counts, at least for now: attracting a large number of viewers to the broadcasts. Gossip Girl, as I’m sure you know, does not have good ratings; that’s almost become part of its legend, that it is a hit in every possible way except a way that would actually help the network, and that ABC Family and Brenda Hampton’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager — whose moralistic, teach-y attitude is the exact opposite of GG’s — actually has more viewers. (As the linked article notes, Hampton has a long relationship with the WB/CW because of Seventh Heaven, and the CW could probably have had Secret Life if they’d wanted. They’d probably be getting better ratings with it, too.)
But does all the buzz, and the genuine popularity online, translate into something that the CW can build on to gain more actual viewers, the way Fox eventually turned Family Guy‘s fan following into actual ratings? Or is Gossip Girl so specialized in its appeal that it’s destined to be one of those shows that has all the characteristics of a hit except, you know, having people watch it on TV?