XOXO, streaming lovers: we've got some bad news. HBO Max's ax has swung again, this time canceling the Gossip Girl reboot. The series, which brought Michelle Trachtenberg's Georgina Sparks from the original series for its second season, is about to air its second season finale on Thursday, January 26.
Showrunner Joshua Safran broke the news just as Gossip Girl would, on social media, with an Instagram post (opens in new tab) stating the series "will not be continuing on HBO Max." After he thanked "the network and studio for their faith and support; the writers for their devious brains and dexterous talent; the superstar cast for being the greatest of collaborators and friends; and the crew for their hard work, dedication and love for the project," Safran gave fans hope for something more.
The team isn't giving up on the Gossip Girl reboot, as Safran notes "We are currently looking for another home, but in this climate, that might prove an uphill bottle[sic], and so if this is the end, at least we went out on the highest of highs. Thank you for watching, and I hope you'll tune into the finale next Thursday to see how it all comes together. xoxo"
When Safran writes "how it all comes together," it appears he might mean that literally. The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) notes that sources (not Gossip Girl herself, we assume), state the second season was designed to have some finality. We're guessing the writing was on the wall for both the creative team and WBD and HBO Max execs.
Analysis: The HBO Max chaos continues
This cancelation is just another tile in a series of bad news items for HBO Max, which, to put it politely, is in an interesting state. Parent company Warner Bros. Discovery is currently in a cost-cutting mode to erase its WB-related debt, which is why you saw the nearly-finished Batgirl movie killed off, Westworld getting removed and shopped to FAST (free ad-supported streaming television) services and a recent $1 per month HBO Max price hike.
Oh, and HBO Max removed a bunch of Looney Tunes and Flintstones seasons got cut earlier this month. All in the name of saving money on internal expenditures on content.
So while The Last of Us is a hit for HBO, not all is well at the Home Box Office. And it's about to get weirder. There's the impending HBO Max and Discovery Plus merger, which could lead to a new app called Max, coming this spring, which will lead to price increases, which would likely create possibly more subscriber cancelations.
The original rumors about the HBO Max and Discovery Plus merger suggested that the former would get gutted while the latter remains intact. While that has not exactly played out, every piece of news of HBO and HBO Max cancelations does not help. So while we still think HBO Max is the best streaming service, but reasons to think otherwise are getting harder to ignore.