Gossip is finally back where it belongs. On the interwebs.
The CW has thrown in the towel on its temporary, much bemoaned and ultimately unsuccessful "experiment" begun last spring in which it removed free, ad-supported episodes of Gossip Girl from the network's website.
The idea, execs said, was to see whether the buzz-heavy, ratings-light series fared better in the Nielsens if fans were forced to turn on their TVs to watch Gossip Girl. It didn't.
The guilty-pleasure viewing will once again just a mouse-click away, with episode streams returning to the site today.
"When the CW experimented with not streaming Gossip Girl at the end of last season, the passionate fans found other digital outlets and websites to watch their favorite show online," the CW's senior VP of communications, Paul McGuire, said in an admirable spin job. Though a ratings change was negligible, the flow of viewers to iTunes remained steady.
"Ultimately, we've decided to begin streaming episodes of the show again on cwtv.com because we want The CW to be the primary destination for all things Gossip Girl, from onair to online."
The new season of the show, which has already done what it does best—attracting heat, if not viewers—for its racy promos, begins Sept. 1.