Laura Benanti Joins ‘Gossip Girl’ Cast On HBO Max

Benanti Jenny Anderson

EXCLUSIVE: Tony Award winning actress Laura Benanti is joining the ensemble cast of HBO Max’s upcoming Gossip Girl sequel series.

No word yet on character details, but the actress joins Gossip Girl cast Emily Alyn Lind, Tavi Gevinson, Whitney Peak, Eli Brown, Johnathan Fernandez, Jordan Alexander, Savannah Smith, Evan Mock, Jason Gotay, Thomas Doherty, Adam Chanler-Berat, Savannah Smith and Zion Moreno.

The new Gossip Girl – a sequel to the CW’s 2007-2012 series – is written by Joshua Safran, based on the book by Cecily von Ziegesar. The upcoming series features a new generation of New York private school teens introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl. The series will address just how much social media and  New York itself has changed in the intervening years.

The ten-episode series is from Safran, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire, Alloy Entertainment, Warner Bros TV and CBS Television Studios. Safran executive produces with Fake Empire’s Schwartz and Savage, and Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo of Alloy Entertainment. Fake Empire’s Lis Rowinski is co-executive producer.

The Gossip Girl casting continues Benanti’s relationship with the streaming service: HBO Max gave a greenlight in May to her Homeschool Musical: Class of 2020, a scripted musical special featuring students from across the U.S. The special grew out of Benanti’s #SunshineSongs initiative from last spring, in which she called for students to send videos of musical numbers they would have performed in high school productions had the COVID shutdown not happened. Benanti then shared the videos on social platforms.

Benanti will exec produce Homeschool Musical, coming this winter.

Benanti’s Broadway credits include My Fair Lady, Steve Martin’s Meteor Shower, She Loves Me, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and the Tony-winning performance in 2008’s Gypsy. On television, she has appeared on Younger, Supergirl, Nashville, The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie (and of course her dead-ringer Melania Trump on Late Show With Stephen Colbert) as well as the feature film Worth. Upcoming is the feature Here Today.

She recently released a self-titled album and the book M is for Mama (and also Merlot): A Modern Mom’s ABCs.

Benanti is represented by UTA and Untitled Entertainment.

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