Kristen Bell’s voice-over was almost cut from Gossip Girl, it has been revealed.
In the new premiere episode of the new Gossip Girl focused podcast, XOXO With Jessica Szohr, it says early feedback from test audiences watching the show did not like the voiceovers. Bell gave voice to the teen drama’s titular anonymous blogger in the series’ original run from 2007 to 2012.
The test audience reaction led creators Josh Schwarz and Stephanie Savage to consider cutting her voice-over – which eventually became a signature of the show.
The creators told Szohr, the host of the show and the actor who played Vanessa Abrams on the show, that test audiences interest would “drop” when Bell’s narration began.
“People were into [the show] and like, ‘Who’s this voice that’s coming in and distracting me?’” Schwartz remembered.
“Do you lose the voice-over? We can’t. That’s part of the show, and we just have to ride with it.”
You can listen to the podcast episode below:
Savage went on to reveal that Bell was the only character who read for the role but that her other role in Veronica Mars caused some concern for the network hosts.
“We had some reluctance of, ‘Did we feel comfortable having two shows on the same network with the same voice-over?’” Savage explained.
“When [Bell] recorded it, she created an entirely different character with just her voice than how she read Veronica Mars.”
Bell returned to HBO Max’s remake of the show as the narrator. “Kristen Bell has always been and will always be the voice of Gossip Girl,” the producers of the new series said in a statement last year.
A new Gossip Girl series was released on HBO Max last July, helmed by the show’s original creative team, which includes creators Schwartz and Savage, and writer Joshua Safran.
Kristen Bell is currently starring in Netflix’s new series, ‘The Woman In The House Across The Street From The Girl In The Window’ – a spoof take on crime thrillers.
Reviewing that, NME said: “With a vibe somewhere between Only Murders In The Building and every moody thriller you’ve ever felt like you had to watch the ending of – The Woman In The House Across The Street From The Girl In The Window pours out equally big glasses of snark and reverence to make a comedy potboiler that never spills over.
“Nothing’s left hanging after the brilliantly bonkers finale but hopefully we’ll get a second season to dig into before too long. There’s still so much left to make fun of…”