Yep, that’s right, folks. Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s press conference today was about Gossip Girl. The Lady Gaga-kisser upped his celebrity status by standing beside members of the cast and creative team of the television show at Queen’s Silvercup Studios.
Also beside him were a host of Queens electeds who wanted in on the fun (State Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer), next to stars Blake Lively, Ed Westwick, Kaylee DeFer, and Kelly Rutherford. You could say it was an eclectic bunch. And an eclectic group on camera means an eclectic audience. That’s right, politics reporters rubbed elbows with the paparazzi! (Runnin’ Scared first stood awkwardly in the crowd of entertainment photogs — and then, feeling out of place, rushed to some seats in the front where the, uh, regular guys were seated).
Bloomberg was ostensibly there for more than fame and glory.
The mayor was announcing that 2011 was the busiest year ever for television production in New York City. And why not celebrate that a few days before the 100th episode of Gossip Girl! (IT AIRS ON MONDAY ZOMG).
Alongside Media and Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Bloomberg and others congratulated themselves on their achievements — breaking “all records” for television production. Twenty-three series are filming in the city during the 2011-2012 season, while ten years ago, only nine primetime series were based here.
Gossip Girl‘s influence extends far beyond its teeny bopper fans. The show spent $200 million on local development and employed around 6,300 individuals on camera and behind the scenes. They also use local vendors!
“Get your popcorn ready and a beer maybe, and get ready for great entertainment on Monday night,” Bloomberg said at the start of his press conference (Beer, popcorn, and Gossip Girl. Y’know, your typical Monday night).
“Gossip Girl has made New York a central character. While Gossip Girl is drawing fans in with its plot twists, the show also attracts many of them to visit New York, contributing to our incredible 50.5 million visitors last year. In fact, the economic impact of Gossip Girl and other television shows and films that are made in New York really can be felt directly in all five boroughs,” he said.
“The 100th episode of Gossip Girl is a real landmark, and I want to congratulate the show’s cast and crew,” he added, before the producers and then the electeds talked.
The mayor, the jokester that he is, couldn’t resist opining on some of the plot’s developments (a light moment in what became a rather serious press conference later): “I just don’t see how Blair could marry Prince Louis when she’s clearly in love with Chuck,” he said. “I just wish that Nate and Vanessa had been able to work things out…But again I’m just a casual fan.”