Schwartz busy with 2 pilots


It has been an eventful week for Josh Schwartz.

He has inked a new rich three-year overall deal with Warner Bros. Television and CW has given a pilot order to his drama "Gossip Girl," Schwartz's second pilot order in two days.

Meanwhile, his first series, "The O.C.," is set to bow out after four seasons. Fox said Wednesday that it will air new episodes of the teen soap Thursdays through the series finale on Feb. 22.

"Gossip," from Warner Bros. TV and Alloy Entertainment, is based on Alloy's popular book series about privileged teenagers attending elite private schools in New York.

Schwartz and "O.C." executive producer Stephanie Savage penned the project, which originally was picked up by CW in the summer with a put pilot commitment (HR 8/21). The two are executive producing with Alloy's Leslie Morgenstein and Bob Levy.

In addition to "Gossip," Schwartz received a pilot order from NBC on Tuesday for the action dramedy "Chuck" (HR 1/3).

As for "O.C.," Schwartz said the show has had a "great run."

"This feels like the best time to bring the show to its close," he added. "Thanks to the hard work of our cast, crew and writers, we have enjoyed our best season yet, and what better time to go out than creatively on top."

"The O.C." got off to a promising start when it debuted in August 2003, with a strong first season and lots of buzz. But at the start of Season 2, Fox moved the show to Thursday nights, where it faced an uphill battle and never recovered. Before this season began, Fox said that it was cutting back on the number of episodes it was ordering.

The show, which follows a group of friends and families whose lives were changed by the arrival of an outsider (Benjamin McKenzie) to their oceanside community of Newport Beach, Calif., recently saw some cast changes, with Mischa Barton departing at the end of last season when her character died and Autumn Reeser and Willa Holland coming on board as regulars. The other original cast members who are still on the show include Peter Gallagher, Kelly Rowan, Adam Brody, Melinda Clarke and Rachel Bilson.

During its four seasons on the air, "O.C." also generated buzz around the indie music featured in its episodes and spawned six soundtracks.

"O.C.," from Wonderland Sound and Vision, College Hill Pictures and WBTV, is executive produced by Schwartz, Bob DeLaurentis, Savage and McG.

Schwartz is repped by Endeavor, manager Mikkel Bondesen and attorney Joel McKuin.