Penn Badgley was a big name on the CW scene for years as Dan Humphrey on Gossip Girl. He was a main player on that series up until its finale in 2012, and he hasn't done much on the small screen in the years since. Now, he's poised to make a big return to TV with a brand new project. Badgley will star in the new show called You for Lifetime.
You will be a psychological thriller that follows an intellectual bookstore owner named Joe after he happens upon an aspiring writer. Using social media and the Internet, Joe obsessively gathers information about the woman he thinks he loves. What starts as awkward and slightly charming escalates into something more sinister as he does whatever it takes to get rid of anything and anyone who gets between him and the object of his desire. Penn Badgley will play Joe. TVLine reports that the aspiring writer character has not yet been cast.
Lifetime has shown a great deal of faith in You from the outset. The network gave a straight-to-series order for ten episodes right off the bat, forgoing the traditional pilot process before the leads had even been cast. Of course, considering the folks who are bringing You to life, it's not difficult to see why Lifetime would be optimistic about it. The project hails from super-producer Greg Berlanti of The Flash and Sera Gamble of The Magicians. These are two people who know how to both make hit TV shows and craft narratives. Berlanti and Gamble wrote for the first season and will serve as co-showrunners on You.
The series will be based on a best-selling novel of the same name, written by author Caroline Kepnes. You was actually her very first novel, so kudos to Kepnes for landing a Lifetime TV show right out of the gate. Interestingly, this is the second time that a network has been working on bringing the novel characters to life on the small screen. A show based on You was in development at Showtime back in 2015, with Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble at the helm. That version ultimately never got off the ground, making the Lifetime version the very first time that the novel is adapted for TV.
A big question now is who will play the writer who becomes the object to Joe's desire. Hopefully we'll find out the actress who landed the part in the not-too-distant future. Now that they have Penn Badgley as the male lead, perhaps casting the female lead will be somewhat easier. We'll have to wait and see. Check out our summer TV guide and our 2017 Netflix premiere schedule for everything you can watch now and in the coming weeks. If you're in need of a Penn Badgley fix as soon as possible, all six seasons of Gossip GIrl are currently available on Netflix.