By Tim Stack
Updated April 18, 2011 at 05:36 PM EDT

Gossip Girl

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Tonight, Gossip Girl finally returns from its winter hiatus and will finish out the season with five new episodes full of bitchery and bling. Debuting this week is Serena’s cousin, Charlie, played by Kaylee DeFer (The War at Home). Charlie, who’s real name is Charlotte, is the daughter of Lily’s estranged sister Carol, played in season two’s GG flashback episode by Krysten Ritter but now in the present by Sheila Kelley. So where have these two ladies been throughout the past four seasons? “They’ve been in Florida,” says executive producer Stephanie Savage. “As you may recall from the pilot, Lily’s original lie was that Eric was with Aunt Carol in Miami.”

But things have not been so sunny in Florida for Charlie and her mom. “Basically, I’m pretty lonely and my mom has told me the van der Woodsens are these horrible people,” says DeFer, who will appear in the remainder of GG‘s episodes and possibly return next season. “I’ve been told my whole life that my family is awful. I decide I’d like to meet them.”

Charlie ends up reconnecting with her cousin Serena (Blake Lively), and the pair develop a friendship, with Charlie actually moving into Lily and Rufus’ apartment. This being Gossip Girl, Serena also introduces Charlie to the world of sequins and soirees. “We always like it when we have new people who are witnessing this world for the first time,” says executive producer Josh Safran. For Charlie, it’s like trial by fire. From reading Gossip Girl for the first time or going to your first event, all that stuff we get to do over again in a new way.”

Here’s the question GG fans really wanna know: will there be a Serena/Charlie makeover sequence? Of course! Laughs DeFer, “I mean come on — this is Gossip Girl.” We’re assuming that cleavage-lover Serena gives Charlie a tutorial on that particular subject. “Wait and see,” says Savage. Adds DeFer, “Charlie’s cleavage isn’t as fantabulous as Serena’s.”

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Gossip Girl

Spotted: Serena, Dan, Blair, Chuck, Vanessa, and Nate — hooking up, breaking up, and freaking out. You know you love it! Xoxo!
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