‘City On Fire’ Drama Series From ‘Gossip Girl’ Team Heads to Apple TV+

Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage / City on Fire cover
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Hulu;Apple

Apple is adapting Garth Risk Hallberg’s acclaimed novel City on Fire into an eight-episode series set to be written and executive produced by Gossip Girl EPs Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.

City on Fire centers around an NYU student who is shot in Central Park on July 4th, 2003. Samantha Cicciaro is alone; there are no witnesses and very little physical evidence. Her friends’ band is playing her favorite downtown club but she leaves to meet someone, promising to return. She never does.

As the crime against Samantha is investigated, she’s revealed to be the crucial connection between a series of mysterious city-wide fires, the downtown music scene, and a wealthy uptown real estate family fraying under the strain of the many secrets they keep.

Schwartz and Savage, the duo behind both Gossip Girl and The O.C., will write all eight episodes and serve as showrunners and executive producers under their Fake Empire Productions banner. This marks the pair’s first series order following their first-look deal with Apple Studios. Fake Empire’s Lis Rowinski is also on board as co-executive producer.

City on Fire is the second new Apple Original series to be announced this week. On Tuesday, the streamer confirmed it was working on a drama based on the story of the Negro League Baseball, set to be executive produced by Magic Johnson. Other series in development at Apple include The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey starring Samuel L. Jackson, High Desert, a comedy series starring Patricia Arquette, and Masters of the Air from Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television.

Meanwhile, Schwartz and Savage are heading up the Gossip Girl reboot, which is set to premiere on HBO Max on July 8. The duo is also behind the CW’s Dynasty and Nancy Drew, which is about to head into its third season.