Terry Morrow: Sevier County native pencils in ‘Gossip Girl’ finale date

You only have a short time left to catch Sevierville native Matthew Settle before his “Gossip Girl” days end.

The CW has announced the Monday night hit (which can be seen 9 p.m. Monday on WBXX, Channel 20) will end its six-year run on Monday, Dec. 17. It will be a two-hour send-off.

Settle plays Rufus Humphrey, a former rock star whose children, Dan and Jenny (Penn Badgley and Taylor Momsen), are always caught up in the drama of New York City.

Settle, 43, is the youngest of six children born to Joan and Dr. Robert Settle, who is a Baptist minister in Sevier County. For “Gossip Girl,” Settle moved to New York City.

“There are opportunities for the characters to go through moral growth,” Settle has told me of the show’s wild-child characters. “Those aspects of drinking and smoking are very much a part of life. Who are we kidding?

“It’s not a glorification of it, but it’s a part of what these kids do.”

“Gossip” executive producer Josh Schwartz says Settle’s charm was why he won the role.

“We needed someone who could bring in a lot of life and humor to the role and someone who could appeal to the ladies,” Schwartz says, “and Matthew had all that.”

Settle has a bounty of credits outside of “Gossip Girl” — from TV, movies and Broadway.

Among them: the 1998 slasher flick “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer” and the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” in which he played Capt. Ronald Speirs.

n Touring honors. Knox-area star Kenny Chesney’s summer 2012 tour with Tim McGraw is up for Billboard magazine’s Top Package award, which goes to the top-grossing tour with three or more artists on the bill. He’s won the honor seven times.

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com.

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