Safran spoke about how the new soap is tied the original:
I wish there was the proper word because it isn’t a remake, isn’t a reboot. It truly is just years after the original. It’s hard to say how many years because the original ended in 2012. But it was 2017 for the characters, because we flash forward five years. It really is the same world. It’s 2020. If these characters were to talk about Blair Waldorf, they’re going to talk about Blair Waldorf. I kind of look at it as sort of what Marvel does or the DC Universe. You’re just looking at a different angle inside the universe. I think, because of that, it allows us to not feel super tied. … It’s still in the same location, it is still [about] fashion, still about privilege, about the 1 percent.
The new characters likely won't be related to the core characters, either.
You heard it here first. The truth of the matter is, we covered so much ground the first time around, you would have seen all the relatives Kids is not possible because they were, like, 15 when we started, so they wouldn’t have kids in high school now. As for relatives, we went so deep into the family history, there are no relatives left! But that isn’t to say that people won’t pop in.