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Producer: 'The City' becoming a "workplace drama" for second season

By Christopher Rocchio, 08/24/2009 

The City's second season will apparently have a different focus now that two of Whitney Port's closest on-screen friends have abandoned her.

"A lot has changed in The City," executive producer Liz Gateley told People in a Monday report. "We shifted the focus of the show significantly from a relationship drama to a workplace drama."

Both Port's first-season boyfriend Jay Lyon and BFF Erin Lucas won't have recurring roles for the show's second season -- as Lyon stated in late May that he was walking away from the series to instead focus on music while Lucas wants to put all of her efforts in her television hosting career.

Port's former The Hills boss -- People's Revolution founder Kelly Cutrone -- and first-season The City co-star Olivia Palermo will help fill the void left by pair's The City departures, according to Gateley.

"Olivia has a new job and an amazing new boss at Elle magazine," Gateley told People.  "Whitney is focused a lot more on her work now that she's single, and Kelly Cutrone -- who I love -- takes on a much bigger role in the show."

Despite the changes, Gateley promised that fashion is still at The City's center.

"The show feels much more like a reality Devil Wears Prada," Gateley told People

"Our whole shooting style changed. You'll see much more action and less people sitting and talking, which was an intentional choice we made in making over the show. There are fireworks on the jobs constantly -- it's very exciting and fun to watch what it's like to work in the world of New York fashion."

The City's second season will premiere Tuesday, September 29 at 10:30PM ET/PT immediately following the debut of new The Hills fifth-season episodes, which will air in the Tuesdays at 10PM ET/PT timeslot.

Gateley said the absence left by Lauren Conrad -- who announced her departure from the show last spring -- is filled wonderfully by former Laguna Beach star Kristin Cavallari.

"Kristin has brought new life to the show," Gateley told People.  "She is the same Kristin we know and love -- not afraid to mix things up. Her presence has really changed every dynamic within the cast, especially with Audrina [Patridge] and Justin Bobby."

In addition, Gateley said newlyweds Heidi and Spencer Pratt will ponder the next step in their relationship.

"Heidi and Spencer are entering some interesting new territory of considering parenthood," she told People.

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