Frederick M. Brown/Getty; Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic
August 19, 2009 12:00 AM

When Gossip Girl returns for season 3, fans of the show can count on new friends, new fashions, new schools and even a new mom. Actress Gina Torres will play Vanessa’s mother on the CW series, reports TVGuide.com.

Torres, who has appeared on Alias and Dirty Sexy Money, will step into the role of Gabriela Abrams, a “free spirit” who lives “off the grid” in Vermont, according to the site.

She’ll act opposite Vanessa, played by Jessica Szohr, the independent Brooklynite often entangled with a certain Upper East Side crowd. Gabriela is said to have some strong opinions about her daughter, who will be a freshman at New York University along with her friend Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley) and Upper East Side princess Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester).

Torres is set to appear on two episodes and then will return during the third season, which premieres on the CW Sept. 14.

Get more scoop on the upcoming season of Gossip Girl. –Jennifer WrenFrederick M. Brown/Getty; Michael N. Todaro/FilmMagic

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