Eight years after going off the air, Showtime is bringing the iconic LGBTQIA series The L Word back with a new season currently in development. Ilene Chaikin, who co-created the series with Michele Abbott and Kathy Greenberg, will serve as executive producer, and another writer with ties to the LGBTQIA community being sought to run the production. Original L Word stars Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey will return to serve as executive producers on the new show and reprise their roles as Bette, Shane and Alice, respectively, who will be paired with an entirely new group of women.
This news comes just weeks after an L Word reunion was put together by Entertainment Weekly, with the site now reporting that this new season is officially in development. The show will still follow the same premise as the original, showcasing the friendships and love lives of a group of gay women. During the cast and crew reunion, EW spoke with Ilene Chaikin, who revealed that she thinks there is a possibility of the show coming back, since there is still a void in lesbian programming since the show went off the air.
"It feels like there is a chance The L Word could come back. There certainly is a chance. We talk about it all the time. When we went off the air in 2009, I, and I think a lot of people thought, Okay, the baton is passed now, and there will be lots of shows that portray lesbian characters, lesbian life. There's really nothing. It feels like maybe The L Word should come back."
It isn't clear if the other L Word creators Michele Abbott and Kathy Greenberg will come aboard at this time, although The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Ilene Chaikin won't be heavily involved in the new season. She currently serves as the showrunner on Fox's massive hit Empire, and her overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television prohibits her from having a larger role. Ilene Chaikin also serves as an executive producer on Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale, which has become one of the most talked-about shows this year. The THR report also notes that other original L Word stars Erin Daniels (Dana), Laurel Holloman (Tina), Mia Kirshner (Jenny), Sarah Shahi (Carmen) and Pam Grier (Kit) could also return to reprise their roles.
The L Word debuted in 2004 on Showtime, just after the groundbreaking series Queer As Folk wrapped up its five-season run on the network. While Queer As Folk was the first TV series to center on gay men, The L Word was the first to have lesbian females at the forefront. The network had previously passed on The L Word spin-off entitled The Farm, which would have starred Leisha Hailey, but that was before current Showtime president David Nevins took the reins. Showtime did air a docu-series entitled The Real L Word under Nevins. In 2014, the network re-aired full seasons of both Queer as Folk and The L Word, and aired the new documentary L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin.