Fifteen years after “The L Word” broke fresh ground for its portrayal of lesbian women on television, a much-anticipated sequel is officially in the works.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Showtime executives confirmed plans for a revival of the series on Thursday at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Los Angeles.
Though details were scarce, the new version is intended to be a sequel to the six-season Showtime original, which followed a group of queer women living in the Westside of Los Angeles and aired from 2004 through 2009. Original stars Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey have reportedly signed on to reprise their roles and serve as executive producers.
Screenwriter Marja-Lewis Ryan, whose credits include “Empire” and “The Handmaid’s Tale,” will serve as showrunner and executive producer alongside Ilene Chaiken, creator of the original series.
The new version, which has apparently been in development since 2017, is slated to comprise eight episodes and air by the year’s end.
“Marja has brought her unique and contemporary vision to ‘The L Word’ and blended it beautifully into the fabric of Ilene’s groundbreaking series,” Gary Levine, Showtime’s co-president of entertainment, told Variety. “This revered show was both entertaining and impactful when it originally ran on Showtime, and we are confident that our new version will do that and more in 2019.”
Beals quickly expressed her excitement for the project on Twitter.
Similarly, actress Sarah Shahi ― who had a recurring role on the series ― told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that she’d happily appear in the sequel if she’s asked.
“The girls were talking to me about it, and my involvement was discussed very heavily that I would be in it,” she said, according to Deadline. “[‘The L Word’] was my first big gig. I didn’t really know what I was stepping into until after, and I started speaking with women and getting letters … about how impactful it was.”
News of “The L Word” sequel arrives weeks after Bravo announced plans for a new version of the seminal show “Queer as Folk,” which centered on a group of gay friends.