Marja-Lewis Ryan (The Four-Faced Liar, 6 Balloons) has been tasked to spearhead the sequel to The L Word, currently in development at Showtime, as executive producer and showrunner. Mothership series creator Ilene Chaiken also is executive producing, along with Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey, who all starred in the premium network’s original series.
“Ilene and the original L Word made me believe that my voice mattered,” said Ryan. “I am beyond excited for the opportunity to usher in the next generation of diverse queer people. I couldn’t imagine a better time to make this show.”
In its search for a showrunner, Showtime met with a number of writers with ties to the lesbian community, and I hear the network was impressed by the takes it heard. The follow-up series is aimed at reflecting how members of that community’s relationships, their lives, and experiences have evolved and what has changed (and what hasn’t) since the show’s inception.
Showtime announced in July that it was in development on a sequel to The L Word, which revolved around a group of lesbians in West Hollywood and their friends, family and lovers. Hailed as the first drama series to focus on lesbian characters who are complex and open about their sexuality, it ran on the network from 2004-09 and spawned a reality spinoff, The Real L Word. Beals, Moennig and Hailey will appear on the new series as their original characters as a point of connection from the prior series to the new one.
Ryan wrote and directed the upcoming film 6 Balloons, starring Abbi Jacobson and Dave Franco, and is penning the reboot of Splash starring Channing Tatum and Jillian Bell, as well as Buried Bodies for Noah Hawley and Fox Searchlight. Ryan’s adapted play The Four-Faced Liar won multiple awards including Outstanding First Narrative Feature at L.A. Outfest. She also co-starred in and co-produced the 2010 film version.
She is repped by UTA, Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment and attorney Tara Kole.