The follow-up series, which has been in the works at Showtime for more than an year, 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. Its pickup comes as the original marks its 15th anniversary.
Marja-Lewis serves as executive producer and showrunner of the series, which has received an eight-episode order. Mothership series creator Ilene Chaiken also is executive producing, along with Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey, who all starred in the original series.
“Marja has brought her unique and contemporary vision to The L Word and blended it beautifully into the fabric of Ilene’s groundbreaking series,” said Gary Levine, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks. “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.”
The original The L Word 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 2004-2009 and spawned a reality spinoff, The Real L Word. Beals, Moennig and Hailey are expected to appear on the new series as their original characters as a point of connection from the prior series to the new one. Fellow alumna Sarah Shahi also said today that she would love to come back.
While Chaiken is “executive producing and godmothering the show, It’s really Marja’s show, Showtime CEO David Nevins told Deadline.
“The original L Word premiered in 2004, which was a particular moment in time for the lesbian subculture in Los Angeles, and mostly featured women in their 20s and 30s,” Nevins said. The sequel “is going to be largely the same age and subculture but things have changed much in the past 15 years. Marja is roughly the age Ilene was during the original.”