The L Word is officially coming back, Showtime announced Thursday.
The possibility of a revival began in July 2017, when Showtime confirmed it was developing a continuation of the lesbian drama, with original cast members Jennifer Beals, Kate Moennig, and Leisha Hailey returning as Bette, Shane, and Alice, respectively. The actors will also serve as executive producers.
The show’s creator, Ilene Chaiken, is also an executive producer, but its new showrunner is Marja-Lewis Ryan. The new season of The L Word will be eight episodes and premiere later in 2019. According to Showtime, the returning characters will star “alongside a new generation of self-possessed LGBTQIA characters experiencing love, heartbreak, sex, setbacks, and success in L.A.”
The original version of the show, which ran from 2004 until 2009, was an integral part of the shift in how LGBT people were portrayed in popular culture. The characters were attractive and successful, and had tumultuous romantic lives.
In an interview with Chaiken 10 years ago with the Los Angeles Times, Chaiken told me that she didn’t see The L Word as being over.
“I don’t believe it, I don’t see it in that way — I don’t know what I’m talking about when I say this,” she said. “I hope we’ll do an L Word movie — there’s no plan to do an L Word movie. But I would love to do that. I just believe that in some way, the show will live on.”
The show often infuriated its fans with its ludicrous plots, including its “who-killed-Jenny” cliffhanger in its final season — which was never resolved. (Perhaps it will be now!)
Though there have been plenty of LGBT women on television — Orange Is the New Black, The Fosters, Vida, and The Bisexual, to name a few — there has not been a popular, lesbian-focused drama since The L Word concluded in 2009.