Showtime’s signature series ‘The L World’ is mounting back according to reports. The premium cable network is developing a sequel to the groundbreaking series that revolved around a group of lesbians.
The successful series ran from 2004 to 2009, and the sequel will reportedly bring a few familiar faces and new ones.
‘The L World’ sequel is totally happening
Less than a decade after ‘The L Word’ completed its original run in 2009, the groundbreaking series is staging a comeback in the form of a sequel.
Original series creator Ilene Chaiken would serve as an executive producer on the new show as she’s currently tied with Fox’s ‘Empire.’ She’s also an executive producer on Hulu’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale.’ Chaiken expressed interest in returning to ‘L Word’ while speaking with Entertainment Weekly in May.
“When we went off the air in 2009, I think a lot of people thought, Okay, the baton is passed now, and there will be lots of shows that portray lesbian life. There’s really nothing. It feels like maybe it should come back,” she said. Showtime is currently in the process of bringing on a new writer, executive producer, and showrunner who specifically has ties to the lesbian community.
The idea is to bring a fresh perspective to the show by documenting how relationships and experiences have evolved today. And what has changed and hasn’t changed since the show first aired.
Original cast members Jennifer Baels, Kate Moennig and Leisha Hailey, would also take on the sequel. However, as the sequel moves forward the trio of characters would help to introduce a new ensemble of women, and the series would follow their lives, loves, and tribulations.
The news of a potential ‘L Word’ sequel was applauded by GLAAD. “The past few years have seen lesbian and queer women characters in television killed off in shockingly high numbers,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President, and CEO.
“It is refreshing and exciting to see GLAAD Media Award-winning ‘The L Word‘ returning to television where it can tell nuanced, entertaining, and beautiful stories of a largely underrepresented community.”
Groundbreaking and acclaimed show
‘The L Word’ premiered on Showtime in 2004 and ran for six seasons until 2009 when it finally ended. It was the first series to focus on lesbian characters and showing their lives as the center of attention rather than “the gay friend.”
Over the course of the five years the show ran, it played a major role in positively altering LGBTQ representation across the broad media spectrum.Also, the show dared to present a diverse cast of characters that rightfully represented the broad spectrum of the human experience: their strengths and weaknesses; their successes and failures; their loves and losses.
Along with Jennifer Baels, Kate Moennig and Leisha Hailey, it also starred Mia Kirshner, Laurel Holloman, Pam Grier, Erin Daniels, Sarah Shahi, Daniela Sea and Marlee Matlin.
But while the original series ended there, a spin-off featuring Hailey’s imprisoned Alice, entitled ‘The Farm’, was developed by the network in 2008, but was ultimately passed over. At the time the show was the counterpart of HBO’s ‘Oz.’
Then Showtime extended the life of the franchise a little longer with reality series ‘The Real L Word’. The reality show documented the lives of a group of lesbians living in Los Angeles. Debuting in 2010, the series ran for three seasons.
The success of ‘The L Word’ helped open the door for more varied and sophisticated LGBT-driven series to flourish: ‘Looking’, ‘The Fosters’, ‘Transparent’, ‘Sense8’ and ‘Orange Is the New Black’, among others.
Additionally, the drama featured storylines about equality, legal marriage and benefits and HIV/AIDS at a time when they were frequently overlooked by more mainstream shows.
Most importantly, ‘The L Word’ would force long-needed national conversations on issues that were usually pushed to the side, including LGBTQ rights; legalizing same-safe marriage; and LGBTQ adoption, to name only a few.
Showtime is glad the girls are back
For Showtime, the benefits far outweigh the risks. Even if it’s not very good, the show’s integrity was already compromised by a shark-jumping whodunnit in the final season.The audience will almost certainly watch regardless. If it’s good, they could have a monster hit along the lines of Netflix’s ‘Orange is the New Black.’
And Netflix also proved, with the success of its recent ‘Gilmore Girls’ reboot, the power of nostalgia viewing. As more and more high-quality shows make demands on our diminishing time and attention spans, it can be hard for viewers to know where to start.
‘The L Word’ comes with a built-in and loyal fanbase (sometimes scarily so), and it’s one that has been sorely ignored for far too long.