*Eight years after Showtime’s groundbreaking lesbian drama “The L Word” wrapped its six-season run, the premium cable network is developing a sequel that will feature some of its original stars working behind the camera.
Jennifer Beals (Bette), Kate Moennig (Shane) and Leisha Hailey (Alice) as executive producers alongside series creator Ilene Chaiken, who recently renewed her overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television – although her commitment to serving as showrunner on Fox’s “Empire” prohibits her from having a larger role, should “The L Word” sequel move forward.
Beals, Moennig and Hailey would also return in front of the camera, with their respective characters helping to connect to a new ensemble of women, with viewers following their lives, loves and tribulations.
Other characters from the original series — which included fan favorite Erin Daniels (Dana), Laurel Holloman (Tina), Mia Kirshner (Jenny), Sarah Shahi (Carmen) and Pam Grier (Kit) — may appear in the potential updated version.
A search is underway for a new writer to serve as showrunner and bring a fresh take to the project. Sources note Showtime is looking for someone with ties to the lesbian community to document how their relationships, lives and experiences have evolved — as well as what has and hasn’t changed since the drama launched in 2004.
Set in the gay mecca of West Hollywood, Calif., The L Word earned multiple GLAAD Awards, as well as NAACP Image Award nominations for Beals and Grier.
A potential sequel of The L Word comes years after Showtime developed and ultimately passed on a spinoff, the prison-set The Farm starring Hailey. Since then, Showtime topper David Nevins revived the franchise, originally developed by his predecessor Bob Greenblatt, as a racy docuseries, The Real L Word — which ran for three seasons — and then a one-off documentary.
For her part, Beals is a series regular on NBC’s recently renewed Taken and next guest-stars in Amazon’s The Last Tycoon.