There have been plenty of queer female characters on television since The L Word ended its six-season run in 2009, but nothing has quite matched the microcosm that was the show’s specific group of Los Angeles-based (mostly) lesbians who laughed, gossiped, loved, backstabbed, and had loads of sex. Orange Is the New Black comes the closest to filling the void The L Word left behind, but judging from fan reaction to the recent 30-minute L Word reunion show on Entertainment Weekly, fans are still hungry for more of the gang. Now Showtime has announced a reboot of the landmark series that premiered in January of 2004, and several of the original players are on board.
Series creator Ilene Chaiken, who’s been having an exemplary post-L Word career as an executive producer on Empire and The Handmaid’s Tale, will be back as executive producer, although the search is on for a showrunner with ties to the lesbian community, according to EW. L Word stars Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey, and Kate Moennig have also signed on as executive producers and will also appear in the series.
With reboots of Will & Grace and Roseanne in the works across networks, nostalgia does appear to be the buzz of the moment, but during the L Word reunion, Chaiken said she was surprised no other show had come along to provide the space for queer women that her series left behind.
“When we went off the air in 2009, I think a lot of people thought, OK, the baton is passed now, and there will be lots of shows that portray lesbian life,” Chaiken said. “There’s really nothing. It feels like maybe it should come back.”
But it's not only Chaiken who thinks there's room for more of The L Word. GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis released a statement praising its comeback in the wake of the kill-your-queer-women trope that has proliferated on television recently.
“The past few years have seen lesbian and queer women characters in television killed off in shockingly high numbers. “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 an largely underrepresented community," Ellis said.
While Bette, Alice, and Shane will be back as part of the show, don’t expect to pick up with only their stories in the reboot, as it sounds as though the show will introduce a new crop of queer women with original cast members appearing from time to time with the new cast, according to EW.