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Showtime's lesbian drama The L Word will be back for a fifth season.
The cable network has ordered 12 new episodes of the series, which centers on a group of lesbians in Los Angeles. Production will begin in the summer for an early 2008 debut. Deals are in place with the principal actors.
The L Word, recently nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for outstanding drama series, began its fourth season January 7. To date this season, the show is averaging 310,000 viewers per first-run episode (down from Season 3's 370,000), though the network gives every episode multiple plays throughout the week and offers them on-demand.
The launch of OurChart.com, a social networking site that grew directly out of the series, along with the L Word virtual 3-D world within Second Life, have raised the show's profile, said Robert Greenblatt, Showtime's entertainment president.
"This season's guest star Cybill Shepherd and new series regular Marlee Matlin are indicative of the show's great quality," he said.
The ensemble cast also includes Jennifer Beals, Janina Gavankar, Pam Grier, Mia Kirshner, and Leisha Hailey. (Kimberly Nordyke, Reuters/Hollywood Reporter)