Lesbian drama The L Word is officially returning to TV with several original cast members, US cable network Showtime has confirmed.
A new season of eight episodes of the iconic series will head into production later this year and is expected to debut by the end of 2019.
Three of the show’s original cast members – Jennifer Beals (who played Bette), Kate Moennig (Shane) and Leisha Hailey (Alice) – are set to reprise their roles, alongside a “new generation” of LGBTIQ characters “experiencing love, heartbreak, sex, setbacks and success in Los Angeles”.
The three actresses will executive produce the show, alongside the series’ creator Ilene Chaiken and showrunner Marja-Lewis Ryan.
“Marja has brought her unique and contemporary vision to ‘The L Word’ and blended it beautifully into the fabric of Ilene’s groundbreaking series,” Showtime’s co-president of entertainment Gary Levine said.
“This revered show was both entertaining and impactful when it originally ran on Showtime, and we are confident that our new version will do that and more in 2019.”
The L Word debuted in 2004 and followed the lives of a small, close-knit group of lesbians living in Los Angeles for six seasons until 2009.
#TheLWord sequel, exec. produced by showrunner Marja-Lewis Ryan, creator @IleneChaiken, @JenniferBeals, @Leisha_Hailey & @katemoennig, is ON and scheduled to premiere by the end of 2019! 🙋🏻♀️🙋🏼♀️🙋🏻♀️ if you’re excited! pic.twitter.com/PATO3zSBca
— Showtime (@Showtime) January 31, 2019
— Jennifer Beals (@jenniferbeals) January 31, 2019
— kate moennig (@katemoennig) January 31, 2019
A continuation of the much-loved series has been rumoured and discussed for years.
Speaking about a potential revival of the series in 2017, co-creator Ilene Chaiken said she believed the show “should come back.”
“We talk about it all the time,” she told Entertainment Weekly at the time.
“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.”
The L Word isn’t the only iconic queer TV series being rebooted. Last month, it was announced US cable network Bravo was developing a new version of Queer As Folk.
The new iteration of the show will be “a modern take on the original British series that centers on a group of club-going friends who find support in the gay community following a tragedy,” according to reports at the time.