Showtime Cancels “L Word: Generation Q,” Might Pursue New Reboot Set in NYC, What

Friends, the time we feared would come has indeed come: despite the fact that Dani and Gigi have yet to reunite and pledge their eternal love for each other, The L Word: Generation Q has been axed by iconic television conglomerate Paramount + with Showtime after three seasons of love, laughter, blazers, haircuts, confusing character choices and memories.

However — Ilene Chaiken possibly already has something new up her billowy sleeves! Deadline reporter Nellie Andreeva reports that “the franchise may continue on the network — The L Word: New York (working title), a reboot of the groundbreaking original series, is in development with the 2004 series’ creator Ilene Chaiken attached, I hear.”

A show being “in development” can mean literally anything at all — like it could just be a draft on a laptop — so this news is far from a guarantee that we are mere months or even years away from visiting Alice’s Park Slope loft or witnessing the re-opening of Shane for Wax’s Chelsea and Williamsburg locations. (Alternately, perhaps the reboot intends to time travel back to 2010, when Bette and Tina were moving to the city?) But it’s something, I guess? It is a small thing, a whisper of hope, like the possibility of an engagement ring stuck in a bowl of mashed potatoes. It is also, I must point out, potentially another opportunity for the team behind this show to do the right thing and hire me personally to write for it!

Apparently the programming slate over there has been re-evaluated since Chris McCarthy began heading up Showtime following the exit of former CEO David Nevins in October. When announcing the Yellowjackets third season renewal in December, McCarthy cited The L Word as one of the “unconventional cultural takes” categorized as a strength of Showtime’s present line-up. But a month later, The L Word‘s place in that paragraph was usurped by Fellow Travelers, a show I’ve never heard of. Furthermore, not a single Showtime series has been renewed since it was announced in January that the premium cable network would be integrated into Paramount+ across streaming and linear this year.

It’s no secret that fans and recappers (me) of the original series were often underwhelmed by Generation Q, with ratings slowly declining over its three-season run. However, it still held a special place in our hearts and there was still a lot to love about it, including a really stellar cast. Shortly after Season Three’s conclusion, a fan campaign on social media begged Showtime to start over with a new reboot.

Shane weighed in on social media about the cancellation last night:

Insta story from Kate moennig: "Shane, it was an absolute pleasure to see you again. You will always mean more to me then just being a sex addict who doesn't know anything about non monogamy. To the fans of the show, I love you all."

Between this and last week’s cancellation of A League of Their Own, we are really hurting as a community fo queer television stories and also as a website for the traffic we earn when people are excited about television shows centered on lesbian+ communities.

I will personally be praying hard for this new reboot to actually happen!!

Excuse me while I go scream into a pillow!!!!!!

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Riese

Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3228 articles for us.

47 Comments

  1. And to think I had diverted all my white witch spells towards getting a proper renewal for League. As usual, the jokes on us, because both shows are cancelled (or, barely given some final scraps).

    After such uneven seasons 2 and 3, I was mostly rooting for a renewal out of sheer love for these characters and the talented actors (but with little faith that the show’s narrative beats/writing would improve

    ). I realize this is not how television works but I wish they’d at least throw them a final 90 minute episode to bring some closure to the series. (I guess Tess is … dead? But as Drew pointed out on To L and Back, it feels like they did wrap up the core storyline that they seemed to think mattered: Tina and Bette.)

    Chef’s kiss to the lead image for this story, though, Riese/Viv!

  2. I can’t believe someone might actually be listening to all the people who were like “screw the new characters we just want the original characters again”

    If I am subjected to Bette and Tina: The NYC years, my only hope is you are in the writers room Riese!! (Also is there any way I could commission you to write a Sinley fan fic)

    • Indeed I would only watch The L Word: Bette and Tina Take Manhattan if at least two of the following three criteria are met: 1. Riese is in the writers room, 2. Surprise! Jenny actually isn’t dead and resurfaces in NYC (ever heard of it?) which always struck me as more her vibe than LA anyway, and/or 3. muppets are indeed involved (come on they already did a musical episode).

  3. i feel bad about this in the symbolic (queer tv landscape etc) and nostalgic (won’t somebody think of the l words) senses but in the sense of a pretty bad show getting cancelled it seems about right

  4. As bad as the third season was, there was so much room for more character development and new stories. Seasons 1 and 2 were so much better. It’s also the only true aspirational show for queer women – these were really smart, accomplished, funny, flawed, beautiful women and trans men across the entire spectrum and a much more diverse cast than the original. We are losing a lot here. I hope whatever is cooking for a reboot will be good but can’t imagine how they will pull it off and our community deserves better.

    • The L Word generation q ended when Sepideh Moafi left the show. It has been said that Jennifer Beals was the reason why Sepideh left. Gigi & Dani were the most passionate couple of all the Gen q characters, and had a lot of potential to carry the show as a fan favorite.The fact that there is no definite post from any of the characters,as to why Sepideh left Generation q, we may never know the truth about what happened behind the scenes. Shortly after Sepideh’s departure, Jennifer Beals stepped down as Executive Producer and that has never been discussed in any of her interviews. Marja Lewis Ryan appears to be the common denominator here, and she is not saying anything about the issues that obliviously contributed to The L Word generation q not being picked up for a 4th season. Kate & Leisha expressed their disappointment as to their character development on the “Pants” podcast as well. IMO, the input of the 3 Executive Producers voices were not given serious consideration in what direction they would’ve liked to see their characters develop. I believe the Showrunner was more interested in checking diversity boxes than actual well written storylines. In interviews with Jess Rothchild, Marja skirted around the questions that were asked of her as a way to avoid taking responsibility for her downfalls and her inexperience at writing a show that had so much more potential to run for the 6 seasons that the characters signed up for. Putting utility characters in & pulling them out for the sake of creating drama was not what the majority of the fans wanted. We would have liked to see a few of the couples have stable loving relationship.Our voices were not at all taken seriously when we gave suggestions on what we would like to have seen happen on the show. If the fans are not happy with the direction the show is going, it is imperative that the Showrunners at least try to make some improvements for the fans that felt were very important to them. When Marja was asked in the same interview with Jess if she knew if the writers watched the OG L Word, she said she didn’t know if they did or not. Maybe if the writers did some research on the L Word characters, they may have had better insight as to writing better character development. I am very dissapointed that The L Word generation q was cancelled after only 3 seasons. We were left with many unanswered questions. We had no closure at the end of season 3 regarding the cliffhangers we were left with. It is unfortunate that Generation q had so much potential for being one of the few remaining LGBTQ+ community shows that we were hoping would continue for several more seasons only to watch it end after only 3 seasons.Our community lost so many LGBTQ+ characters in a time where we need to be represented in shows, not dismissed as if we are not an important part of the LGBTQ+ community.

  5. Dang, the show definitely had its flaws and the storylines were… not great, but man am I gonna miss the characters. It was the potential that always had me returning for more.

    I think the saddest part is loosing the depth of representation the show brought to our community. It wasn’t perfect in representation and definitely had room for improvement, but it was the one of the very few designed to specifically tell our stories.

    The NY show feels a little like a carrot being dangled to keep people from being upset. However, teasing a new show set in NY while TLW:GQ is barely cold feels very on brand because while reading it I went… wait, what?? That doesn’t even make sense! One last head scratching hoorah on the way out, I guess. ;)

    Seeing another LGBTQ+ show bite the dust just adds to the tally of lost characters and representation. Cancel our gays carries on.

    • I’m very sad to see this sometimes very uneven iteration of this very special show go, and I’ll miss lots of the characters and the limitless, often unfulfilled, potential of this big queer show made by and for queer people.

      More than that, I’ll miss Riese’s recaps and all the thoughtful discussions about what we were seeing and what we all wanted/thought we deserved to see. Even when the show was baffling or frustrating, it was fun to share.

      On a rougher note, I’ll always resent that the final episode was so marked by such a lack of care for trans and disabled characters, and that the last season we spent with this specific cast of characters focused more time on a bad cis dude pursuing his student than on Micah, a series regular from day one. It’s sad that we had to retread a third relapse storyline rather than…idk Shane taking up unicycling and Tess grappling with how unchic she thought it was while also interviewing new bar managers (all gay cameos, obvi) to gtfo of the bar industry and chasing her true dream of being a real estate reality star opposite Gigi.

      Brand new characters is so stressful to me when some of our Gen Q regulars were really hitting their stride, even when the material they received was not always worthy of their obvious talent. I hate the idea that those guys would probably not all be along for the ride in a reboot. Obviously, if TLW:NY really gets made and released I will consume it and any/all AS coverage of it, but it does feel very much like Charlie Brown pulling his foot back and trying not to be overwhelmed by the memory of every time Lucy has yoinked that football before.

      • Mina, as always you put into words my frustrations so much more thoughtfully then I could. The way the season ended did so many of the character so dirty. Was I hoping a fourth season would provide a meaningful Sinley reunion? Sure. But each of those characters got some degree or story arc/growth and resolution of promise of good things to come. Maribel? Micah? Tess? Even Angie? And even Shane! I would love to see her develop a synchronized unicycling group with her poly partners, when she isn’t cutting hair at Shane for Wax at Dana’s.

    • I don’t think you’re the only one that needs a pillow like that.🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 Our LGBTQ+ Community has very few shows representing us,& so many good characters have been lost. It is very dissapointing at a time when we are advocating to move forward not backwards! The LGBTQ+ community continues to struggle for the same rights that heterosexual people take for granted. We continue to read posts containing hateful comments on social media. Also,many more states are taking away the rights we fought so hard to acheieve. Acceptance of the people in this world that have different
      lifestyles have a long way to go to be accepted as equals. The world would be such a better place if people had more compassion and empathy,instead of berating others beliefs, just because they are different from their own.

  6. I have such mixed feelings about this. My first feeling is sadness for all the actors who are very talented and now out of a job, after having to struggle with poor writing. Also sadness and anger about how the trans and disabled characters were treated. But after Marja’s interview where she said it was a white lesbian show for white lesbians, that she made Sepideh, among other things, I really didn’t want her at the helm any longer. I hope the cast and crew find next jobs very quickly. I wish it had been possible to replace MLR, bring in a showrunner with more experience and who doesn’t so clearly have favorites at the expense of the quality of writing of the BIPOC trans & disabled characters. If more queer shows had been renewed and all characters had been given a good ending, I could have been satisfied. But I also don’t trust MLR with a S4 to not do more harm to Micabel and Tess and Sophie etc etc.

  7. I’m going to miss this mess of a show. I just started rewatching Gen Q with my tv pals. Maybe it will get picked up somewhere else, but I don’t really have too much hope of that happening. Please give me an alternate universe where Kit is still alive.

  8. I agree with a lot of what here was said about the 3 seasons. But, does the reboot have to be set in NYC? I’d like to see it set in Massachusetts or the PNW, but less white of course.

  9. You know, I’d watch that reboot asap. We need our stories told. Where else can we watch a majority queer female cast??? My only requests for Ilene is no more rookies, and please hire a QPOC show runner.

    Sad that the show ended only because what else do we have now? It had good moments but I’m really not surprised it was cancelled.

  10. Honestly, I was surprised that they even got a Season2 when Season1 was sooo bad XD I wasn’t expecting the show to be perfect, but the writing was all over the place, the directions that some characters went were nonsensical and unfortunate, there wasn’t much butch representation, and the rich white LA lifestyle is cringe-worthy at this point…

    I’d like to see Leisha and Kate in something other than an L Word remake! Some kind of a drama show, a sitcom without a laugh reel, or maybe a fantasy/historical show? A holiday romcom movie (a better version of Happiest Season lol), so we’d get that L Word Christmas special that Riese always asks for??

    And yes, even when the writing is so bad, having a show like this with mainstream queer representation is still needed! I feel like I have lots of streaming options at the moment, but a big name show *The L Word on Showtime* does help a lot of queer actors become more known. It makes more straight ppl aware of queer culture (and keeps us from being out of sight/out of mind, as we continue to fight for our rights), and can reach more questioning or queer folks who haven’t realized that yet about themselves!

    I know I’m preaching to the choir here on AS, but thanks for listening to my thoughts :)

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