“The L Word” Reboot Is Really, Actually Happening This Very Year

Well, it’s official: Showtime is really, truly, actually rebooting The L Word. President of programming Gary Levine said so himself, “cautiously,” at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour earlier this week. And Showtime confirmed it during their TCA slot today.

According to Deadline, they’ve been hard at work at it for over a year. And by “they,” I mean new showrunner Marja-Lewis Ryan; your old pal Ilene Chaiken; and Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey, and Kate Moennig, who will serve as executive producers and reprise their roles as Bette, Alice, and Shane. The Hollywood Reporter says “other characters from the original series” may also appear, and includes on that list Erin Daniels and Mia Kirshner. Any skepticism I have about this reboot would vanish instantly if someone could confirm Dana and Jenny will appear as ghosts or vampires.

The L Word: The New Class will reflect “how members of the community’s relationships, their lives, and experiences have evolved and what has changed (and what hasn’t) since the show’s inception.” Maybe, for example, people of color and trans people and bisexuals exist in West Hollywood now! Maybe lesbians know how to talk about those identities without being monsters! Maybe no one’s going to get breast cancer on Tuesday and die on Wednesday! I do hope Bette Porter keeps saying “fuck” a lot, though; no one fucking knows how to swear like Bette Fucking Porter.

Showtime has ordered eight episodes, which are expected to premiere before the end of the year.

Update: Sarah Shahi is in. Reporters asked her about the reboot at TCA today. Caroline Framke at Variety reports that she said: “This was something that was brought up in a discussion [with original L Word cast members] last year… The girls were talking to me about it, and my involvement was discussed very heavily that I would be in it. I think they want to keep it that way, and so does Showtime.”

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Heather Hogan

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle senior editor who lives in New York City with her wife, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Heather has written 1562 articles for us.


  1. Although I am excited about the show, I’m much more eager to read the Autostraddlers’ (and those of us who write in the comment box’s) commentary and reviews! On my wishlist for returning characters are Molly Kroll (probably because I’m bougie AF), but the actress Clementine Ford is dealing with MS, sooo…, and Carmen (because she makes me have…those kind of feelings), but I am not clever enough to imagine how she could be written back in.

  2. I’m cautiously excited but never underestimate Chaiken’s ability to pull some shocking twist like Shane now being a born again Christian or Bette married to a dude just to get attention and piss us off.

  3. I’m cautiously excited, but I want them to get trans, gnc, and bi/pan writers, especially writers of color, involved. I don’t have a lot of faith in shows giving representation without the same representation in the writers room.

  4. this is the way that we liiiiiiive… and LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE

    so excited for this reboot and for shane to come back into my life but i’m definitely hoping for better storylines and more representation. a girl can dream

    • I liked it! the four faced liar is a pretty quiet movie and I’ve always appreciated its ending bc it’s open ended on how things will turn out for the characters. Marja Lewis Ryan played a tom boy lesbian who loves books and girls. she was my favorite character because she was p lovable (and hot)-she gave the questioning girl space to figure stuff out, read on the toilet with a cigarette every morning and just generally had a simple, cool life. MLR played her character really well and it’ll be interesting to see her take the leap from indie to showtime (guinivere turner did it though and was successful so)I think she’ll do a good job!

      • I liked it too. I actually only discovered it because the “questioning” girl was played by my high school classmate. I like the characters, but of course they were all white and cis. I’m not sure what changes she’ll bring to The L Word

        • oh no way! that’s awesome.
          I agree-I was gonna say the film’s cast was pretty much all white and cis as far as I remember and so the actress (probably) won’t contribute to a more diverse L Word cast. here’s to hoping she’s not the “standard” of new cast members

  5. NO to Jenny Fucking Schecter. Yes to everyone else. I would like to see Bette with a black woman so the show could explore colorism and its effects on relationships between people of color. Chaiken isn’t that deep so I won’t hold my breath.

  6. “The Hollywood Reporter says “other characters from the original series” may also appear, and includes on that list Erin Daniels and Mia Kirshner. Any skepticism I have about this reboot would vanish instantly if someone could confirm Dana and Jenny will appear as ghosts or vampires.”


  7. So…does this mean I have to go finish watching the original? I loved season 1 and then I forget if it was season 2 or three I quit partway through. Nothing I have seen in y’all’s comments on the many L-Word posts has ever made me think I really want to watch the later seasons… Fingers crossed for better representation and better development in the new version.

    (And yes to at least one non-cheating couple, can writers not figure out How To Drama without people cheating on each other? They can come examine my life, I got yer existential angst and personal development RIGHT HERE BABY but no cheating in nearly 20 years together.)








  9. to quote a friend of mine in our group text about this very subject: “I think the writers should embrace the show’s reputation and just make it out and out ridiculous. I want the ghost of Dana haunting everyone. Dana’s ghost commandeers an Olivia Cruise Line ship and drives it straight into The Planet”

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