“The L Word” Will Continue Online and in a Possible Spin-off

Last Friday at the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles, Showtime entertainment president Robert Greenblatt announced that a spin-off of The L Word is currently in development with series creator Ilene Chaiken. When pressed for further details about the spin-off, which will star “one of the girls from The L Word as a sort of crossover,” Greenblatt told AfterEllen.com that story lines for the show have been discussed, but “we’re trying to keep it very quiet. We just don’t have all the casting done yet.”

The spin-off will be filmed “in the fall,” Greenblatt said, “right alongside of this season, when we shoot this next season.”

The Season 5 cast of The L Word along with Robert Greenblatt

Photo credit: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images

The next season, which will air on Showtime in early 2009, will be The L Word‘s sixth and final season. Greenblatt said to AfterEllen.com: “It’s going to be an amazing season because there’s a big mystery element to the show in the final year, and then it’s going to continue online to a large extent.”

Networks such as Sci Fi have incorporated web series into their televised series before — for example in Battlestar Galactica — but concluding a TV show with an “open-ended component” that then is continued in a network-produced online series has never been done before.

Greenblatt said the web series is “still forming” and “That will happen later in the process after the show’s on the air.” It will likely air on Ourchart, but “there may be some other internet places for it to go.”

Few details about the upcoming final season, which is currently shooting in Vancouver, have been released, but actors Anne Archer (who played Alice Pieszecki’s mother in three Season 1 episodes) and Camryn Manheim (who played studio exec Veronica Bloom in Season 2), both confirmed they haven’t been asked to return for Season 6 but would welcome the opportunity.

Archer said she would “absolutely” reprise her role, though she is currently committed as a series regular on the new CW series Privileged. “The writing was fantastic,” she said of her stint on The L Word.