May 28, 2014 1:01pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Showtime Orders 'L Word' Documentary From Ilene Chaiken
There's life left in Showtime's The L Word.
The premium cable network announced Wednesday that it will debut L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin, a documentary from series creator Ilene Chaiken, in August.
L Word Mississippi is a 90-minute documentary that hails from Chaiken and Real L Word executive producers Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz's Magical Elves banner. The doc will be directed by Emmy nominee Lauren Lazin and explore the daily struggles of a group of Southern lesbians.
Chaiken and the Elves will visit Bible Belt towns like Laurel, Gulfport and Hattiesburg to tell the stories of a dozen women, including a newly out-and-proud former pastor banished from her church who later regains her self-esteem by launching a program to support her local LGBTQ community; a white mother who would accept her daughter’s black lover, if only she were a man; a couple who grapples with both infertility and female-to-male gender transitioning; and a former life-long lesbian who struggles to “pray the gay away” and hopes to do the same for her openly gay son.
The documentary comes after Showtime aired six seasons of the scripted drama The L Word, starring Jennifer Beals and Leisha Hailey and spun the franchise off into docuseries The Real L Word, which ran for three seasons. Showtime entertainment president David Nevins told reporters in January 2013 that he wanted to keep the franchise going and had been talking with producers about changing the show's format.
"I've been talking a lot with Dan, Jane and Ilene about exploring L Word culture -- lesbian culture in places not New York, L.A. -- where the subculture is not so defined and it's not so easy. I think we're likely to make a documentary that will feel like a Real L Word documentary," he said at the time.
L Word Mississippi will premiere Aug. 8 at 9 p.m. on Showtime. The news comes a day after Showtime announced it would air the entire series runs of Queer as Folk and The L Word to celebrate Gay Pride Month in June. Chaiken, meanwhile, will segue from showrunning ABC's The Black Box to Fox's hip-hop drama Empire.