Showtime readies 'L Word' spinoff

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Showtime is working on a spinoff to its drama series "The L Word," which will have its final-season bow early next year.

In addition, the network has ordered two more seasons of "Weeds" and a seventh season of "Penn & Teller: Bullshit!" (making it the network's longest-running series) and has handed out series pickups to "Nurse Jackie," the dark comedy starring Edie Falco, and a gun-themed documentary series titled "Locked and Loaded." Showtime president of entertainment Robert Greenblatt made the announcements Friday at the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour at the Beverly Hilton.

Greenblatt said the "L Word" spinoff is in the early stages and didn't offer a lot of details. He did say that "L Word" creator/ executive producer Ilene Chaiken is creating the spinoff, which will shoot after "L Word" wraps production on its sixth and final season this year. It will star one of the actresses from the series, which will end its run with an open-ended story line that will continue online. Should the spinoff get a series pickup, the story line will continue in the as-yet-untitled project.

Greenblatt said the chosen actress does not yet know it will feature her. Pressed for more details, he said only: "We're still forming it. I'm sure I have a million e-mails already from loyal viewers about it, but we're still in the process of figuring it out."

Greenblatt also revealed that Showtime is in talks with Ira Glass for a third season of "This American Life" and has a deal for two more eight-episode seasons of the British import "Secret Diary of a Call Girl." Whether the network would order more beyond that would depend in part on whether star Billie Piper returned for a fourth season, he said. (partialdiff)
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