“B.J. Fletcher” is ready for new adventures – with a little help from her friends

When B.J. Fletcher: Private Eye won the AfterEllen.com contest in 2008 to find the “next great web series,” I couldn’t watch it due to a frustrating combination of an old computer and an unreliable DSL connection. But that meant that when I did get to watch it, I had 10 episodes at my disposal — and I was hooked in no time.

B.J. Fletcher, produced by Regan Latimer and Bee Charmer Productions, offered something that was, especially in 2008, rare and precious: a series featuring lesbians doing something else besides being lesbians. Fletch (Lindy Zucker) and her best friend George (Dana Puddicombe) are quirky private investigators that just happen to be gay.

The show is hilarious. Fletch carries a huge tape recorder everywhere to record clues and observations, envisioning herself as a master detective. George keeps the pair grounded — at least as much as possible for these two — and provides the common sense to balance B.J.’s bravado. Here’s the series trailer.

Fletcher gets better with every episode. By Season 2, creators Zucker and Latimer had learned a lot about the production and development process — and it shows. You can tell that the actors still are having a lot of fun, but the overall feel is more professional. Plus, we got to see Fletch and George, characters we had come to care about, grow and change. We also saw that they are made for each other. The cliffhanger end of Season 2, in fact, leaves us wondering if they’ll get together. (You can watch Seasons 1 and 2 on AfterEllen.com.)

We’ve been wondering for two years. Fletcher secured a development deal in 2009 with Toronto-based Matter of Fact Media and developed a pilot script to present to American TV networks. But Latimer says that things did not go as planned.

“We’ve been successful in meeting with a number of networks: however, we were disappointed at the requests that were made, which would have compromised the creative integrity of Fletcher,” she said. “Although we have not given up on that avenue altogether, we are returning to the web where we can truly be ourselves with the support of our fans.”

Yes, that means what you think it does: Fletcher will be back on the web with a third season this fall. Latimer will write, direct, and serve as co-executive producer with London-based Rochelle Dancel. Zucker and Puddicombe are returning, along with series regulars Vanessa Dunn and Karim Morgan.

In order to start shooting this summer, the creative team launched a fundraising campaign at Indie Gogo, which they announced last week at Toronto Pride 2011. They need $2,500 to get started — and you can help. Any amount will help, but higher donation levels come with perks like autographs and T-shirts and even a chance to win a walk-on role in a new episode. If you can’t send money, you can help by spreading the word to friends who can. If you can, go to the site right now and donate. Since AfterEllen.com helped launch B.J. Fletcher: Private Eye, nothing would make us happier than our readers giving the series a huge boost toward its goal.

Are you excited to see more of Fletch and George? Do you think they’ll get together in Season 3? What do you think of the idea of going directly to fans to raise funds for the series?

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