Jennifer Beals returns to TV with Ilene Chaiken


I’m about to make you feel two very distinct emotions simultaneously. Are you ready? Emotion No. 1: Jennifer Beals has signed on to a new pilot to return to TV. Emotion No. 2: She will be working with The L Word creator Ilene Chaiken on this project. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

The project, titled Venice (absolutely no relation to Venice the Series), would be a nighttime soap for ABC. The pilot features two rival families in a Romeo & Juliet style battle to control the California city of Venice. According to, Beals would play one of the leading female characters, Lisa Carver, the “elegant bohemian matriarch” of the Carver family – one of the feuding Venice clans.

Chaiken will serve as showrunner and executive producer. The pilot will be directed by McG (yes, that one-named director of the Charlie’s Angels movies) and the pilot is written by Byron Balasco (who wrote for Huff, Without a Trace and FlashForward among other shows).

The series will explore the haves and have-nots of Venice and the forbidden and dangerous romances between them, apparently. After a quick scan of the pilot, it seems Beals’s Lisa is the mother to one of the show’s main protagonists, 20-something Chris who is returning to Venice after six years away.  And that same quick perusal doesn’t show any obvious LGBT characters.

Beals, whose last starring TV role was in the cop drama The Chicago Code, has appeared in guest spots on Castle and the web series WIGS. She tweeted her excitement about the new series yesterday after first promising exciting news for The L Word fans.

So, what do you think? Happy to have Jennifer back? Worried about having Ilene there, too?

More you may like