Ilene Chaiken talks “The Real L Word” and two new pilots


Filming on the third season of The Real L Word is still a few months away, but the show’s creator, Ilene Chaiken, said that she’s excited about the new bicoastal spin it will take this year.

“I’m excited and it’s really early to talk about it,” she said at a Showtime/CBS TCA party. “But very excited to be doing New York. We’ve been talking about it for years. When we first started, I proposed it to [former Showtime president] Bob [Greenblatt]. We talked about it and this is the year we’re getting to do it and it seems like an opportunity to do something really new and fresh with our brand.”

While she wouldn’t comment on whether a few specific women from Season 2 will be returning (she’s mum on Sadjah and Claire), she did say that they want to keep around women who have, well, drama. “Ultimately for us, what it comes down to is are they a good story? Are they really showing us something that’s interesting? Are they open in a way that can really engage the audience and tell us something that we think is worth talking about?”

Well that explains Whitney! Ilene also wants to remind us, “Certainly know that we can’t control them.”

While they might not be part of the expanding L Word brand, Chaiken has been keeping busy with two new pilots. One is at NBC and follows a lesbian couple who are both doctors at an inner-city Philadelphia hospital. The other is at CBS and Chaiken refers as “a girl action show.”

“We’re in that kind of pregnant moment where everybody’s waiting,” Chaiken said on the development of both pilots. “We’re getting notes, we’re turning around scripts, but we probably won’t know for another couple of weeks with our projects.”

During the NBC TCA day, Robert Greenblatt (who has since left Showtime to head up NBC’s entertainment programming) told me that the lesbian-themed pilots in development are still too early to make any decisions on, so it seems we’re going to have to keep waiting along with Ilene to hear on that. But Chaiken said she still keeps in touch with the actresses she worked with on The L Word and she’d love to have them come on her new shows once they get picked up.

“Absolutely, I’d love to work with them again,” she said, “and I will talk about developing shows for one or two of them, but certainly I’d love to have them on anything I’m doing.”