The L Word is an American television drama series created by Michele Abbot, Ilene Chaiken and Kathy Greenberg that portrays the lives of a group of lesbian and bisexual women and their friends, family and lovers in the trendy Los Angeles-area city of West Hollywood.
The series aired in the USA on Showtime from 18 January, 2004 to 8 March, 2009. There are 70 hour-long episodes in six seasons.
The L Word originally premiered in South Africa on M-Net on Thursday 21 October 2004, at 21h30. The first season aired on M-Net, after which the show moved to DStv's M-Net Series channel for the second season onwards. It began airing on Sony Entertainment Television (SET) on 31 December 2007.
See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates by channel.
The L Word 3 aired on M-Net Series from 10 January to 28 March 2007, on Wednesdays at 21h00. There are 12 hour-long episodes in the season.
Season 3 is set six months after the birth of Angelica (Tina and Bette's daughter). Tina's and Bette's relationship as a couple is decaying and finally ends when Tina begins a heterosexual relationship.
The estrangement between the two leads to a climactic showdown over Angelica's custody.
New characters in this season include Moira Sweeney (a working class butch who is Jenny’s girlfriend for most of the season) and Angus Partridge, Angelica’s male nanny who later becomes Kit’s lover.
Sweeney later starts the process of transitioning from female to male, switching his name to Max.
Shane and Carmen's relationship (begun in season 2) leads Carmen to face her family and reveal her homosexuality to them.
At the beginning of the season, Alice and Dana's relationship has ended and Alice is having a hard time dealing with it. Dana is back with Lara, and is later found to have cancer and ultimately dies.
This death triggers Shane to ask Carmen to marry her in the following episode. Carmen agrees, but in the season finale Shane does not show up to the ceremony.
Helena's character storyline is switched from being Bette's rival into a new member of the circle of friends, paired mostly with Alice. She buys a film studio and later in the series Tina starts to work for her.
Further in the season, Helena meets a documentary producer with whom she has an affair: Dylan Moreland, portrayed by Alexandra Hedison.
A sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Dylan, along with Helena’s prodigal behaviour, puts her family business in jeopardy. During the season finale, her mother Peggy decides to cut her off financially.
Throughout this season, each episode begins with a short pre-credits vignette of two individuals meeting romantically or sexually. As the season progresses lines from Alice's chart connect one member of each vignette with a new individual in the next.
Beginning in the early 1970s with a housewife named Marilyn, these connections eventually wind through several of the series main characters showing scenes of their earlier lives until it ends with Lara, alone in Paris.
A much older Marilyn is introduced in the season finale, showing once again the interconnectedness in all of their lives.
Season 1 (13 episodes)
Channel: M-Net | Premiere: 21 Oct 2004 | Finale: 13 Jan 2005 | Thursdays, 21h30
Channel: SET | Premiere: 31 Dec 2007 | Finale: 21 Jan 2008 | Mondays, 22h00 (4-hour block)
Season 2 (13 episodes)
Channel: M-Net Series | Premiere: 11 Oct 2006 | Finale: 3 Jan 2007 | Wednesdays, 21h00
Channel: SET | Premiere: 30 Mar 2008 | Finale: 11 May 2008 | Sundays, 23h00 (double bill)
Season 3 (12 episodes)
Channel: M-Net Series | Premiere: 10 Jan 2007 | Finale: 28 Mar 2007 | Wednesdays, 21h00
Season 4 (12 episodes)
Channel: M-Net Series | Premiere: 4 Apr 2007 | Finale: 20 Jun 2007 | Wednesdays, 21h00
Season 5 (12 episodes)
Channel: M-Net Series | Premiere: 16 Apr 2008 | Finale: 2 Jul 2008 | Wednesdays, 21h00
Season 6 (8 episodes)
Channel: M-Net Series | Premiere: 8 Jul 2009 | Finale: 26 Aug 2009 | Wednesdays, 21h00