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The L Word Sequel Is Officially Happening at Showtime -- with Sarah Shahi!

See who's returning

Kaitlin Thomas

You've heard the rumors and teases for a while. Now we can finally confirm that The L Wordsequel is officially happening! The announcement was made Thursday by Gary Levine, president of entertainment at Showtime, during the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

Marja-Lewis Ryan (The Four-Faced Liar) will serve as showrunner for the eight-episode series. She will executive-produce the new show with original series creator Ilene Chaiken and original stars Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey.

"Marja has brought her unique and contemporary vision to The L Word and blended it beautifully into the fabric of Ilene's groundbreaking series," said Levine in a statement. "This revered show was both entertaining and impactful when it originally ran on Showtime, and we are confident that our new version will do that and more in 2019."

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The three leads are not the only ones returning. Later on in the Showtime presentation, Sarah Shahi told a small group of reporters that she will return as Carmen Morales.

"This was something that was brought up in a discussion last year, and the girls were talking to me about it. It was discussed very heavily my involvement and that I would be in it. I intend to keep it that way, and so does Showtime," she said.

Shahi also said that all she needed to hear was that the rest of the cast wanted to bring the show back to get her interested. While they haven't figured out the exact story details for the sequel series, she has some ideas about where Carmen is now.

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"I think she's definitely still pining away over Shane. For Shane, Carmen would be the one that got away. I think it's a big game-changer for [Shane]. I'm not sure if she's still DJ'ing or not, but definitely something in the music/art world," she said. "We haven't discussed any of the larger themes. Late last year, we were still trying to get a show runner on board. We were still trying to do the early stuff before any storylines got broken."

The L Word was a groundbreaking series that originally ran from 2004 until 2009. The revival will see Beals, Moennig and Hailey reprising their roles and appearing alongside a new generation of LGBTQIA characters who, according to Levine, are also "experiencing love, heartbreak, sex, setbacks and success in L.A."

The L Word sequel will debut in late 2019 on Showtime.

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)

Additional reporting by Megan Vick