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Showtime: ‘Word’ given

Skein quadrupled channel's primetime average rating

After just two episodes have aired, Showtime has renewed frosh drama “The L Word” for a second season.

The premium cabler ordered 13 hours of the series, repping the fastest renewal in Showtime history.

“The L Word” premiered to strong critical notices and 936,000 viewers, quadrupling the channel’s primetime average rating.

Net entertainment topper Robert Greenblatt, who has seen the already-completed first season, described the decision as “a no-brainer.”

“Not only have we gotten an extraordinarily strong reaction from audiences, the show has also gotten great critical acclaim. And most of those critics have seen a good number of episodes,” Greenblatt said, referring to the initial six episodes Showtime shipped to critics before the series launched. “There aren’t that many shows with strong female ensembles, and one of them is leaving the airwaves soon. So if we’re lucky enough to fill that void, I’d be thrilled.”

Second season is set to start production in June, with new episodes slated to bow in early 2005.

“The L Word” revolves around the lives and loves of a group of gay and straight women in Los Angeles. Jennifer Beals, Erin Daniels, Leisha Hailey, Laurel Holloman, Mia Kirshner, Katherine Moennig and Pam Grier star.

Exec producers are creator Ilene Chaiken for Posse Prods., Steve Golin and Larry Kennar. MGM TV Entertainment distributes the skein internationally.

“The L Word” airs Sundays at 10 p.m.

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