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Showtime's L Word Inspires Lesbian-Community Website

Showtime's The L Word has inspired a new web community for lesbians and their friends and family. The site, is being launched in part by Ilene Chaiken, who created and executive produces the Showtime show. The social networking site's name comes from one episode of the show in which characters created a wall chart to keep track of their relationships.

The L Word's actors including Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey will contribute content about their personal interests to The site will also feature content from the show's creative team and solicit video, stories and photos from viewers.

Showtime spokesman Stuart Zakim says that it is meant to be a stand-alone site and business, rather than strictly a promotional site for the network or show, although in a bit of reverse engineering, the site will be worked into the show's storyline, and there will be a link to on the Showtime mother site.

It will cross-promote the show, of course, but Zakim sees a life for the site well beyond the run of the show, saying the lesbian community is in need of such a site. 

Chaiken's partners in launching the site include former Recording Industry Association of America CEO Hilary Rosen, who will be OurChart's President and Beth Callaghan, who will be its COO and who was a former senior officer and Editor-in-Chief of preeminent gay/lesbian website creator, PlanetOut. That company signed a deal with NBC Universal's Bravo cable network to launch gay targeting broadband website earlier this year.