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Pictured Ab FAB and, right, Mia Kirshner as Jenny and Karina Lombard as Marina in The L Word. Photo by Carole Segal/Showtime


Sunday, Jan. 18

SHOWTIME, 8-10 p.m.

Inside the lives and loves of a group of L.A. lesbians!

From the moment THE L WORD begins, you realize you're in for a far superior production than QUEER AS FOLK.

Imagine: characters with fully realized, well-rounded lives! Yes, they have specific cafes and bars they like to frequent, and yes, they have soap-operatic sex lives, but they also have careers and jobs to get to (or look for).

Jenny Schecter (MIA KIRSHNER) is a writer of fiction who has just graduated from college and arrives in Los Angeles to begin her new adult life with her boyfriend Tim Haspel (ERIC MABIUS). The couple live in West Hollywood, next door to Bette Porter (JENNIFER BEALS) and her partner Tina Kennard (LAUREL HOLLOMAN), who are trying to find the perfect sperm donor to help them start a family. Bette's and Tina's close network of friends includes Shane McCutcheon (KATHERINE MOENNIG), the resident heartthrob; Dana Fairbanks (ERIN DANIELS), a professional tennis player not yet out of the closet; bisexual journalist Alice Pieszecki (LEISHA HAILEY); and Bette's half-sister Kit Porter (PAM GRIER), a musician and a recovering alcoholic.

In the two-hour pilot, directed by Rose Troche (THE SAFETY OF OBJECTS, GO FISH), Jenny's plans for her future are shaken when Marina (KARINA LOMBARD), a beautiful and compelling woman who owns a West Hollywood cafe, makes a pass at her.

The series also features a great gallery of guest stars. Melissa Etheridge's new wife Tammy Lynn Michaels portrays a jilted lover of Shane who stalks her. Anne Archer guest stars as Alice's B-actress mother. Roseanna Arquette portrays the wife of a studio head who comes in to get her hair cut by Shane and changes more than her haircut. Lolita Davidovich plays a costume designer who is also Marina's lover.

Ossie Davis plays Melvin Porter, father of Bette and Kit. Devon Gummersall plays 'Lisa,' a lesbian-identified man who has a relationship with Alice. Kelly Lynch portrays Ivan, a Drag King who falls for Kit (Pam Grier). Julian Sands plays a college professor of Jenny's. Snoop Dogg is Slim Daddy, a rap star who samples a song that Kit wrote a number of years ago. Holland Taylor plays Peggy Peabody, an eccentric and wealthy art collector.


ISAAC MIZRAHI (Oxygen, 6 a.m., 3p.m.)

ELLEN DEGENERES (NBC, 10 a.m.) Daily. Thurs: Debra Messing, Fri: Donny Osmond.

ALL MY CHILDREN (ABC, noon) Daily. Last week, Maggie accused a surprised Lena of trying to push her out of the picture so she can have Bianca all to herself. Ryan told Kendall and Bianca he's finally found a doctor willing to do the amnio switch. Helen explained to Bianca and Kendall that she agreed to help them fake the DNA test because she herself is a rape survivor. Following the ultrasound, Helen cautioned Bianca that performing an amniocentesis would pose too great a risk with the way her baby is currently positioned.

ELLEN DEGENERES (Oxygen, 10 p.m.) Week-old repeats of Ellen's show. Thur: Mandy Moore, Fri: James Spader.

CLASSIC ELLEN SITCOM: THESE FRIENDS OF MINE (Lifetime, 12:30 a.m.) Wed night: The hapless pizza deliveryman, whom Ellen once labeled a 'loser,' returns from Italy and wins her heart. Thur: Ellen's fallen in love with Dan, and Paige doesn't like being the odd man out. Fri: Ellen's world is shaken up by an earthquake and the arrival of her cousin Spence (Jeremy Piven).


IT'S ALL RELATIVE (ABC, 7:30 p.m.) New: Philip invites Mace (Lenny Clarke) to be part of an art exhibit. Simon helps Audrey with a recipe.

SEX AND THE CITY (HBO, 8 p.m.) Repeat.

SOUTH PARK (9 p.m., 11 p.m.) Repeat.

THE L WORD DEFINED (SHO, 9:50 p.m.) Preview. Repeats Thurs at 6:40 and 8:40 p.m., Fri at 6:45 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., Sat at 1:15 a.m. and 10:15 p.m., Sun at 12:35 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.



THE L WORD ON THE VIEW (ABC, 10 a.m.) Jennifer Beals and Pam Grier.

WILL & GRACE (NBC, 8 p.m.) New: Geena Davis plays Grace's sister, a flighty and mixed-up moocher. John Cleese returns as Minnie Driver's father.

E. R. (NBC, 9 p.m.) New. With Laura Innes as lesbian Dr. Kerry Weaver.

THE L WORD ON CRAIG KILBORN (CBS, 11:35 p.m.) Mia Kirshner.


BRUCE VILANCH ON PYRAMID (Ch. 13, 7:30 p.m.)

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS (Oxygen, 8 p.m., 11 p.m., 1 p.m. Sat) New episode.

NEVER AGAIN (LOVE, 9 p.m.) Movie: Two straight fiftysomethings (Jeffrey Tambor, Jill Clayburgh) meet in a gay bar and tentatively embark on a romance. Written and directed by Eric Schaeffer. (2001)



E! TRUE ELLEN (E! TV, 3 p.m.)

DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION (Noggin, 8:30, 10:30 p.m.) 'Pride.' Marco confides that he's gay to Spinner, who is ill at ease with the revelation. Marco develops an unrequited crush on Paige's older brother.

GAY PLOT ON THE DISTRICT (CBS, 9 p.m.) 'Breath of Life.' Mannion (Craig T. Nelson) is upset when it appears that one of his men failed to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to his gay partner. Brander helps rescue Grady Price, a gay officer who is run down by the driver of a car he and his partner, Dymecki, pulled over during a routine traffic stop. Dymecki is visibly upset and seems to be in shock as Brander administers mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR. Later, when Mannion reads Brander's report, he suspects that Dymecki did not attempt to save his partner out of fear of contracting a disease, a serious offense within the department.


E! TRUE ELLEN (E! TV, 9 a.m.)

THE L WORD (SHO, 8-10 p.m.) Must See Pilot Episode.

SEX AND THE CITY (HBO, 8 p.m.) New: Carrie balances the feeling she should have a baby with the reality of her future with Aleksandr. Miranda doesn't enjoy her getaway with David. Samantha uses her PR skills to see someone very exclusive.


AIRLINE A&E, 3 p.m. New reality series following Southwest Airlines employees. Last week's premiere followed out flight attendant Sam Anderson ('I'm 35 and not married—you do the math'), from his home outside Chicago (with his mother) to his antics with the other attendants onboard their flight (he dances with the passengers) to his big win in Vegas.


WHOOPI (NBC, 7 p.m.) New. When the nation's security threat level is elevated to an orange alert, Nasim's paranoia over an abandoned designer briefcase leads Mavis (Whoopi) to call the police bomb squad to blow up the attache. She then discovers that her brother Courtney is missing his expensive new briefcase.

QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY (Bravo, 9 and 1 p.m.) Repeat.

Gay Boy Ric will appear on VH-1's TOTALLY GAY 2, premiering in early 2004. To receive free GTV E-Mail Alerts:

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