Showtime has renewed its ensemble drama, "The L Word," for a fourth season.

Production will begin this summer on 12 new episodes to air in 2007, the New York Post reported Friday.

Showtime entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt said the series has "caught fire" in its third season with a 51 percent increase in viewership numbers.

The drama revolves around a group of lesbian friends played by Jennifer Beals, Erin Daniels, Leisha Hailey, Laurel Holloman, Mia Kirshner and Pam Grier.

"'The L Word,' without a doubt, is one of Showtime's true signature series ... we've seen a ratings explosion in Season 3, the likes of which we would never have predicted," Greenblatt said.