I don’t think anybody thought Orange is the New Black was ever in danger of cancellation, but Netflix has gone public with its love for the woman’s prison drama, renewing it for three more seasons. The Hollywood Reporter notes that the longest commitment Netflix has given any of its original series.
This may the impetus for the show to delve into longer, more complex storylines, though frankly they’ve been doing pretty well with pacing. Nobody wanted to see Dayanara’s drawn out pregnancy for one more season.
Based on the memoir of Piper Kerman, an upscale New Englander who laundered money for her drug trafficking girlfriend, the show depicts fictional life inside a minimum security prison. Jenji Kohan, who had a background writing on Tracey Takes On…, and Gilmore Girls before developing Weeds, adapted Kerman’s memoir for Netflix. Though Netflix doesn’t release ratings the show was an instant word-of-mouth hit.
Kohan released this statement in response to the news:
Three more years! Not quite a political term, but still plenty of time to do some interesting things. In some cultures, ‘May you lead an interesting life,’ is a curse, but I don’t live in those cultures. Here’s to keeping it interesting. Thanks, Netflix! Both thanks and you’re welcome, Lionsgate! And kudos and gratitude to the stellar cast and crew and writers and producers and editors and musicians and mixers and shleppers … with whom I have the pride and honor of crafting this show. Three more years! Three more years!
Yael Stone, who plays romance addled Morello could have been replying in character:
— Yael Stone (@YaelStone) February 5, 2016
The same goes for this backhanded tweet which could have come from Uzo Aduba’s character, Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’ Warren:
— Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba) February 5, 2016
Each of the first three seasons has been released in their entirety on a premiere date, prompting cycles of binge watching. Remarkably, audiences interest has grown season to season and critics scores have remained strong. Each of the first three seasons has averaged above 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The show has been an awards magnet, winning Critics’ Choice, People’s Choice, Peabody, Satellite and TCA Awards, among others. Uzo Aduba, Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Laverne Cox, and others have scored individual awards and nominations for their work. At last year’s Emmy Awards Uzo Aduba was honored to be the first person since Ed Asner (and the first woman) to win comedy and drama awards for the same character.
When we last saw Piper (surnamed Chapman in the series) and the ladies of Litchfield prison a construction flaw had allowed them to escape the compound to the freedom of a lake, where they played like kids on a beach. Idealistic inmate Brooke was saved from an overdose and adopted by a group of friends, and Piper framed her new flirt Stella, after realizing the sexy new girl was the one stealing from her contraband business. Sofia was hate-attacked and put in the SHU “for her own protection” and Caputo is up a really swift creek since half his guards walked out after they perceived him to be choosing the establishment over their fragile new union. As the season wrapped up new buses rolled up to Litchfield, heralding new inmates with all their possibility for dramatic comedy.
Season 4 will catch up with the ladies and their whole messy troupe of guards on June 17.