Produced by Tilted Productions in association with Lionsgate Television, the gripping prison drama Orange Is The New Black debuted in 2013 and wrapped up with its 7th season as an enormous success in 2019.
Quite immediately after its debut, the show became one of Netflix’s most-watched shows, so much that the show received a giant three-season renewal for its last three seasons, i.e five, six, and seven. The streaming giant is usually very stringent about disclosing its viewership data, but we found several instances of the executives indirectly mentioning how the show became the most viewed show on Netflix.
- ‘Orange Is the New Black’: 7 seasons of prison
- Why was ‘Orange Is the New Black’ called “Orange Is the New Black”?
‘Orange Is the New Black’: 7 seasons of prison
The series is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir written in 2010, titled “Orange Is the New Black: My Year In a Women’s Prison“. The prison drama sees Kerman, known as Piper Chapman, played by Taylor Schilling, serving a 15-month sentence in a minimum-security federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut. She was charged for drug-trafficking and money laundering for her former girlfriend Catherine Cleary Wolters called Nora Jansen in the book and Alex Vause in the show. She went on to serve a much longer sentence in a prison in California.
With slight modification from the book, the series created by showrunner Jenji Kohan takes us through Kerman’s life in the prison along with real-life inspired characters like Red, Daya, Taystee, and Sophia. The author, who now works at a communication firm, has mentioned very clearly that the show has just taken inspiration from her book and that many parts in the show are works of “pure fiction”. Following the “incredibly cool lesbians”, as termed by Piper in her memoirs, the show ended after a whopping 91 episodes and seven seasons. It was given a fitting farewell by a fan base of 105 million, who also made the show one of the most-watched series on Netflix.
Owing to the huge viewership, the show received one of the largest renewals ever, for 3 seasons at a stretch, i.e season five, six and seven. “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”, said Kohan.
“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!”
Throughout its run, the show was widely acclaimed. The first season of the show managed to garner 12 Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series. A new Emmy rule in 2015 forced the series to change categories from comedy to drama, thereby making it the first-ever series to score Emmy nominations in both comedy and drama categories.
For its second season, the series received four Emmy nominations, for Outstanding Drama Series, and Uzo Aduba won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. The series also received six Golden Globe Award nominations, six Writers Guild of America Award nominations, a Producers Guild of America Award, an American Film Institute award, and a Peabody Award.
Why was ‘Orange Is the New Black’ named “Orange Is the New Black”?
The Netflix original that documents the life inside an all-women prison is based on a novel of the same name. The name of the show made headlines because of its uncanny nature, and made fans wonder where it came from? Read on to know the inspiration behind ‘Orange Is the New Black’.
The title of the show and the book originates from the caption of a group photo that was taken in 2004 before Piper went to prison. A group of her friends took a photo of themselves in all orange clothing and sent it to Piper as a symbol of the clothing that she would soon wear in prison, captioning it – “Orange Is the New Black”.
The phrase is one filled with dark humour, very subtly talking about a woman’s life in Litchfield. Black has always been used to represent something that is fashionable and popular since times immemorial. Therefore, the phrase “orange is the new black” is just representative of the fact that at Litchfield, orange is the new constant or the new popular. Though this didn’t make it to the screens, it was the primary inspiration for Piper to name her memoir “Orange Is the New Black“. As for OITNB, you can binge-watch all the seasons right here on Netflix.