Since developing Lilyhammer and bringing the critically acclaimed Arrested Development back from the dead, Netflix has been making a name for itself in the TV series business. While most of Netflix’s most highly-anticipated projects – namely the aforementioned Arrested Development and David Fincher’s House of Cards – have yet to become available, the service is still amassing a number of future prospects to bolster the first wave of content.
The newest Netflix acquisition is a comedy from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan titled Orange is the New Black. Labeled a dramedy, the show would center on a Brooklyn-based woman who, after a run in with a drug-running ex, ends up in prison.
Though not too much is known about the show, Zap2it reports Kohan is drawing from the memoir of Piper Kerman, who herself spent a year in women’s prison. Taylor Schilling (The Lucky One) is set to play the series’ main character, appropriately named Piper, alongside the show’s most recent addition, Jason Biggs (American Pie). Biggs will play Piper’s fiancé, Larry Bloom.
This won’t mark the first time Biggs has attempted the transition to TV, as he most recently starred in the short-lived Mad Love for CBS, and is currently providing the voice of Leonardo for Nickelodeon’s reboot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. However, this will be the first time he presumably gets to use his R-rated comedy chops in a serialized format.
Orange is the New Black appears to be familiar territory the Jenji Kohan, the creator of Weeds. It’s not a direct extension of the Showtime series, but this new show carries several similar elements – namely, a female protagonist, unfortunate run-ins with the law, and drug use/distribution. How closely the tone of Orange is the New Black will mirror Weeds‘ is unclear, but again, the new series is listed as a dramedy.
While talk of Weeds ending started as early as season 7, it officially got the axe heading into season 8. Once the season (and series) wraps up on Sunday, we expect Kohan to begin serious work – if she hasn’t already – on Orange is the New Black.
At the moment, Netflix has a 13-episode order out for Orange is the New Black, but there’s no announcement as to when the first season will be available on the service. It appears that with House of Cards, Arrested Development, and a few other exciting prospects (Like Eli Roth’s Hemlock Grove), Netflix is amassing a small library of original content produced by highly respected talent. It’s only a matter of time before talk wholly transitions from what shows Netflix might “save” to what new projects they have coming down the pipeline.