Though Netflix keeps its viewing figures close to its chest, the streaming service haas acknowledged that Orange is the New Black is one of its most watched original programs, and it's easy to see why. Hugely popular on social media, the show, set in Litchfield Women's Penitentiary, has consistently pushed boundaries, providing us with hours of groundbreaking comedic and dramatic binge-watching fodder. It's safe to say OITNB is a hit with audiences and critics alike; just last week it picked up the SAG Award for Comedy Ensemble, for the second year running, and the Comedy Actress award for Uzo Aduba, as Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren.
Starring a large ensemble cast including Laura Prepon, Taylor Schilling, Natasha Lyonne, Laverne Cox, Dascha Palanco and Taryn Manning (as well as Aduba), OITNB's hightly anticipated fourth season is set to arrive on Netflix June 17th. Understandably, Netflix has a whole lot of faith in the series too; having now announced that it has renewed the program for an additional three seasons. This deal comes with a commitment from showrunner Jenji Kohan to remain in charge at least until the end of season seven.
Commenting on the massive renewal, Kohan said in a statement:
“Three more years! Not quite a political term, but still plenty of time to do some interesting things. 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!"
Cindy Holland, Vice-President of Original Content at Netflix, added: “Jenji and her team have produced a phenomenal and impactful series that is both funny and dramatic, outrageous and heartfelt. Audiences around the world have come to love the ladies and men of Orange is the New Black, and we are eager to see where three more seasons will take them,”
Lionsgate TV, who produce OITNB, also gave a statement, praising Kohan's creative vision. "Jenji’s brilliant creative vision and a truly amazing cast have catapulted Orange is the New Black to the forefront of the platinum age of television, and we’re pleased that Orange fans around the world will be rewarded with another three seasons," said Kevin Beggs, Lionsgate Television Group Chairman.
The news will definitely be welcomed by fans, who are eager to see the continuation and/or conclusion to storylines set up in season 3 - such as Daya's baby being born and the on going on-again/off-again relationship between Piper and Alex. Viewers might also remember that the ending to season three saw Litchfield about to have its inmate quota doubled, thereby giving writers the opportunity to bring new characters on board, though hopefully not at the expense of storylines for existing characters. It's hard to see how Piper's original sentence can be extended so far as to keep her in Litchfield for another four seasons of the show, but the writers will no doubt think of something to keep everyone watching.
For now, it's all eyes, even crazy ones, on season four's arrival.
Orange is the New Black Season 4 will become available on Netflix starting June 17th, 2016.