Netflix Developing Second Original Series, ‘Orange is the New Black’ From ‘Weeds’ Creator Jenji Kohan
Posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 by Angie Han
It’s only been a few days since the debut of Lilyhammer, Netflix’s first foray into scripted original programming, but it seems the company is already eager for more. Reports have surfaced that Netflix has ordered a thirteen-episode season of its second original series, Orange is the New Black, from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan. Although the deal has not yet been formally announced — confirmation so far has come from an anonymous source “with knowledge of the situation” — it backs up stories dating back to late last year that Netflix was negotiating a deal for the series. More details after the jump.
Based on the memoir by Piper Kerman, Orange is the New Black centers around a nonprofit communications exec who gets sent to a minimum-security women’s prison in Connecticut for being part of a drug smuggling and money laundering scheme during her college years. TechCrunch reports that House co-executive producer Liz Friedman may be on board to executive produce the series, which will be the second to be financed by Netflix.
The first, the David Fincher-produced, Kevin Spacey-starring House of Cards, is slated to debut sometime this year. In addition, Netflix also has distribution rights to the Norwegian-American drama Lilyhammer and fresh episodes of Arrested Develoment due out in 2013. Bloomberg reports that Orange is the New Black and another recent deal, for Eli Roth‘s Hemlock Grove, could be announced as early as next week. No release dates have been announced for the new series, but Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told the publication that the service would have five original series available for streaming by mid-2013.
The upcoming shows put Netflix in even closer competition with HBO, which Netflix CEO Reed Hastings named as “the competitor we fear the most” last year. Indeed, SF Gate reports that Netflix has updated its strategy statement for job applicants to name HBO, Amazon.com Inc., and others as its competitors. We’ll have to wait and see how well Netflix’s move actually pays off, but in the meantime, it seems we consumers win by getting more top-notch TV programming.