Netflix pledged to spend a billion dollars in cash on more than 600 hours of original programming this year. At the Sundance Film Festival, which wrapped last Sunday, the streaming giant proved it wasn’t kidding, stomping through Park City with an open checkbook, sparking bidding wars and snapping up films right and left.
Netflix demonstrated its spending swagger again today, announcing that it is ordering not one but three additional seasons of its original series “Orange is the New Black,” produced by Lionsgate, bringing the total season count to seven. For now.
Season four of the dramedy, based on the best-selling memoir by Piper Kerman about her experiences as an inmate in a women’s prison, will premiere on Netflix on June 17.
Series creator Jenji Kohan (“Weeds”) has committed to continue as its executive producer and showrunner for seasons five, six and seven. Netflix has not said whether key cast members have been secured for the additional seasons.
“Three more years! Not quite a political term, but still plenty of time to do some interesting things,” said Kohan in a statement. “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!”
Over the course of its first three seasons, “Orange is the New Black” has won six Golden Globe Awards, as well as four Emmys, including two Supporting Actress in a Series awards for Uzo Aduba’s performance as Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren.