It was one of Netflix’s first original shows, and its breakout hit – so to speak.
When Orange is the New Black season five dropped on Netflix on June 9, it was still riding a wave of enthusiasm which hasn’t abated since it premiered in 2013.
Would YOU survive an Orange is the New Black prison riot?
It’s one of Netflix’s most-watched shows, up there with Stranger Things, 13 Reasons Why and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
It initially made waves for its direct, no-holds-barred exploration of lesbian relationships, and has continued to do so – with gradually less controversy and whining from homophobes – over the past four years.
Though Google Trends shows that the series peaked in terms of search popularity with its dramatic third season, season five has held its own.
The 13-episode season has registered pretty much exactly as many searches as it did in season two and season four.
We have seen Sense8 cancelled by Netflix last month, which prompted half a million people to sign a petition calling for its return.
Netfix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos explained this week: “A big, expensive show for a tiny audience is hard even in our model to make that work very long.”
But with Orange is the New Black’s shocking finale (no spoilers, promise), you would assume that the show will be gracing their screens for years to come.
And you’d be right.
Orange is the New Black was officially renewed last year by Netflix – and that’s not all.
In a near-unprecedented move during this competitive time for TV shows, the show was given three more seasons to strut its stuff, including season five.
That means Red, Taystee, Big Cindy, Piper, Alex, Nichols, Morello and all the rest of the Litchfield inmates will be around until at least 2019.
The deal also involved showrunner Jenji Kohan guaranteeing that she will stick around for all of those seasons.
With multiple Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Awards in the bag and the hype around the programme as big as ever, this seems like a wise move from Netflix.
Upon the show being renewed, Kohan said: “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. Here’s to keeping it interesting.”