Put down that pudding cup and stop hoarding your bobby pins because there’s some important news out of Litchfield. It turns out Orange Is the New Black will end after Season 7, and Season 7 will premiere in 2019. When in 2019, you ask? Spring? Summer? The other two seasons, perhaps? That’s unclear. Without a firm premiere date to look forward to, there’s at least one thing to enjoy: A heartfelt thank you from the cast.
On Wednesday, October 17, the Orange Is The New Black Twitter account posted a video announcement that riled up the internet. The tweet came with a disclaimer: “Warning: This may make you cry,” the caption read.
Even though it’s just a minute long, it packs an emotional punch. It includes messages from more than a few of the show’s stars, like Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Danielle Brooks, Uzo Aduba, Natasha Lyonne, Kate Mulgrew, and Selenis Leyva. All of them expressed gratitude to fans for their support over the years. They also seemed psyched about what’s to come, so at least there’s that — even if “2019” could mean a full year away.
Orange Is the New Black showrunner Jenji Kohan released a statement on the announcement that was short and sweet:
“After seven seasons, it’s time to be released from prison,” she shared. “I will miss all the badass ladies of Litchfield and the incredible crew we’ve worked with. My heart is orange but fade to black.”
All together now: Aww.
The series was renewed for three additional seasons in 2016, so the fact that it will end in 2019 isn’t completely unexpected. Still, with its compelling storylines, willingness to get political, and talented, diverse cast, it’s not hard to imagine the show continuing. As Vulture pointed out, Kohan was only attached to those three seasons and she might not be a household name, but her work definitely is. Think series like Showtime’s Weeds and the more recent Netflix breakout, GLOW.
Her series American Princess was also picked up for streaming last summer. It’s safe to say she’s got her hands full, and it would be understandable if she felt her creative energies for OINTB had faded — that’s seven years on the same show.
Deadline noted how impactful the series has been. In addition to multiple Emmy awards for Seasons 1 and 2 and actress Uzo Aduba’s win for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, OITNB can boast the following:
“It is the first series to score Emmy nominations in both comedy and drama categories. The series also has received six Golden Globe Award nominations, six Writers Guild of America Award nominations, a Producers Guild of America Award, an American Film Institute award, and a Peabody Award.”
The show is an unflinching, poignant, funny, and almost too realistic look at the prison industrial system in America. It examines privilege, race, class, and how they affect us all. Not to mention, it puts LGBT+ relationships and trans people of color at the center of story lines. How many other beloved shows can say the same?
It will be sad to bid farewell to the Litchfield inmates next year. As Vulture noted, it’s the end of an era: After House of Cards, OITNB is only the second long-running Netflix show to end. In the meantime, though, there are always the first six seasons to rewatch endlessly, and you can keep up with the cast on social media. I still need to reach Laverne Cox’s book.
2019 isn’t even here yet. You’ve got time.
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