5:12pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Laura Prepon Exiting Netflix's 'Orange Is the New Black'
Netflix's Orange Is the New Black is losing one of its leading ladies.
Laura Prepon will not return as a series regular when season two of the drama returns, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
As first reported by BuzzFeed, Prepon will only return to the Lionsgate TV-produced drama to wrap up her storyline, though the door remains open for the actress to return to the series.
"Our season is still developing and nothing is confirmed," a Netflix rep said in a statement. Representatives for Prepon declined comment.
It remains unclear whether Prepon's exit was her decision or a creative direction from executive producer Jenji Kohan.
Prepon plays inmate Alex, the on-again, off-again love interest of star Taylor Schilling's character, Piper. [Warning: spoilers] In the season finale of the freshman run, the couple parted ways. Alex, who was incarcerated for her role as a drug runner and who was responsible for Piper's imprisonment, has made it a point that when she is eventually released from the women's prison, she has no skill set other than the drug trade.
Should Prepon -- who starred on That '70s Show and NBC's short-lived Are You There, Chelsea? -- exit and return, it would not be the first time a character on the series did so. Danielle Brooks' colorful inmate Taystee was released from prison and found herself making a quick return trip back during season one.
Prepon's exit comes as the series, which is already in production on season two, has been ramping up its cast. Brooks, Taryn Manning (Pennsatucky) and Uzo Aduba (Crazy Eyes) were all recently promoted to series regulars, while Kate Mulgrew and Lorraine Toussaint were added as regular and recurring, respectively.
Netflix renewed Orange Is the New Black in June for a second season of 13 episodes just weeks before it premiered online.