April 30, 2013 5:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Jenji Kohan's 'Orange Is the New Black'
Less than a month before Netflix sets the Internet abuzz with 15 brand-new episodes of Arrested Development, the streaming service has set the premiere date for its latest original series.
Jenji Kohan's Orange Is the New Black, an adaptation of Piper Kerman's best-selling memoir from the Weeds creator, will bow at 12:01 a.m. PDT Thursday, July 11, in all territories where Netflix is available, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Ireland, Latin America, Brazil and the Nordics.
Orange stars Mercy's Taylor Schilling as Piper, an engaged Brooklyn resident whose decade-ago relationship with a drug runner in college results in her arrest and multiyear detention in a federal penitentiary. Lacking any real-world experience to deal with her harsh new environment, Piper immerses herself in women's prison culture and finds acceptance, tears, laughter and love amid an outspoken group of inmates.
That '70s Show alum Laura Prepon plays Piper's former drug runner, while Jason Biggs portrays her fiance in the 13-episdoe series, which, like Kohan's Weeds, also hails from Lionsgate TV. The series marks Kohan's first series since the September conclusion of Kohan's Mary-Louise Parker starrer Weeds on Showtime.
“With Orange Is the New Black, Jenji Kohan has created a dramatic yet deeply funny world populated with unforgettable characters and no-holds-barred humor set against the backdrop of a women’s prison,” said Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “Jenji is one of the most fearless voices in television, and we are proud to share her uncompromising vision with Netflix members.”
The series marks Netflix's latest original scripted property, following Kevin Spacey's House of Cards (which started production on season two this week); Eli Roth's Hemlock Grove (which bowed April 19); the fourth season of cult favorite Arrested Development (which had its premiere Monday in Hollywood); and Steven Van Zant's Lilyhammer. Arrested Development will premiere May 26. Recent addition Sense8, from the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski, will bow in late 2014.