Orange Is the New Black (sometimes abbreviated to OITNB) is an American comedy-drama web television series. The series, created by Jenji Kohan and produced by Tilted Productions in association with Lionsgate Television, is based on Piper Kerman's memoir, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison (2010), about her experiences at FCI Danbury, a minimum-security federal prison. Orange Is the New Black is streamed on Netflix, and premiered on July 11, 2013. In February 2016, the series was renewed for a fifth, sixth, and seventh season. The fifth season will be released on June 9, 2017.
Orange Is the New Black has become Netflix's most-watched original series. It has received critical acclaim and many accolades. For its first season, the series garnered 12 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, and Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series, winning three. A new Emmy rule in 2015 forced the series to change categories from comedy to drama. For its second season, the series received four Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series, and Uzo Aduba won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Orange Is the New Black is the first series to score Emmy nominations in both comedy and drama categories. The series has also received six Golden Globe Award nominations, six Writers Guild of America Award nominations, two Producers Guild of America Awards, an American Film Institute award, and a Peabody Award.
The series revolves around Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a woman in her 30s living in New York City who is sentenced to 15 months in Litchfield Penitentiary, a minimum-security women's federal prison (initially operated by the "Federal Department of Corrections", a fictional version of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and later acquired by MCC, a private prison company) in upstate New York. Piper had been convicted of transporting a suitcase full of drug money for her girlfriend Alex Vause (Laura Prepon), an international drug smuggler. The offense had occurred 10 years prior to the start of the series and in that time Piper had moved on to a quiet, law-abiding life among New York's upper middle class. Her sudden and unexpected indictment severely disrupts her relationships with her fiancé, family and friends.
In prison, Piper is reunited with Alex (who named Piper in her trial, resulting in Piper's arrest) and they re-examine their relationship. Simultaneously, Piper must learn how to survive in prison, and how to overcome its numerous, inherent struggles. Episodes often feature flashbacks of significant events from various inmates' and prison guards' pasts. These flashbacks typically explain how the inmate came to be in prison, or otherwise further develop the character's backstory.
The show also pays close attention to how instances of corruption, drug smuggling, funding cuts, overcrowding and guard brutality adversely impact not only the prisoners' health and well-being, but also the prison's basic ability to fulfil its fundamental responsibilities and ethical obligations as a federal corrections institution. One of the show's key conflicts involves the prison's Director of Human Activities, Joe Caputo, whose efforts and aims as a warden constantly conflict with the business interests of MCC, which acquired the facility when it was about to be shut down.