The long-held rumor has now become official, with the announcement that the seventh season of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black being the series final edition. When the seventh season was originally announced, it was done so in conjunction with Seasons 5 and 6, leaving many fans to speculate for years that the series would end upon its completion, as reported by E Online.
The announcement was officially made in a video that featured some of the series’ most prominent cast members, including Danielle Brooks, Adrienne C. Moore, Uzo Aduba, Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Natasha Lyonne, and Kate Mulgrew, among others announcing together that the show would be ending.
Orange is the New Black was one of Netflix’s first original shows, premiering in 2013 not long after the political drama House of Cards, which itself is about to air its final season.
When the sixth season ended, several strings were left untied, which included Taystee (Brooks) being found guilty for her involvement with the prison riot, as well as Piper (Schilling) being released early, according to E Online‘s report. Season 5 covered three days of a prison riot and ended up with much of the main cast broken up and leaving the usual setting of Litchfield Minimum Security Prison, with many heading into a maximum security prison.
“After seven seasons, it’s time to be released from prison,” series showrunner Jenji Kohan told Variety. “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.”
Talking to TV Line, Cindy Holland, vice president of Original Content Netflix, spoke about the memories she shared while working on the show, saying, “During production of Season 1, everyone involved with Orange is the New Black felt like we knew a special secret we couldn’t wait to share with the world. Since then, we have laughed, cried, raged, and roared with the women of Litchfield, and every moment spent with them felt like borrowed time — too good to last forever/ We will be sad to say goodbye but we will definitely be going out on a high.”
Since its premiere, the series had received widespread critical acclaim, regularly nominated for Emmys and seeing Aduba winning Best Supporting Actress two years in a row in 2014 and 2015. In an unusual twist, Aduba won both the Comedy and Drama versions of the award after a rule change reclassified the show from a comedy to a drama before the 2015 edition of the Emmys.
Given that it is a Netflix exclusive production, it is difficult to tell the size of the audience for Orange is the New Black. Nielsen has made an effort to calculate the number of people who were streaming the show, recently estimating that roughly 5.4 million people streamed the Season 6 finale in the three days following its release.