Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Jenji Kohan drew laughs tonight at an event for her Netflix series Orange Is The New Black when she referred to it as a “TV show” then quickly corrected herself. “It’s not a TV show — it’s a streaming show,” she said. Then, as if doing a mock commercial announcement for the daring show that has fast become a binge-watcher favorite: “You can watch it on any sort of device!” Watching “your device” instead of “your TV” became a running gag at this rollicking panel, the sold-out first show of the Paley Center’s five-night PaleyFest: Made in NY. Elvis Mitchell hosted the event, at which creator-producer Kohan – sporting green and blue hair — was joined by Piper Kerman, whose autobiographical book about being a fish out of water in a women’s prison was the basis for the series, and cast members including star Taylor Schilling, Natasha Lyonne, Kate Mulgrew, Danielle Brooks, Uzo Aduba and Taryn Manning. Jason Biggs, who portrays lead character Piper Chapman’s fiancé, took a load of good-natured ribbing as the lone guy on the panel of powerful females.
Related: PaleyFest Moves Into New York
Kohan said the show was never intended to be a dramatization of Kerman’s real-life experiences. She joked that the decision to change the character’s last name happened “when legal said: ‘You can write Piper’s story but no one else’s.’ ” On a more serious note, she said she made the choice partly for the real Piper’s sake: “I can’t imagine how tortuous it would be (for her) to watch the actual story week after week.” The show, Kohan said, “quickly became its own animal.”
Related: Netflix Renews ‘Orange Is The New Black’ For Second Season
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UPDATE, 3:10 PM: Clarifying statements from the involved parties have been flooding in since last night’s news about Netflix losing hundreds of movies from its streaming service beginning today. Reports originally said the vacating titles were from Warner Bros, but it turns out the majority were “older features that were aggregated by Epix,” a Netflix spokesman said this afternoon. Epix’s two-year exclusive deal with the streaming service expired in September; content from Epix — owned by Paramount, Lionsgate and MGM — also streams on Amazon Prime Instant Video. A source tells Deadline that that the number of expiring titles is closer to 1,000, rather than the 2,000 figure floating around online. “This ebb and flow happens all the time”, Netflix said. The company also said it is adding 500 more titles starting today, including Mission: Impossible 2. Read More »
Netflix‘s latest original series, the comedic drama Orange Is The New Black, will launch on July 11. Like it has done with all of its original series, Netflix will make all 13 episodes of Orange Is The New Black, created/exec produced by Jenji Kohan based on the memoir by Piper Kerman, available at launch. Netflix has been staggering the release of its original series: House Of Cards (February), Hemlock Grove (April) and the upcoming Arrested Development (May) and Orange (July). Produced by Lionsgate TV, Orange Is The New Black follows engaged Brooklynite Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), whose decade-old relationship with drug-runner Alex (Laura Prepon) results in her arrest and year-long detention in a federal penitentiary. Read More »
Weeds creator Jenji Kohan has signed a new overall deal with Lionsgate, the studio behind her long-running Showtime comedy series. Under the pact, Kohan will continue as showrunner and executive producer of dark comedy Weeds, … Read More »
A comedy from Weeds creator/executive producer Jenji Kohan and the Showtime series’ writer David Holstein has been sold to CBS, while a half-hour from Happy Endings co-executive producer Gail Lerner and producer Warren Littlefield has landed at ABC.
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EXCLUSIVE: Streaming video/DVD-by-mail giant Netflix continues its quest to become an original programming player. Following its eye-popping 26-episode straight-to-series deal with MRC for the David Fincher/Kevin Spacey drama House Of Cards, I hear the the Web subscription company … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Jenji Kohan, creator/executive producer of Showtime’s flagship comedy Weeds and the series’ executive producer Matthew Salsberg have a new comedy project, Whales, in the works at the pay cable channel. The half-hour revolves around a group of brilliant and quirky young people, some of them Harvard and MIT graduates, who move to Las Vegas to live in a lavish apartment while pursuing the $10 million prize at the World Series of Poker. Kohan and Salsberg, who is an avid poker player, are writing and executive producing for Lionsgate TV Read More »