Orange Is The New Black Is Making A Major Change In Season 5

orange is the new black

Orange is the New Black has brought a lot of drama to Netflix's original lineup, with rapt fans living vicariously through the many women doing time at Litchfield Penitentiary. As it happens, the time that the inmates are doing in Season 5 will be approached differently than it has in previous years, and the entire season will take place during one very limited span. Here's how it was revealed by star Danielle "Taystee" Brooks:

Season 5 is done over the course of three days. You will watch 13 episodes, and find out what happens in the course of three days. So, it will be very detailed, very intense, and you better get ready. Get your popcorn, your tissues, everything. I don't know when it's coming out because they never tell us, but sometime in the summer.

Beyond being interesting for non-contextual reasons, Season 5's new three-day scope makes for some fun speculation as far as how it'll fit in with the story. Without getting into spoilers, Orange is the New Black last left things off on a killer (or not killer) cliffhanger that was caused by a season full of problematic guards overstepping their authoritative boundaries. So one would think and hope that the story would pick up right where it left off, putting viewers right back in the vengeful moment, rather than explaining it away through months-later exposition.

But then, if the show does indeed take place in the immediate aftermath of Season 4's shocks, so many things could go wrong for everyone immediately. I guess that's what the actress meant by "intense."

Danielle Brooks shared this intriguing factoid with E! News prior to the 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards, and an early update this impressive is pretty surprising, since Netflix shows usually keep mum on anything but casting for a while prior to respective promo pushes. But it has been seven months since Season 4 both broke our hearts and dropped the cliffhanger, so maybe everyone involved felt it was okay to let fans in on some info that gets our imaginations going.

I really love this idea, and especially for Orange is the New Black, which doesn't lean so heavily on specific timeframes for its storylines, perhaps as a reflection about how prison affects people's concept of time. In any case, the show definitely hasn't put this kind of crunch on how long or short its arcs play out, and now I'm having daydreams about Orange is the New Black going all 24 on whatever its central narratives will be this year. Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

If Danielle Brooks doesn't know when Orange is the New Black is returning for Season 5, nobody else does, but stay tuned for future updates. In the meantime, head to our Netflix 2017 schedule and our midseason premiere schedule to see what is coming before the summer gets here.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.