TV Show Salaries & Earnings: Orange Is the New Black

A Brilliant Series Idea or as Black as Disappointment?

Ever heard of a TV series that bets for the comedy and drama genres? Well, we have, and it starts with “Orange” and ends with “Is the New Black.”

We are confident you have read or at least heard about it from a few friends or people around that cannot hide their excitement whenever a new season was released, and we have to include ourselves here. 

However, if you haven’t, we don’t blame you either. It is hard to remember every single series or show that is released or premiered, considering how many have been created and produced over the last decade. 

But if you are looking for something new to watch and just need an extra push to decide to give this one a try, we are here to be the ones screaming, “WATCH IT NOW!” 

Of course, to make sure you don’t blame us for maybe wasting your time (which we highly doubt), we prefer to give you some information and facts about the series that can help you take our recommendation-or more like a demand-or throw it to the river near your house. 

Catching Your Attention: What Is It About?

Before you start watching a new series or movie, do you always read the pilot and some parts of the plot? Or are you part of that group who wants to go all-in in terms of waiting to see what the new series or film has to offer? 

Well, if you return us the question, we’re definitely on team A, but we have to admit that we’ve been caught watching some that didn’t exactly have a good description, and we just thought, “Mmm, why not?” 

In the case of Orange Is the New Black, we want to allow you to have the best possible pilot without expecting any type of spoilers like most websites or reviews do. 

Therefore, here’s what you need to know.

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Orange Is the New Black is actually based on the book with the same title, and it follows the life of Piper Chapman, a public relations executive with a great career and a fiance. 

However, not everything is pink for the professional when her past suddenly catches up to her. 

In her mid-30s, she is sentenced to spend time in a minimum-security women’s prison in New York for her association with a drug runner ten years earlier.

While fulfilling her sentence, she is forced to trade power suits for prison orange, makes her way through the corrections system, and does as much as she can to adjust to life behind bars. In the process, she starts making friends with the many eccentric, unusual, and unexpected people she meets behind those bars. 

With seven seasons and 91 episodes, this series will take you through a wild ride, considering how drugs, money, and comedy are all related to one another (we know, a bit hard to believe). Meanwhile, we’re confident you will feel a bit identified with the main characters in more ways than the simple fact of being behind bars (if you ever were). 

Producing a Big Series

Series take a lot of effort, even more than dealing with movies or films we all know about. 

Why? Because just think about it, it isn’t only about filming a 2 hours movie, but rather 91 episodes (in this case), and each one lasts about an hour. That’s quite a lot when you do the math. 

This is why the crew and cast behind the series are quite large. 

Although the series is based on “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison” book by Piper Kerman, the show’s creator was Jenji Kohan. 

Along with her, the executive producers were himself, Liz Friedman, Sara Hess, Tara Herrmann, Lisa Vinnecour, Neri Kyle Tannenbaum, and Mark A. Burley. 

As for a producer, Neri Kyle Tannenbaum took this role as well. 

For the production, Tilted Productions and Lionsgate Television took the project while the latter also made sure to distribute the series.

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Now, with a budget of $4 million per episode, Orange Is the New Black made quite a history by being one of the most expensive series on Netflix, considering others available on the platform at the same time of this release in 2013. 

What about the cast? Don’t think we forgot about it. 

The team actually involves many people, including Taylor Schilling as Piper Chapman, Laura Prepon as Alex Vause, and Michael Harney as Sam Healy. 

Others can also be included: 

  • Michelle Hurst as Miss Claudette Pelage. 
  • Kate Mulgrew as Galina Reznikov. 
  • Diane Guerrero as Martiza Ramos. 

Numbers: How Much Did Orange Be the New Black Make? 

Unfortunately, it is a bit hard for us to answer this question since not much information about the revenue for Netflix and the production companies involved has been disclosed. 

However, considering that each episode had a budget set at $4 million during the last three seasons but not far from the budget for the first ones, we can say it wasn’t a small amount. After all, who would produce a series that isn’t making money?

When Orange Is the New Black was released, Netflix users went over 50 million, and they made the company double its revenues for the next few seasons. 

Can we give you an exact number? Not quite. 

What we CAN tell you is that this series has been at the top of the platform for a very long time, and the critics were quite generous with it. 

In fact, it is one of our favorites, and we actually encourage you to give it a try if you haven’t. But going back to numbers, just expect the series to make over $100 million for the companies. 

As for the actors and actresses involved, this is a bit easier to answer.

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Since their salaries always vary depending on the season and demand of the series, it can be a bit tricky to mention salaries. 

However, those part of the main cast, like Taylor Schilling, started with $35k per episode, while this number went up to over $200k during the final seasons of the series. 

Others with recurring roles ranged around the same numbers, while guests or those from secondary casts were paid a bit less. 

8 Facts You Will Love About Orange Is the New Black

  • Kate Hudson and Katie Holmes almost made it for the role of Piper. 
  • The cast actually received a salary bump while the show was still in the middle of the first season. 
  • Jodie Foster directed the first episode for season 2. 
  • The show is based on a true story. 
  • The flashbacks that take place in the show were originally added to give performers and the staff a break. 
  • Taylor Schilling considers her character very annoying. 
  • Piper is considered the “trojan horse” of the series. 
  • Season 4 and a mouse… the mouse was actually real.

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Written by Dame Cash

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