“Orange Is the New Black” Based on Time in Danbury Prison

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 25: (L-R) Author Piper Kerman, Netflix Vice President of Original Content Cindy Holland, Writer and Producer Jenji Kohan, Actress Tayor Schilling, and Actor Jason Biggs attend "Orange Is The New Black" New York Premiere at The New York Botanical Garden on June 25, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

    The creator of “Weeds” seems to have another hit with the new Netflix original series that everyone is talking about -- “Orange Is the New Black.”

    What you might not know is that the series is based on the 2010 best-selling memoir of the same name by Piper Kerman, which chronicles her journey in the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution after being indicted on charges connected to her involvement in a lover’s drug smuggling operation.

    Kerman was a 22-year-old Smith College graduate romantically tied to Nora Jansen, a woman connected to West African drug lord and ended up transporting a suitcase of drug money from Chicago to Belgium, she wrote in a column in Marie Claire.

    “International baggage claim in the Brussels airport was large and airy, with multiple carousels circling endlessly. I scurried from one to another, desperately trying to find my black suitcase. Because it was stuffed with drug money, I was more concerned than one might normally be about lost luggage,” is how Kerman began the column she wrote for “Marie Claire” in March 2010

    Kerman also talked about the book in an interview with WAMC. Listen here.

    The main character of the Netflix show is Piper Chapman, played by Taylor Schilling, who experiences difficulty adapting to the hardships of prison life for during her 15-month sentence.

    The first season, which premiered on July 11, has scored a 79 out of 100 on Metacritic.

    “I am really impressed with how [the producers] built the comic elements. I am so impressed with that tone, how they balance really serious themes with really, really funny moments,” Kerman told the Los Angeles Times before the premier.

    Weeds creator Jenji Kohan is the executive producer.