EXCLUSIVE: I have learned that after lengthy negotiations, Netflix is finalizing a deal with Lionsgate TV for a 13-episode straight-to-series order to Orange Is The New Black, a comedy from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan. This marks the second original series for Netflix, which earlier this year gave a 26-episode straight-to-series pickup to MRC’s David Fincher/Kevin Spacey drama House Of Cards. Kohan’s project falls under her rich overall deal with Lionsgate TV. Co-created and executive produced by Kohan and House co-executive producer Liz Friedman, it is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir Orange Is The New Black: My Year In a Women’s Prison and revolves around women in prison. The book chronicles nonprofit communications executive Kerman’s year-long stint at the minimum security correctional facility in Danbury, Conn., stemming from a conviction for her part in a drug smuggling and money-laundering scheme she got tangled up in 10 years earlier as a fresh college graduate. Netflix is already in business with Lionsgate TV. In April, the streaming/DVD-by-mail giant signed an exclusive syndication deal with Lionsgate to stream up to seven seasons of the studio’s acclaimed AMC drama Mad Men. The pact paved the way for other syndication-type deals with Netflix, including the CW’s recent agreement that could fetch the network up to $1 billion. Netflix’s stock has taken a beating lately after some missteps, including the company’s controversial decision to raise the price of its combined streaming and DV- rental service by 60%, and a disappointing 3Q earnings report.
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