'Orange Is the New Black': Executive Producer Tara Herrmann Previews 'Rawness' of Season 6

Orange Is the New Black season 6 was released on Netflix Friday, and fans are in for a shakeup.

Fans may have expected this due to the odd path season 5 went down, which involved the entire prison being overthrown with a riot. At the end of that season, the colorful cast prisoners were split up. Groups were divided into two buses, with a third group of prisoners held up in the basement of the prison.

Season 6 sees that third group send to a maximum security area without their friends, a creative decision that executive producer says Tara Herrmann had to be done.

"After season five, there had to be ramifications for the riot," Herrmann told The Hollywood Reporter. "We took the risk of slowing things down and telling big arcs, but slowly. It was exciting for us as writers to go back to the first few years where we could really zone in on the core characters."

She continued, "We wanted to tell the fifth season from the corporate and more administrative stories, which are fascinating for us. But I think we were all excited to then get back to our ladies and the rawness of the ramifications of the riot."

Herrman's comments line up with what fans have long known about this recently released season.

As season 6 began production, OITNB stars began speaking out about how the show was going to get a jolt in a new direction.

"I'm always excited about every season and what's going to happen, but this season, I feel like it's an amazing facelift," Adrienne C. Moore told The Hollywood Reporter.

"Toward the end of season five, there were some people that were agreeing to stick together, and there were some people that were looking out for themselves," Moore said. "We'll see the repercussions of those decisions in this next season."

This shift also stems from the fact that showrunner Jenji Kohan was less than pleased with season 5, as she branded it as borderline fan-fiction in an interview with The New Yorker.

"We had lost a bunch of the original writers," Herrmann said. "It wasn't anyone's fault. It was just a new dynamic — people were attached to the characters as viewers, not as creators."


As a reaction to that thought, only two of season 5's writers were tapped to return, and the writers' room took the show on a more focused route.

Orange Is the New Black season 6 and all previous seasons are available on Netflix.