'Orange is the New Black' season 5 rumors: Piper Chapman's drug sentence could be extended

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Two months after the release of the fourth season of “Orange is the New Black,” the staff and inmates of the Litchfield Penitentiary are huddling up once again for the filming of the much anticipated fifth season. Since the series has also been renewed for both a sixth and a seventh follow up, fans can’t help but think about what this could mean for Taylor Schilling’s character, Piper Chapman.

The Netflix original series was inspired by the memoir, “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison,” but has since taken on a life of its own after releasing one successful season after the other.

If the events of the previous season’s finale are anything to go by, the hit prison-oriented drama-comedy is heading off into more chaotic turns of its own in its fifth year, and main protagonist Piper will definitely be around to see them all through. While this may bode well for the award-winning series’ shelf life, it also points to a possible unfortunate turn in Piper’s life.

For the past four seasons, the blonde inmate has been involved in a handful of dirty schemes inside the minimum-security federal prison, and Bustle speculates that if caught, she may be facing possible charges of criminal contempt (for lying under oath at a Chicago trial) and criminal conspiracy (for her successful but downright illegal underwear business), either of which could extend her original 15-month sentence to a couple more years.

However, series creator Jenji Kohan has previously told Variety that she has always intended for “Orange is the New Black” to be an ensemble show, rather than the story of just one person.

“Piper was our entre to our world,” Kohan said, adding, “She’s always a presence and we’re invested in her story, but as it grows, we’re invested in everyone’s story.”

If Piper is indeed released at the end of her prison sentence, future seasons of the highly acclaimed series may shift to any one of the other Litchfield inmates she will be leaving behind. If not, and Kohan decides to keep her on, there is still a possibility that she may not be staying in the spotlight for very long.

Fans of the show will find out what is to become of Piper when “Orange is the New Black” season 5 streams in Netflix in the summer of 2017.