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‘Social Distance’: Jenji Kohan Creating Topical Anthology Series for Netflix

The "Orange is the New Black" creative team is working on a new series about life during the ongoing pandemic.

Jenji Kohan

Jenji Kohan

Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

“Orange is the New Black” creator Jenji Kohan and her production team are creating “Social Distance,” an anthology series about life in today’s “bizarre, bewildering reality.”

Kohan, Tara Herrmann, Hilary Weisman Graham, Diego Velasco, and Blake McCormick will executive produce the scripted series. Other details, including episode number and length, casting, and a release date have not been announced.

Netflix announced the news via Twitter.

“Our job as storytellers is to reflect reality, and in this new, bizarre, bewildering reality we are all experiencing we feel passionate about finding connection as we all remain at a distance,” the producers said in a joint statement. “We’ve been inspired to create an anthology series that tells stories about the current moment we are living through — the unique, personal, deeply human stories that illustrate how we are living apart, together.”

“Social Distance” will be created and produced virtually, with all personnel abiding by social distancing guidelines. Weisman will run production from her home and the cast will film themselves at home.

There’s been a widespread interest in pandemic-related entertainment since the outbreak became a global issue earlier in the year. Netflix’s new “Coronavirus, Explained” documentary was the streaming service’s fourth most popular title at press time, while older films such as “Contagion” have enjoyed a large popularity spikes in recent weeks.

“Social Distance” is one of several television projects to make headline in recent weeks. CBS will air a special episode of the Simone Missick-led “All Rise” on Monday, which was filmed virtually and will follow the show’s characters as they practice social distancing, while NBC made waves when it announced that beloved sitcom “Parks and Recreation” would be returning for a one-off reunion special to raise funds for charity.

Kohan enjoyed strong success with “Orange is the New Black” and has an overall deal with Netflix.

“The experience of social distancing is currently universal, but no individual story is the same,” the producers said. “Through a broad spectrum of tales and moments, some seismic and some mundane, we hope to capture a moment in time.  And we hope that ‘Social Distance’ will help people feel closer to one another.”

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