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Netflix comedy 'Orange is the New Black' gets third season

LOS ANGELES, May 5 (Reuters) - Netflix Inc confirmed on Monday its dark comedy "Orange Is the New Black" has been renewed for a third season after one of the show's stars announced the news on social media.

Actress Laura Prepon, who plays incarcerated drug smuggler Alex Vause in the online streaming platform's original series following inmates at a women's prison, posted "It's official!! Season 3!!" with a picture on Instagram.

The news comes ahead of the second season of the raunchy series, adapted from Piper Kerman's biography of her experiences while jailed at a women's prison, which will debut with the release of all 13 episodes on June 6.

The show, which premiered on Netflix last summer and became a hit among audiences and critics, features a diverse cast led by actress Taylor Schilling, who plays a version of author Kerman. Schilling was nominated for an Emmy last year.

"Orange Is the New Black" is one of the big shows in Netflix's original programming push led by political drama "House of Cards." The online streaming company has challenged traditional network and cable television by releasing every episode in a season at once.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Mary Milliken and Eric Walsh)