The ensemble cast of Netflix's surprise hit Orange Is the New Black is a large and rotating one, with a handful of regulars supported by a constantly revolving satellite of recurring characters. But the dysfunctional prison family just got a little bit smaller, with BuzzFeed reporting that series regular and leading lady will not be returning as a series regular for the second season.
Those who haven't had time to say goodbye need not fear: The actress will be a part of Season 2 long enough to wrap up her storyline, and will be able to return if and when needed. She plays Alex, the drug running, on-again, off-again lesbian love interest of main character, Piper (). It's unclear whether or not it was a career decision on Prepon's end to leave or if it was a creative decision on behalf of exec producer .
And we're not hearing much from one side or the other, with Prepon's representatives declining to give a statement entirely, and a Netflix executive simply saying, "Our season is still developing and nothing is confirmed."
Given the nature of the way their relationship was left at the end of Season 1, it seems likely that the story of Piper and Alex hasn't completely wrapped, and there will be plenty of opportunity to see Prepon step back into Orange is the New Black's second season. If we hear anything about the reasons for her departure, we'll keep you updated.
Until then, follow along to find out when the second season or Orange is the New Black drops on Netflix.
Follow Alisha on Twitter.