The "Orange is the New Black" season 2 premiere date nears as the Netflix original series gets midway through shooting in New York City. "OITNB" cast members have been spotted during production around Brooklyn and Astoria, including actors Uzo Aduba (Crazy Eyes), Deborah Rush (Carol Chapman), Jason Biggs (Larry Bloom) and Pablo Schreiber ("Pornstache"). Perhaps the hottest news surrounding the prison series, though, is that we will be seeing more of Laura Prepon. Alex Vause enthusiasts rejoice, because sources close to the show confirm the actress will return for not one, not two, but four episodes next season.

The Laura Prepon news has been about as hot-and-cold as the Alex Vause and Piper Chapman onscreen romance. First, Prepon's contract didn't extend past the first season of "Orange is the New Black." The actress is also directing her first movie this year (which she refers to as her personal "Garden State"), so she didn't want the bind of being a series regular. Even though Netflix announced "OITNB" was the most watched original TV series, the future for Alex Vause fans was bleak. It was announced in September that Prepon would not only not be a series regular, but she would only appear in one episode to wrap up the Alex Vause storyline. Now, things are looking up. Prepon is even negotiating her season 3 status.

"I know what's happening, but I can't spoil anything," Prepon told Variety back in September. "But I'm definitely coming back for season two. I know there's a lot floating around, but I can't wait to get back there. It's exciting."

"Orange is the New Black" season 2 cast and crew have remained pretty tight-lipped as far as spoilers go, but what they aren't afraid to disclose is that the upcoming season will more than deliver. No release date is set yet for season 2 of "OITNB", but filming began in August and some tidbits are being teased. Actress Laverne Cox stars as Sophia, a transgender whose gripping storyline sheds light on the transition and its effects. Cox recently revealed her viewpoint on shooting the show's sophomore season.

"Yesterday, there was a scene playing, and I was like, 'Oh my god!' It was just like, okay, we're going there, we're just fully going there. It's so good. The new characters are just gonna blow your mind. Some situations, you're just gonna... wow. I'm thinking of some plotlines and I just wish I could talk about it! ... We see some sides to Sophia we didn't get to see in the first season, and I'm having a lot of fun," Cox told Bustle.

Creator Jenji Kohan disclosed that there will be a shift in focus come "Orange is the New Black" season 2. Rather than a spotlight on Piper Chapman's narrative through prison, season 2 will provide more backstories on her fellow inmates. In fact, "OITNB" recently bumped up Taryn Manning (Pennsatucky), Danielle Brooks (Taystee) and Uzo Aduba (Crazy Eyes) for the second season.

"It's becoming much more of an ensemble," Kohan says. "As much as I love Piper and Taylor and her journey, I think people are interested in everybody's journey."

The "Orange is the New Black" season 2 premiere date is still TBD, but is expected to return to the streaming service sometime next year. If its release follows the lead of season 1, viewers can gear up for a summer 2014 return.

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