Ryan Murphy’s particular brand of popped-out genre camp can be found all over TV these days, from Scream Queens to American Horror Story: Hotel, but the truest Horror of all lies in the alternate reality we narrowly avoided. Come, gentle reader, as we imagine the nightmare hellscape in which the creator of Glee had succeeded in his attempt to bring Orange is the New Black to the small screen.

Murphy offered a lengthy profile with The Hollywood Reporter over a diverse array of subjects, though a short bit saw the pop horror guru reminiscing on an early transgender series of his that predated Amazon’s Transparent. The onetime Nip/Tuck showrunner expressed his admiration for Transparent showrunner Jill Solloway providing a perspective he couldn’t, before dropping a surprise tidbit:

“[Transparent] was not my story. I believed in it, but I didn’t have a personal connection to it.” A similar thing had happened with Orange Is the New Black, he says, revealing how he’d had the rights to Piper Kerman’s memoir before Jenji Kohan. “I just could never figure out how to do it,” he admits. “And then the option lapsed, and it became this great big thing …”

It’s of interest that Orange is the New Black might never have made it to TV at all, if not for Netflix’s willingness to take chances on original programming that networks might otherwise have overlooked. One can only imagine how devoid of nuance the series might have turned out under Murphy, but thankfully, fate was kind to us all, this time.

Orange is the New Black Season 4 will mercifully return to Netflix in 2016.

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