Fans can sigh a breath of relief. Fox has renewed Seth MacFarlane’s wonderful science-fiction dramedy, The Orville for another season. Things were getting tense after Fox announced its upfronts yesterday and The Orville was not listed on the schedule or on the cancelation list. This period of limbo caused the show’s passionate fan base to worry.
Today, Fox announced that The Orville will be returning, but they did not say when it would return or for how many episodes. Season 1 had 12 episodes and Season 2 had 14. Could it be safe to say that The Orville Season 3 will have 16 episodes? As we learn every year, nothing is safe with it comes to broadcast television.
The Orville is the brainchild of Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. He used his clout at Fox to get the science-fiction show greelit, promising a comedy, but then he and his writers quickly began telling poignant, Roddenberry-like morality stories using the ship and its crew as a vehicle to address social issues like bigotry, sexual identification, social media addiction, culture differences, and more. The show is still funny, thanks, in part, to the comedic timing of Scott Grimes’ Lt. Gordon Malloy, and for some Emmy-worthy writing, but it should not be considered a comedy.
Fans of science fiction, who wrote the show off as “Airplane! in Space,” have flocked to the show and have embraced it, and now Fox has rewarded those fans with a new season.
The Orville follows the crew of the USS Orville, as they explore the galaxy as part of the greater Planetary Union. The Union has been at odds with the Krill, a race of religious zealots who make war to push their ideology. In Season 2, a new threat emerged, one that forced the Union and the Krill to start working together, and the underlying mythology of the show took an interesting turn for the future seasons.
The Orville stars Seth MacFarlane as Capt. Ed Mercer; Adrianne Palicki as Commander Kelly Grayson; Scott Grimes as Lt. Gordon Malloy; Peter Macon as Lt. Cm. Bortus; J Lee as Lt. John LaMarr; Penny Johnson Jerald as Dr. Claire Finn; Jessica Szohr as Lt. Talla Keyali; and Mark Jackson as Isaac. It was created by Seth MacFarlane and is executive produced by MacFarlane, Brannon Braga, David A. Goodman, and Jason Clark.
The Orville Season 3 will premiere on Fox in the 2019-2020 television season. All images courtesy of Fox.