Did you think The Orville would be canceled? You’re not alone. Speculation on whether the show would ever actually make it to Hulu has stayed consistent. But production is finally back in action, and that means the third season is happening! At some point.
It’s a good time to be a Star Trek fan. The pandemic has complicated production schedules for everything, but still, there are three different shows in the universe on air these days. That’s still something to be hyped about, and now, production is moving ahead! Star Trek: Discovery is already filming. Picard is set to pick up work again in January of 2021. And we finally have news that Seth MacFarlane’s Star Trek homage The Orville will be back to work on its third season in December.
Some of the crew for The Orville are already on the lot with most expected to be there shortly after Thanksgiving. Production will be taking place up to the Christmas and New Year’s break, and then resuming in early January, with production expected to take five to six months. Of course, as 2020 has proven, unexpected breaks may be necessary due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They aren’t making any promises about when the third season will reach Hulu, though it’s expected we’ll be seeing it in the second half of 2021.
Pandemic delays hit The Orville particularly hard because the third season had already been a bit delayed. The first two seasons of the show aired on Fox. These were your typical 42-minute episodes on a broadcast network. Seth MacFarlane is the show’s creator, director, producer, and star. His vision for the upcoming third season is said to be much more ambitious than the first two. This has taken the show’s production to Hulu for its third season. While there may be many changes to the show, the primary one is that episodes will be of varying lengths, many of them closer to the 60-minute mark.
The move to Hulu, combined with such a long delay, has led to many cancellation rumors. While Seth MacFarlane has given interviews and social media updates assuring the fans that more was coming, there was still some trepidation over The Orville‘s future. Halfway through production on the 11-episode series, COVID-19 forced the Hollywood lockdown, with Seth MacFarlane saying they stopped in the middle of filming an episode.
The Orville offers Star Trek fans something a little bit different from other shows currently on the air. While Star Trek: Discovery has more of a season-long arc, The Orville offers a return to episodic Star Trek, more akin to what we saw in Star Trek: The Next Generation. The show is clearly made by people who love Star Trek and have an appreciation of the franchise’s hopeful vibes for the future and humanity. The way that the crew discusses the show in interviews and on panels always sounds like they consider it something a bit sacred, and they clearly respect Seth MacFarlane when they speak of his dedication to the stories for the show.
Does this mean we’ll be getting a fourth season of The Orville? No telling! It does mean that we’ll get to see what the show can do with the freedom streaming can do for the team’s creativity when the show returns sometime hopefully in the near future.