As the lyrics of Faith of the Heart — the song made famous by Star Trek: Enterprise — reminds us, “it’s been a long road, to get from there to here.” The road to The Orville Season 3 has been so long, that there was a lot of speculation that the sci-fi dramedy was dead in space. But today sees the release not only of a teaser for the long-awaited third season of The Orville, but the new season’s premiere date.
Hulu’s teaser trailer for The Orville Season 3 doesn’t show us a lot beyond the bridge of the eponymous ship. In a way it’s fitting — considering The Orville‘s lead and creator Seth MacFarlane is best known for his voice work — that none of the actors are present, but we can hear them. The camera zooms in slowly as the cast’s voices grow more excited and the lighting on the bridge changes from blue to red: the universal sci-fi franchise indicator that something just hit the fan. You can watch the teaser trailer below.
The final moments of the teaser reveals that the name of The Orville Season 3 is The Orville: New Horizons and that its premiere date on Hulu is March 10, 2022. That doesn’t give fans a lot of information as to what to expect in the new season, but considering a new episode of the series hasn’t premiered in over two years, just knowing new stories are on the way and when to expect them may very well be enough for fans.
As noted by The Wrap, the announcement that The Orville was moving from Fox to Hulu came in July 2019, three months after its second season concluded. At the time MacFarlane said the move was happening because he wouldn’t be able to deliver The Orville Season 3 until 2020, which he described as a “challenging” situation for Fox.
As 2020 grew long in the tooth with no The Orville Season 3 in sight, fans were understandably concerned. Those worries weren’t calmed when, during a September 2020 Instagram Live, MacFarlane proved evasive in response to a question about whether or not the series was cancelled. It was around that time that Giant Freakin Robot was contacted by a confidential source claiming that the reason The Orville had slowed to Warp Zero was MacFarlane himself. The series creator and lead, our source said, was tired of the series and was hoping to kill off his character, while Hulu wasn’t interested in the show without MacFarlane.
The Orville has proven a tough concept for some viewers to wrap their heads around. Just having Seth MacFarlane — an actor known for merciless animated adult comedies like Family Guy and American Dad! — as the lead gave the impression The Orville was simply a Star Trek parody series. With The Orville Season 3 on the way, however, much of the series’ dedicated fanbase will tell you the series is far from a parody. Humor is certainly a bigger part of the menu on The Orville than it was on the ships captained by William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, and Kate Mulgrew among others, but some of the audience — like Film Daily‘s Molly Harris — will happily argue that The Orville is more Star Trek than some of the more official Star Trek series, like Star Trek: Picard.
Whether it’s a Star Trek show or not, whether Seth MacFarlane’s Captain Ed Mercer survives it or not, The Orville Season 3 premieres on Hulu on Thursday, March 10, 2022.