'The Orville' Season 1 To Be Shorter Than Expected

Bad news for fans of The Orville: the show’s first seeing is being cut short.

TV Guide has learned that the first season of The Orville, originally planned for 13 episodes, will now conclude with episode 12 on December 7, 2017.

Fans shouldn’t be too disappointed by the news. Fox has already renewed The Orville for a second season and the extra episode that was cut from season one will be rolled into the second season as an extra episode.

The reason the episode has been cut is likely due to schedule. Fox was never going to extend the show’s first season to a full 22 episode run. It was never envisioned that way. With that in mind, the network likely wanted to make sure the first season was finished before shows went on break for the holidays, rather than having to hold just a few episodes over for the new year.

The Orville was Fox’s most-watched and highest-rated Fox premiere since the 2015 debut of Empire, with Fox reporting that The Orville has 14 million viewers across platforms and that the series ranks among the top three new dramas of the Fall 2017 season.

“Once again Seth has struck a powerful chord with viewers,” said Michael Thorn, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company in a statement when the show was renewed. “He has delivered a series full of optimism, drama and his trademark humor. We want to thank him and the rest of the talented cast, as well as the producers and crew, for an incredible first season. We can’t wait to see where The Orville travels in the second.”

The Orville star Mark Jackson, who plays the android Isaac, expressed to ComicBook.com in a previous interview how happy he and the rest of The Orville cast and crew have been with the show’s success and reception.

“Yeah, it's a huge pleasure,” Jackson said. “I was speaking to Seth yesterday, and the ratings for the second showing were really good, as well. So, it seems like things are going pretty well. Yeah, I mean, we all hoped it would be a big hit. A lot of work went into it. A lot of money went into it. It had a sort of buzz around it. So we were all hoping that it would come out well, and yeah, really pleased that it has.

“I'm a big fan of sci-fi anyway. So, I'm probably blinded to any possibilities of it not doing well. Because this is exactly the kind of show that I'd watch, even if I wasn't in it. You know? But, yeah, I think we're all aware that it's something different to what's on at the moment. That it was a mixing of genres that aren't necessarily seen mixed together very much. So, yeah, I think there was not necessarily doubt, but apprehension, which makes the success of it, so far, all the more wonderful.”

The Orville airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.