The Orville Won't Return for Season 3 Until 2020

On Saturday, FOX renewed Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville for its third season. Today, FOX released its 2019 primetime schedule. The Orville isn’t slotted anywhere on it. Instead, the schedule confirms that The Orville will not return until 2020.

This is familiar based on how things progressed between The Orville’s first and second seasons. The show debuted in September 2017. It’s first season finale aired on December 7, 2017. The show didn’t return for its second season until more than a full year later, on December 30, 2018. Considering the amount and fidelity of the visual effects on the show, it makes sense that it may take extra time in pre and post-production.

The Orville is set 400 years in the future and follows the adventures of the USS Orville. The vessel is a mid-level exploratory spaceship with a crew of humans and aliens. Together they face the wonders and dangers found in outer space, as well as the more mundane issues that come with everyday life on a starship.

Seth MacFarlane created The Orville and stars as the ship's captain, Ed Mercer. The cast also includes Adrianne Palicki as Cmdr. Kelly Grayson, Ed's first officer as well as his ex-wife. Other cast members include Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, J Lee, Mark Jackson, Chad L. Coleman, and Jessica Szohr.

The Orville is now considered a contender for the Emmy Awards. MacFarlane has explained that the original plan for the show was to be more of a comedy. He now admits but that may have been a subconscious cover story to make the real show he wanted to create.

“When we began this, it was designed to be a little bit more of a hybrid, straddling the line pretty evenly between comedy and drama,” MacFarlane said. “I have been a big sci-fi fan since I was a kid. I think secretly that was the show I wanted to do, but I figured there’s no way in hell anyone would swallow that from me.”

MacFarlane thinks going with the more serious tone for The Orville was the right decision. “With an hourlong show, in order to sustain it, you have to have real stakes,” he said. “That was my fear at the beginning. If people aren’t with us on that side of it, we’re probably not going to last very long. But they were, so we really leaned into that.”

Are you excited for a new season of The Orville? Let us know in the comments.

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