Star Trek star Jonathan Frakes wants to make the jump to The Orville. Frakes is known for starring in Star Trek: The Next Generation as Will Riker. He also directed several episodes of the series, as well as two Star Trek movies and episodes of other Star Trek shows. He’ll be back as Riker in Star Trek: Picard, and directed two episodes of the show’s first season. He’s already worked behind the camera for The Orville. Now he wants to step in front, perhaps as an alien. Frakes sent a video to Orville Nation YouTube channel in celebration of The Orville creator and star Seth MacFarlane’s birthday.
“I guess we all celebrate Seth MacFarlane’s birthday,” Frakes says in the video. “I think he’s only 29. I’m hoping at some point that I can appear on Orville, perhaps in full alien regalia.”
Frakes directed two episodes of The Orville so far. One of them, “Sanctuary,” featured his The Next Generation co-star Marina Sirtis in a guest-starring role. Other Star Trek alum who have appeared on the show include Robert Picardo and John Billingsley.
The Orville is headed into its third season. With this season, the show moves off of broadcast television and onto Hulu's streaming platform.
“The Orville has been a labor of love for me, and there are two companies which have supported that vision in a big way: 20th Century Fox Television, where I’ve had a deal since the start of my career, and FOX Broadcasting Company, now FOX Entertainment, which has been my broadcast home for over 20 years," MacFarlane said in a statement made after the show's jump to Hulu was announced. "My friends at the network understood what I was trying to do with this series, and they’ve done a spectacular job of marketing, launching and programming it for these past two seasons. But as the show has evolved and become more ambitious production-wise, I determined that I would not be able to deliver episodes until 2020, which would be challenging for the network. So we began to discuss how best to support the third season in a way that worked for the show. It’s exactly this kind of willingness to accommodate a show’s creative needs that’s made me want to stick around for so long. I am hugely indebted to Charlie Collier and FOX Entertainment for their generosity and look forward to developing future projects there. And to my new friends at Hulu, I look forward to our new partnership exploring the galaxy together."
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