This year’s Saturn Awards nominations have been revealed and FOX’s The Orville picked up three nominations. The Orville is nominated for Best Science Fiction Television Series. Other nominees in the category include The 100; Counterpart; Doctor Who; Krypton; Manifest; Roswell, New Mexico; and Westworld.
The Orville’s creator and star, Seth MacFarlane, also picked up an individual nomination for Best Actor on a Television Series for his role as Capt. Ed Mercer. He’s nominated against Grant Gustin (The Flash), Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Sam Heughan (Outlander), Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead), Bill Pullman (The Sinner), and Jeffrey Wright (Westworld).
Adrianne Palicki, who plays Cmdr. Kelly Grayson picked up a nomination for Best Actress on a Television Series. She’s up against Caitriona Balfe (Outlander), Melissa Benoist (Supergirl), Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones), Sandra Oh (Killing Eve), Candice Patton (The Flash), and Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who).
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.
MacFarlane created The Orville and stars as the ship's captain, Ed Mercer. Palicki plays 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.”
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