The Orville: Scott Grimes Teases Western Episode in Season 3

The Orville resumed production on its third season in December, and it looks like the crew of the titular spaceship is headed to the Old West. Or perhaps it's a program in the show's environmental simulator. Either way, Scott Grimes, who plays helmsman Gordon Malloy on the show, shared a new behind-the-scenes photo hinting at a Western-themed episode -- or at least a gag or two -- in the coming season. Grimes' photo, seen below, sees him in full Western dress. The actor quips in the post "Yup, it's a space show!" You can see Grimes' behind-the-scenes photo from The Orville's set embedded below.

The Orville is creator and star Seth MacFarlane's love letter to the Star Trek franchise of the 1990s. That includes Star Trek: The Next Generation, which had a holodeck-based Western episode, "A Fistful of Datas," in its sixth season. Perhaps MacFarlane plans to put his spin on that template in The Orville's third season.

The Orville season three will be the first since the series left FOX to become a Hulu exclusive series. Filming the third season was delayed by months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having figured out how to return to work while taking precautions appropriate for the pandemic, the official Orville Twitter account confirmed the show's return to production in December. During the interim, MacFarlane assured fans that the team behind the show was doing everything it could to get filming back underway.

"All I can say is we're working on it," MacFarlane said. "We're working very hard. We got hit by this just like everyone else, but we are working on it. We will be back soon, folks. There has been a lot of speculation online: Will the show come back? The show is still a huge priority for me and for the cast and everyone else. We do have a season to finish, and we are going to finish it. For a show with a lot of prosthetic makeup that requires close contact, a lot of background artists, it's a big job, and you want to make sure you do it in a way that keeps everyone safe and secure. Once we have those protocols figured out, we will start up again and you will get more Orville."


The Orville season three is directed entirely by MacFarlane and John Cassar. Jonathan Frakes -- the Star Trek: The Next Generation alum who worked on The Orville's previous seasons -- confirmed this to in an interview last year. "I'm not involved with the third season," Frakes said. "They made a decision to have Seth and John Cassar, who's the producing director, direct all the episodes of the third season of that show, much to my chagrin, but that's the way it goes."

The Orville's first two seasons are streaming now on Hulu.