The third season of The Orville, planned for a release on Hulu later this year, will be directed entirely by creator Seth MacFarlane and producing director John Cassar, according to Star Trek franchise veteran Jonathan Frakes, who had helmed a pair of episodes in the first two seasons as director. The actor/writer/director expressed regret that he would not be coming back to the director's chair when the series returned, but is holding out hope he might eventually get to appear on the show, which is a loving send-up of Star Trek. The second season saw Halston Sage exit the series, but most of the cast is expected to return.
MacFarlane Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Peter Macon, and Scott Grims. The move also apparently gives MacFarlane more freedom to go with all that extra directing responsibility.
"I'm not involved with the third season," Frakes told ComicBook.com. "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."
When the move to Hulu was announced, MacFarlane said in a statement, "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. 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."
The Orville Season Three is expected to debut on Hulu in late 2020.