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Will The Orville Return To Hulu For Season 4? Penny Johnson Jerald And Anne Winters Respond

The Orville cast
(Image credit: Fox)

The Orville: New Horizons is in full swing, and while Hulu subscribers are happy to finally see the new season after long delays, some want reassurance that its return isn’t short-lived after the move from Fox. After all, rumors swirled at one point that Season 3 was the end of the line for the series, and with no word on Season 4 thus far, I asked actresses Anne Winters and Penny Johnson Jerald about what the future holds. 

Anne Winters is a new addition to The Orville: New Horizon’s cast and made a big splash as Ensign Charly Burke in the Season 3 premiere. I spoke to Winters about whether or not Season 4 seemed like a possibility based on what she knows from filming, and she spoke about the limitless potential of the series:

I think that the cool thing about the show and being in that space is the freedom to really write and create entire different worlds, and with the simulator, you can bring people back to life. There's really no boundaries. So, regardless of how it leaves off, I think that it's always going to be a little bit open-ended. Because you can always create another season of the show and create an entirely different scenario. Seth is just good at creating things, so I wouldn't put it past him to be able to do ten seasons of the show if he wanted to. This is his baby. So I wouldn't be surprised if he wants to do a fourth season. We haven't heard anything yet.

Anne Winters confirmed that there’s no word on a Season 4 renewal and teased something rather interesting. Her mention of the ability to bring people back to life is rather curious, and I’m not sure what that means for The Orville crew as they continue their way into new territory. 

I also spoke to Penny Johnson Jerald about Dr. Claire Finn, and of course asked her about the possibility of The Orville Season 4 as well. The actress shared a few more details on the situation, which painted a more detailed picture of where things stand:

We were not told, ‘Oh, you know we’re not doing it.’ We were not told that. We certainly continued Season 3 as though we can go on forever if that’s what you’re asking. I can definitely tell you that. All of the stories you get to see, they can be self-contained because we’re not serialized. You can definitely imagine this crew in the future, and you can either imagine all of them or some of them. It’s that kind of thing that we leave you with. All things are possible but I am definitely putting it in the hands of the fans.

The good news here is that Hulu hasn’t already told The Orville crew that it’s not getting renewed. With that said, she also mentioned a potential shakeup of the crew, which certainly doesn’t help dissuade me from the idea that the show might lose a major character by the end of the season. Remember the news that Scott Grimes and Seth MacFarlane will both be involved in Peacock’s Ted series? It does make me wonder how they'd be involved with both shows.

Penny Johnson Jerald continued to speak about the possibility of Season 4, and had a message specifically for fans. Jerald noted that she’d be sending a similar message on her social media channels:

Oh, Season 4 is definitely possible, and let me just continue along those lines… You – as a fan – you must watch. You must watch with open eyes, open heart, open mind. And if you are truly enjoying The Orville at this magnitude, people are listening. So, I give that into the hands of the fans, and the fans need to respond.

The implication, without being directly said, is that Hulu is looking at how many people are watching and reacting to The Orville: New Horizons, and that presumably factors into whether or not the series returns for Season 4. Fan movements continue to be effective these days, so showing support now could be the best thing for the future of the series on Hulu.

The Orville: New Horizons streams new episodes on Hulu (opens in new tab) on Thursdays. Tune in for some fresh drama in what has already proven to be an exciting start to the new season. 

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.