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Following The Orville: New Horizons Season Finale, Seth MacFarlane Discusses How Disney+ Could Impact Season 4 Renewal

Seth MacFarlane in The Orville
(Image credit: Fuzzy Door Productions)

The Orville: New Horizons recently bowed for Season 3 over at Hulu, and there's still no word on whether or not it'll return for Season 4. Fans knew from the stars of the show that the series needed loyal viewership from anyone with a Hulu subscription and social media interaction to make it happen, and they're still waiting to see if it's enough. While everyone waits to hear the show's fate, Seth MacFarlane spoke about how the series' upcoming premiere on Disney+ could move the needle towards a renewal. 

Seth MacFarlane, who created The Orville and stars as Captain Ed Mercer on the series, recently spoke to TVLine about the odds of renewal. MacFarlane mentioned the current odds were about a "50-50" chance but noted that the upcoming premiere of the show on Disney+ on August 10th may help the series: 

My hope is that when the show drops on Disney+, the people who haven’t yet discovered [The Orville] will suddenly give it a chance. I think that creatively and audience-wise when people sit down and give the show a chance, it upends their expectations. The biggest burden with the show is preconceptions. People think it’s one thing — there are people out there who think it’s a sitcom — and when they sit down to watch it they realize its something completely different. Once you get people’s eyeballs on it, the show does the work, its speaks for itself, and people tend to be hooked.

Seth MacFarlane believes that if people give The Orville Seasons 1-3 a chance on Disney+, it's possible they'll grow their audience on the platform. CinemaBlend spoke to franchise director Jon Cassar who essentially stated the same thing and only saw the arrival as a positive for renewal odds

Purely speculating on that comment, it's possible The Orville: New Horizons' streaming numbers on Hulu didn't make this a clear-cut decision towards renewal. If that's the case, then it seems obvious that opening the show up to another platform of subscribers on Disney+ could only help. 

The Orville: New Horizons certainly set itself up for both realities, and decided to split the difference between setting up the future of its universe and creating a happy ending for fans. The penultimate episode featured many game-changing events like the end of the Kaylon war and an alliance between the Moclan and Krill forces. Should a Season 4 renewal happen, there is more than enough ideas to explore in those two events alone. 

The Season 3 finale, however, was more of a lighthearted affair. Fans witnessed the marriage of Isaac and Dr. Claire Finn, and the episode overall felt like a series finale with joyous moments and unexpected cameos (though not quite as unexpected as the Dolly Parton cameo the show moved a set across the country for). Should this be the end of the line it'll certainly be a bummer, but it also would be better than a show with no proper ending and cliffhangers galore. 

Another good thing is that Seth MacFarlane also confirmed that despite his increasingly busy schedule with Scott Grimes and the upcoming Ted television adaptation, he's still very much into continuing The Orville. MacFarlane went on the record and said he'll do Season 4, even if his schedule is hectic going forward: 

I will say that I get as emotionally invested in the show as any of the fans. So I will find a way to do it if there is a Season 4.

Seth MacFarlane made a promise, so now it's on the fans to do what they can to spread the word and get more folks on board with binging The Orville: New Horizons. Fan-led campaigns for show renewals have power in Hollywood these days, so it's definitely possible they could help to make Season 4 happen. 

The Orville Seasons 1 through 3 arrives on Disney+ on Wednesday, August 10th.  Here's hoping for a new season, especially after the emphasis on serious storytelling led to some of the best episodes of the entire run. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

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.