Seth MacFarlane Roasted Fox At The Orville's Season 3 Premiere, Starting With Saying It's 'An Absolute Thrill' To Have Left

Ed smiling on The Orville: New Horizons
(Image credit: Hulu)

Similar to how his animated series American Dad started off as a Fox original before being shipped off to a different channel, Seth MacFarlane’s space-faring dramedy The Orville: New Horizons will soon make its debut for Hulu subscribers, over three years after its second season aired on the broadcast network. It’s been a long and arduous journey to get to this point, and the multi-hyphenate creator couldn’t sound happier to be partnered with a different platform. To the point where MacFarlane introduced the Season 3 premiere screening in L.A. by hilariously roasting the sci-fi series’ former home, which has nonetheless remained faithful to his animated hit Family Guy.

Taking the stage at the California Science Center ahead of the premiere screening, Seth MacFarlane offered a safe-for-work Fox roast that, despite being largely inoffensive, still had barbs. Here’s how he kicked things off (via THR):

I want to say, it is an absolute thrill to not be on the Fox network. We never really belonged there. And they’ve curated a specific brand now. Between Beat Shazam, Name That Tune and Don’t Forget the Lyrics!, Fox has really captured the demo of people who have no idea what song they’re listening to. [Pause.] It’s because they’re not here.

While NBC has its One Chicago and Law & Order franchise, while CBS has the NCIS and FBI shows, Fox’s biggest connective tissue does seem to be in the “I hope most of your memory banks are dedicated to music” genre. To be fair, Fox used to be in the “bawdy Seth MacFarlane animated series” game, but only Family Guy has stuck around from that era. And considering how many ‘80s and ‘90s callbacks there have been on the animated comedy, it’s likely there have been plenty of crossover tunes between FG and Fox’s song-based series. 

In any case, Seth MacFarlane then took aim at Fox’s audience stats, which have generally been on the lower end of the Big 4 totem pole, save for its former ties to the NFL and sporadic hits such as The Masked Singer. According to MacFarlane:

When I look at Fox’s ratings, I gotta hand it to them: It takes a special talent to pander to the lowest common denominator without actually getting them as an audience. That takes talent! But hey, we’re here on Hulu, thank God.

Nowhere else on TV can one find competition series based on LEGO constructions and domino-based assemblies, or a show based on the podcast Guys We Fucked, or an animated update based on The Flintstones, or five different Gordon Ramsey shows. But what is he talking about with this lowest common denominator business?

Not that MacFarlane only poked fun at Fox. He also shared some self-aware love for Hulu as a streaming king, while dismissing The Kardashians in the same breath, and said:

Just knowing our show is now available, and the public can enjoy watching $50 million worth of special effects on their phone while they defecate, really gives me goosebumps.

To be fair, people could have been defecating while watching The Orville during its run on Fox, also. I guess it’s just easier now. Sci-fi really is a doorway into the future, isn’t it?

Having only premiered its official Season 3 trailer just two weeks before audiences were able to watch, The Orville: New Horizons, which cancelled the red carpet interviews for its premiere due to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, will debut on Hulu on Thursday, June 2. Check out all the other new and returning shows debuting soon with our 2022 TV premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.