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The Orville Season 3: Premiere Date And Other Quick Things We Know About New Horizons

The Orville Cast
(Image credit: Fox)

It has been nearly three years since we last saw the crew of The Orville in action, but in no time at all, Seth McFarlane’s sci-fi comedy-drama series will taking off for a new adventure with some familiar (and new) faces. That’s right, the debut of The Orville Season 3 is right around the corner, and we’ll soon be flying through the vacuum of space like the past few years were nothing but a strange dream. 

But, some things will be different when The Orville: New Horizons flies off for another set of adventures, including that flashy subtitle, a new home on Hulu, and oh so much more. Let’s dive into the details of everything we know so far.

The Orville cast

(Image credit: Fox)

The Orville: New Horizons Premieres March 10, 2022 on Hulu

The bonkers The Orville Season 2 finale aired on Fox in late April 2019, which is technically only about three years ago, but, honestly, feels like a lifetime. Well, you don’t have to wait much longer to experience the fallout of the last set of episodes, as The Orville: New Horizons is set to premiere on March 10, 2022, exclusively on Hulu. The third season of space adventures and zany situations (along with a flashy new subtitle) was revealed in September 2021 in a brief trailer teasing what’s to come for the space-traveling crew.

The Orville cast

(Image credit: Fox)

Seth MacFarlane, Adrianne Palicki, Scott Grimes And Penny Johnson Jerald Are All Returning To The Bridge For The Orville Season 3

When The Orville Season 3 debuts in Spring 2022, it will see the return of some familiar faces fans have come to know and love since the show’s debut nearly five years ago. Starting off is Seth MacFarlane, who will once again be portraying The Orville’s captain, Ed Mercer.

 Joining the tenacious captain on the bridge will be Adrianne Palicki’s Commander Kelly Grayson, whose personal history with Mercer will make things all the more complicated once more. Mercer’s best friend, Lieutenant Gordon Malloy, played again by Scott Grimes, is back in action for a third set of adventures. And, plan on seeing Penny Johnson Jerald’s Doctor Claire Finn back on The Orville when the ship sets off.

Anne Winters on Grand Hotel; Bruce Boxleitner on Supergirl; Lisa Banes on Once Upon a Time

(Image credit: ABC; The CW; ABC)

The Orville: New Horizons Will Also Have New Crew Members Played By Anne Winters, Bruce Boxleitner And Lisa Banes

But, like any show returning for a new season, The Orville: New Horizons will feature several new faces as well. When TVLine announced the new season in December 2021, it was revealed that Anne Winters had joined on as a series regular named Ensign Charly Burke, as have guest stars Bruce Boxleitner as President Alcuzan and the late Lisa Banes as Senator Balask. Expect to hear more about further additions to The Orville cast as we get closer to its return.

the orville Adrianne Palicki Seth MacFarlane

(Image credit: Fox)

The Orville: New Horizons Will Explore ‘The Mysteries Of The Universe And The Crew’s ‘Interpersonal Relationships’

Although no specific details have been revealed about The Orville: New Horizons in terms of story, it appears the show will follow a similar course as the first two seasons. When Hulu announced the new name and release date for the space comedy-drama series, it was revealed that the crew of The Orville will be “continuing their mission of exploration, as they navigate both the mysteries of the universe and the complexities of their own interpersonal relationships.” With the series having some crazy moments in terms of space exploration and interpersonal relationships in its first two seasons, we can expect even more on New Horizons.

The Orville cast

(Image credit: Fox)

The Orville Season 3 Will Consist Of 11 Episodes

The Orville Seasons 1 and 2 consisted of 12 and 14 episodes, respectively. And, while you would think that the natural progression would have The Orville Season 3 being made up of 16 episodes, that won’t be the case. 

Way back in October 2019, when the show was set to make its Hulu debut at some point in 2020, executive producer Jon Cassar revealed that New Horizons will consist of only 11 episodes, but it’s not all bad news. Sure, we’ll be getting one to three fewer episodes this time around, but the episodes will each be around roughly 10 minutes longer than in the past. With the first two seasons averaging out at around 45 minutes per episode, we’ll be getting roughly the same amount of action in Season 3.

Seth MacFarlane on The Orville

(Image credit: Fox)

Seth MacFarlane And Jon Cassar Will Be The Only Directors For The Orville Season 3

The first two seasons of The Orville were helmed by a large number of different directors, including Jon Favreau, Jamie Babbit, Robert Duncan McNeill, and Jonathan Frakes, to name only a few. However, this time around, there will only be two directors sitting behind the camera: series creator and star Seth MacFarlane, and executive producer Jon Cassar, who each directed multiple episodes in the past. This news was revealed by Frakes in an April 2020 interview with ComicBook.com where he talked about the show and its future on Hulu.

The Orville cast

(Image credit: Fox)

The Orville: New Horizons Is The Sci-Fi Show’s First Season Since Leaving Fox For Hulu

Another major change ahead of the debut of The Orville: New Horizons is the fact that it will be streaming exclusively on Hulu and will no longer be on traditional broadcast TV. The series called Fox home for its first two seasons, and was renewed for a third set of episodes in May 2019, but delays in production made the mid-season premiere debut difficult, according to Deadline

In stepped Hulu, which was able to pick up the series so easily thanks to it being under the same corporate umbrella after Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox and its properties. The decision also had something to do with the show’s “loyal following on Hulu” as the streaming service’s senior vice president of content, Craig Erwich, said at TCA in January 2020.

The Orville cast

(Image credit: Fox)

Production On The Orville Season 3 Started In October 2019 But Experienced A Lengthy Delay Due To COVID-19

Seth MacFarlane and Jon Cassar didn’t waste anytime getting the ball rolling on The Orville Season 3 and started production in October 2019, just a few months after the season moved over to Hulu. Things were moving forward nicely for a time there, but then the production (and essentially every other film and TV shoot around the world) came to a halt in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at which point around half of the shoot was completed, per Deadline

Production finally picked back up in December 2020, but then came another surge in COVID-19 cases and another pause in shooting in January 2021. The shoot finally wrapped (for good this time) in August 2021, as Seth MacFarlane announced on Twitter.

Expect to hear more about The Orville: New Horizons as we get closer to its March 10, 2022 debut on Hulu. In the meantime, take a look at all the 2022 TV premiere dates

Philip Sledge

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.