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Some folks believe that they're able to predict the future, and The Orville's Penny Johnson Jerald is one of them. While most folks were wondering if Seth MacFarlane's sci-fi dramedy would get a second season pick-up, the veteran TV actor had absolutely no doubt in her mind, a fact she shared with us during a recent interview. With the news of the continued adventures of The Orville landing not long before we spoke, it was a topic that couldn't be ignored, and when asked about it, Jerald said she just knew Season 2 was in the cards.
I've always known, because I fancy myself psychic when I touch on a project that I know is ingenious and innovative. I've always known it was inevitable. However, hearing it for the first time, for real, is so exciting, I cannot tell you. I'm pretty much hearing it with you, officially. But in my heart and in my spirit, I really believe in this project so much that if you told me we weren't doing a Season 2, I'd get out of the business.
It's hard to discount Jerald's self-proclaimed clairvoyance, as she's had a fantastic track record of landing plum roles in hit TV shows such as 24 and Castle, as well as her recurring role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. So when one has a history of picking winners like she does, one's instincts tend to be quite developed when evaluating options. These sorts of instincts also help when it comes to the time spent on set, too.
Penny Johnson Jerald's faith in The Orville certainly makes for an uplifting story in light of the more harrowing latter half of the show's 13-episode first season, but it also sets up the show's success as a self-fulfilling prophecy. With Jerald, and her cast mates, all believing in the mission that the Fox show is setting out to do, it gives the show a key ingredient to winning over its fans. If the cast believes in The Orville, it's hard for its fans not to believe along with them. Not that we're saying they have any crazy futuristic technology that can dictate this kind of information. (We're not saying they don't have that kinda tech, either.)
Seth MacFarlane tends to bring a lot of star power to his projects, and if anyone in The Orville's ensemble cast was only phoning in performances, as opposed to truly believing in the show, viewers would be able to see it on their faces, and The Orville wouldn't be worth watching as much. But with everyone displaying full conviction, especially Star Trek vet Penny Johnson Jerald, the new Fox show immediately morphed from the typical MacFarlane comedy that it was first advertised as into the spiritual successor to Star Trek: The Next Generation. So rather than being a show that lazily burned through one season of quick jokes and parody, The Orville now has a legitimate claim to the same throne that Star Trek originated over 50 years ago. Or at least the footstool of that throne.
Between the success of The Orville and Star Trek: Discovery (among other shows), the world is hungry for space-faring TV, and in the vein of both the classic and modern styles of Trek tradition. With both shows knowing where to innovate and where to stick to tradition, it feels like both shows could keep going for quite a while. Which means that in the case of The Orville, there could be plenty of adventures for Dr. Claire Finn and her children, as well as the rest of the ship's crew, to embark on. Penny Johnson Jeralid might already know when Season 3 will be announced, too.