Going into its first season, Fox's The Orville looked like it was going to have a rough time selling itself to the world. With the very first looks showing a sort of "Family Guy in Space" vibe, it certainly felt like an interesting, if uneven, prospect. Then, as Season 1 progressed, something happened: the show turned into more of a Star Trek: The Next Generation love letter, impressing viewers and winning enough attention to garner a second season pick-up. It was tremendous news, but a pretty big question still remained: what would they do for Season 2?
Thankfully, while we were at last month's San Diego Comic-Con, we were able to attend Fox's panel for The Orville, and Seth MacFarlane himself had some interesting remarks on the next season's content. In his own words, this is what we should expect:
Looking back at Season 1, there were definitely jokes that played towards more of the Family Guy spectrum of MacFarlane's material. Though even in those moments, The Orville never took things too far, or amped the humor above levels that a family watching the show couldn't handle. It should also be noted that while the series progressed, there was definitely more attention paid to the serious side of things, with the humor acting as more of an accent. It's an approach that Seth MacFarlane thinks makes The Orville special, as it mixes lighter moments such as pranks pulled on crew members and relationship humor with some of the show's more serious content. When discussing that subject, Macfarlane attributed it to the fact that "life has different tones."
But even with the admittedly less confident approach, the series had some serious vibes inspired by the second series in the Star Trek legacy. And it's something that you can even see in his work as the producer of Neil deGrasse Tyson-hosted event series Cosmos. Ultimately, Seth MacFarlane's love for Star Trek: The Next Generation paid off when it came to The Orville, as that was really what inspired him to create the show in the fashion we see today. He further clarified this point during the panel, as follows:
Humor, heart, and exploration all have a place on The Orville's thematic deck, and it's through the short run of Season 1's 12 episodes that MacFarlane and his crew ultimately found their feet. Watching the first footage of Season 2 from last month's San Diego Comic-Con has definitely helped us draw that conclusion, as that confidence and bravado found in the next round are shown in full force. Take a look for yourself, in the trailer below:
The Orville finally returns in a two-hour event on Sunday, December 30th, courtesy of Fox! Though in the meantime, you can always catch up on Season 1, between televised re-runs, as well as Fox's various digital platforms. Also, if you're wondering when some of your other favorites are coming back this fall, take a look at 2018's fall TV premiere schedule.