Firefly is a certified fan-favorite with a cult following. The series originally ran on Fox for a single season, airing from 2002 to 2003 before getting cancelled. A follow-up film entitled Serenity was released nearly fifteen years ago in 2005. Now, another Fox sci-fi series, The Orville, is moving to Hulu for its third season. So, what does that mean for Firefly’s future and a potential reunion?
Does The Orville getting a second life on Hulu signal Firefly eventually making a comeback on Fox? Fans would undoubtedly welcome a chance to reconnect with the characters all these years later. Its audience has had the chance to grow even more in recent years thanks to streaming. Asked about reviving Firefly in light of recent activity, Fox president of entertainment Michael Thorn told TheWrap:
The macro answer is, any time we look at one of our classic titles, if there’s a way to reinvent it for today so it’s as resonant now as the original was, and is, to the fans, we’re wide open. I loved Firefly, personally, and I watched every episode. I didn’t work on it, but I loved the show. It had come up before, but we had The Orville on the air and it didn’t make sense for us to have, as a broadcast network who is very targeted, to have two space franchises on our air.
Apparently, talk of a Firefly reunion revival has come up before! However, The Orville’s space-centric presence on Fox’s schedule made the network reconsider back then. Now that The Orville will continue on Hulu for Season 3, that is no longer a reason for Fox to keep Firefly off its slate. Both shows could live!
Due to The Orville moving beyond Fox and into the realm of Hulu, there is no more genre competition to worry about! The question is if a network run would be more beneficial than having a Firefly reunion come together on streaming. Its audience may be more conducive to the platform, in my opinion.
That said, if Fox has an empty sci-fi slot and Firefly has a built-in audience, maybe a revival would be the perfect fit for primetime. It is up to Fox and the cast and crew’s availability. Morena Baccarin has expressed her desires for what she wants for Inara if the show ever came back. Will it?
I would love to see, like, an eight- or 10-episode limited adventure in that universe.
As far as the original cast’s availability goes, Nathan Fillion is currently starring in the title role of ABC’s The Rookie. It is now in its second season and developed a robust following in delayed viewing. Gina Torres is coming off of the single-season run of her Suits spinoff Pearson, in which she reprised her role as Jessica Pearson. She continues to be active.
Meanwhile, Alan Tudyk returned to TV starring on DC Universe’s Doom Patrol as Eric Morden/Mr. Nobody. The rest of the Firefly cast, including Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher, Summer Glau, and Morena Baccarin have remained busy. Sadly, Ron Glass passed away in 2016.
Considering that the cast is still so close and have reunited through the years, a revival isn't out of the realm of possibility. As for Firefly’s executive producer, Tim Minear, he is showrunning Fox’s 9-1-1 franchise. The fast-paced thriller is coming off a heartbreaking fall finale and welcoming a Rob Lowe-led spinoff to its midst.
Meanwhile, Firefly creator Joss Whedon has been busy with movies. Can everyone eventually come back together for a Firefly reunion? Time will tell! You can currently stream Firefly in its entirety on Hulu. The Orville will return for Season 3 on Hulu at some point in 2020. A premiere date has not been set, so enjoy this winter’s premieres.