The Orville is coming back to television eventually, and when it does, there will be changes. There will be fewer episodes, longer runtimes, and the series has shifted from Fox to Hulu. Fans were excited to see the Seth MacFarlane sci-fi series get the green light for Season 3, so much so that few bothered to ask why exactly it was making a jump from Fox to Hulu.
Now that there has been some time post-renewal, it's a question worth asking. Hulu's Craig Erwich was at TCA and revealed why the streamer picked up the show for its library. His answer, while short, absolutely shows that fan loyalty is valued in the world of streaming just as much as it may be on traditional television.
The Orville has a very loyal following on Hulu so when there was an opportunity to bring a new season to our viewers we jumped at it, I will see the first episode next week. We’ll monitor and evaluate the show as it goes.
Some shows just do well on streaming, and it appears The Orville is one that performed for Hulu. Now it's bringing an original season of the series directly to viewers, and may potentially see quite a jump in viewership now that it's not splitting numbers with Fox. Provided numbers are strong and fans are still invested, it isn't hard to see Hulu wanting to hold onto this show for another season or more.
Craig Erwich also revealed during TCA (via Deadline) that Seth MacFarlane's recent deal he signed with NBCUniversal will not affect his ability to work on The Orville in the future. Of course, one can never know how things will work out down the road, and just because MacFarlane can continue The Orville, it may not mean he will if he's loaded with other projects elsewhere.
That being said, Seth MacFarlane absolutely seems invested in continuing The Orville, and was eager and excited to get rolling on Season 3. It's not too surprising, given MacFarlane's long-time Star Trek fandom, and The Orville being a show that evokes the classical style of Star Trek episodes. If Season 3 does well with subscribers, and Hulu is fine with continuing the series, it's hard to see MacFarlane just up and walking away from the series.
Season 3 of The Orville will pick up after a dramatic finale in Season 2, in which the world changed drastically when Young Grayson went back and rejected Young Ed for a second date. It appeared The Orville crew had corrected the timeline in the Season 2 finale, though there are no guarantees everything worked out exactly like it was prior to the timeline altering. It will be interesting to see if there are changes to characters or the story when the series returns, and how the Hulu sci-fi series will address it.
The Orville Season 3 is expected to arrive on Hulu in late 2020. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the series and for a look at what's happening in the world of television and movies.