Seth MacFarlane has been hard at work on The Orville in recent years, although the third season of the Star Trek-esque TV show hasn't yet debuted on Hulu. MacFarlane is already attached to a new project, however, and it's not set in outer space. The project is definitely unexpected, but already seems totally awesome. MacFarlane is on board for an adaptation of two books into one show called The Winds of War.
The Winds of War will be a limited series based on author Herman Wouk's The Winds of War and War and Remembrance, according to THR, and Seth MacFarlane will executive produce as well as co-write the script. The project tells the tale of an American family's journey across the continent during the era spanning World War II. The books, published in 1971 and 1978 respectively, were both previously adapted into separate miniseries in the 1980s.
This limited series marks Seth MacFarlane's first project under the $200 million deal that took him from his longtime home at 20th Century TV (where he produced Family Guy and The Orville) to NBCUniversal. The Winds of War will reportedly be shopped around to broadcast and cable networks as well as streaming platforms. Considering the size of the NBCUniversal banner, that could mean anything from NBC to Syfy to new streaming service Peacock if it stays in the NBCU family.
For The Winds of War, Seth MacFarlane is teaming with Seth Fisher, who is credited as an executive producer on TNT's The Alienist, which recently wrapped on its second season. Fisher will co-write as well as executive produce, along with Erica Huggins, who serves as president of MacFarlane's Fuzzy Door production company. According to MacFarlane, The Winds of War is a project of particular interest to him:
I can’t think of a more exciting project with which to launch my creative partnership with UCP than Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War. I've been a devoted fan of Wouk’s WWII epic for decades, and its depiction of small-scale human endurance in the face of large-scale global upheaval has never been more relevant than it is today. In my very first meeting with [UCP president] Dawn Olmstead, we connected over this project — I learned that she herself comes from a Naval family — and to bring it to fruition under her stewardship and that of her UCP team will be a perfect fit for all. We can’t wait to get started.
Details are scarce about what exactly Seth MacFarlane's version of The Winds of War will look like, although its description as a limited series suggests that it will mostly stick to the events of Herman Wouk's books. The first, Winds of War, was adapted into a seven-part miniseries in 1983 that ran for 18 hours (including commercials) and won three Emmys of its eleven nominations.
The War of Remembrance sequel miniseries debuted in 1988 and ran into 1989, spanning 12 episodes. Winds of War and War and Remembrance being combined into one limited series could mean far fewer episodes than the two miniseries combined, but only time will tell. The wait for Seth MacFarlane's next project may last for a while, considering Season 3 of The Orville still has yet to finish production!
Rumors began to circulate earlier in August that The Orville is already being cancelled after its third season, and the end of the Fox-turned-Hulu show would open Seth MacFarlane up to focus more on other projects, but Orville fans shouldn't panic just yet, and hopefully the third season will make the wait due to production delays worth it. You can always catch the two finished seasons of The Orville streaming on Hulu now during the wait for Season 3 and The Winds of War. For some additional viewing options in the coming weeks, check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule!