Seth MacFarlane Has Another Sci-Fi TV Show In The Works

seth macfarlane the orville

Prior to 2020, Seth MacFarlane was already quite the prolific TV EP. Beyond his Fox cash cow Family Guy, MacFarlane also has TBS' American Dad, Hulu's The Orville, and NatGeo's Cosmos: Possible Worlds, not to mention the Clive Barker film adaptation Books of Blood finally coming to Hulu in October. Still, he's really kicked it up a notch in the development department this year, thanks in part to an overall deal signed with NBCUniversal. And his newest project will be a welcome one to science fiction fans.

Seth MacFarlane and his Fuzzy Door production company are teaming up with NBCU's Universal Cable Productions and its Peacock streaming service for a TV adaptation of the sci-fi short film Skywatch. This isn't simply an extension of a limited storyline, though. Skywatch was created and released as a ten-minute proof of concept spearheaded by former Pixar artist Colin Levy, who'd previously worked on such projects as Monsters University, Finding Dory, and a personal favorite of mine, the TV special Toy Story of Terror. The goal was always to turn this already large-scale idea into something even bigger.

To that end, Colin Levy worked with another former Pixar vet, writer Mike Sundy, to put together a feature-length script for Skywatch, and they've been officially tapped to expand that script for the TV adaptation, according to THR. Skywatch's story as is centers on a teenager who attempt to play a prank on a school bully by hacks into a drone delivery system. Unfortunately, he gains control of a dangerous prototype and accidentally crashes it, which sends him headlong into a potentially deadly conspiracy.

Anyone should be able to tell that Skywatch is a passion project for Colin Levy. The ten-minute short was six years in the making when it was unveiled online in December 2019, and was helped along by artists from around the world who volunteered their time in working with VFX supervisor Sandro Blattner. Plus, the project put together a successful Kickstarter campaign.

Check out Skywatch in its entirety below, and keep an eye out for one Jude Law.

Skywatch marks the third project he's put into place after entering his deal with NBCUniversal. The first, which was just announced two weeks ago, is a single-series adaptation of Herman Wouk's two novels The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. For that one, Seth MacFarlane will be serving as a co-writer as well as executive producer. As well, MacFarlane is teaming with Chadwick Boseman to EP a TV project based on the segregation story of the Little Rock Nine, based on the memoir written by the youngest of the Black students attending the formerly all-white Little Rock Central High.

Seth MacFarlane is setting up all these new projects during the prolonged production hiatus for The Orville for its first season as a Hulu exclusive. Rumors have been floating that the sci-fi dramedy is already set up to end with Season 3, but that hasn't ever been confirmed. Beyond The Winds of War, he'll likely be setting up most new projects in an executive producer role, as opposed to a position with more day-to-day duties. Still, there's no doubting he'll be a busy guy once filming starts happening (safely) on a more regular basis.

Fans can currently hear Seth MacFarlane in American Dad on TBS, with a few episodes left to go in Season 17. Family Guy will be premiering its nineteenth season on Fox on Sunday, September 27, at 9:00 p.m. ET. In need of more shows to keep an eye out for, both sci-fi and animated? Check out our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.