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When Seth MacFarlane's The Orville Will Finally Go Back Into Production

the orville seth macfarlane

The entertainment world is still on the long and arduous path back to normalcy, though it will be a while before viewers stop feeling the effects of the global delays in TV and film productions. While many shows have returned to their usual filming schedules, from CBS’ dramas like NCIS and Blue Bloods to Disney+’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, the brakes are still pushed all the way down for Seth MacFarlane’s now-streaming sci-fi series The Orville. That long wait could be ending soon, however, as it looks like the pricy comedy-drama will finally start its production up again in December, and it'll be going for quite a long time.

While nothing has officially been declared by Hulu or the show’s creative team, TrekMovie.com is reporting a production source’s claim that The Orville’s stellar ensemble cast and crew will get back into the spacefaring swing of things during the first week of December. Hopefully that means everyone can get a few weeks of filming in before the Christmas break happens. Not that alien species like the Moclans and Xelayans are known to celebrate such Earthly holidays.

To be sure, crew members are already back at work handling prep duties so that Season 3 can head back into production smoothly enough. As well, most of the crew members and cast will be back on the Fox lot in Century City the week after Thanksgiving festivities, so that pick-up shots and other smaller-scale issues can be taken care of. And then following the planned break for Christmas, the cast and crew will reconvene in early January to knock even more episodes out.

Unfortunately, fans are still going to be waiting a while to see what Season 3 has to offer. It looks like the remainder of the production on the season is going to last at least five or six months once it starts up again adhering to updated COVID safety protocols that have been expanding budgets across Hollywood and beyond.

The silver lining there is that, while The Orville Season 3 is only going to feature eleven episodes – compared to 12 in Season 1 and 14 in Season 2 – all of them will feature longer runtimes than those in the first two seasons originally released on Fox. So there’s still a lot of story to film even with fewer installments.

The Orville first had to call it quits back in March along with all of the other TV show productions taken down by the pandemic. Filming for Season 3 had started up in October 2019, and it’s reported that around half of the footage needed was filmed. So it does indeed look like it’ll take right around a full year for Season 3 to completely come together.

Rumors have swirled that The Orville is already planning on shutting down after Season 3 has filmed, with Hulu only having signed on for a single season. Of course, none of that has been confirmed just yet, but one has to wonder if this extended production delay has caused anyone at Hulu any worries about how long to keep The Orville going.

With this extended delay in Season 3’s production start, Hulu will possibly have to go through the entirety of 2021 without airing new episodes. That said, it’s reported that the team’s hope is to get The Orville Season 3 into fans’ eye sockets before 2021 is up. Make it happen! Make it happen!

While waiting to see when The Orville Season 3 may appear on Hulu, along with new star Anne Winters of 13 Reasons Why fame, head to our 2020 Fall TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way a lot sooner.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.