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This is the year of surprise for The Orville.Scott Grimes, on Season 2[1]
Season 2 of The Orville debuted on December 30, 2018, on Fox and concluded on April 25, 2019. The season continued the adventures of the USS Orville: meeting new aliens, facing old adversaries and encountering new ones, and revisiting the planet Moclus.

The season's heavy emphasis on drama and action was a marked departure from Season 1's lighthearted storytelling and frequent use of allegory; and, after Season 2 ended, creator Seth MacFarlane said that he had secretly wanted to take The Orville in that direction since the show began.[2]

The Orville was renewed for a second season in November of 2017. Unlike Season 1, which aired in the fall, Season 2 aired mid-season over the winter and early spring.

RenewalEdit

First Look- Raising The Bar - Season 2 - THE ORVILLE

First Look- Raising The Bar - Season 2 - THE ORVILLE

On December 22, 2018, Fox publishes this "First Look" behind the scenes.

By the middle of Season 1, expectations were high, but not certain, that the show would be renewed. "They were talking about a second season by the end of filming the first," author Jeff Bond later said. The Orville had posted respectable ratings for the Thursday 9 p.m. broadcasting slot, Fox's highest since 2015. Bond, who had had unique access to the show during its first season production, observed:

They didn't have any idea how the show was going to be received.... Initially it got very poor reviews based on the pilot, and it ended up doing very well in the ratings because of [Sunday night] football. They moved it to Thursday nights and there was a sense of disaster because ratings went down, but then they went back up... and outperformed what people thought it would do.[3]
Helping The Orville's case, the state of California approved the show for $14.5 million in tax breaks for a second season.[4] On the other hand, The Orville ran high production costs. Each episode cost roughly $7 million to produce, more expensive than most of its competition, and the network had declined to order 13 more episodes for the Spring of 2018.[5]

On November 2, 2017, Fox announced that it had renewed the show for a second season, four days after Majority Rule aired, the second most-watched episode of the show overall.[6] Renewal came early in the year for The Orville, beating all Fox shows but The Simpsons. Some journalists were surprised that Fox chose to renew the series instead of ordering more episodes for the first season, but creator Seth MacFarlane had long said that he did not want a second half of the first season in order to keep the show's production values high. The budget was increased for Season 2, but the exact amount is unknown.[7]

Twelve days later, on November 14, Fox moved the originally filmed twelfth episode of Season 1 to Season 2.[8] The company did not give a reason for its decision.

Trailers Edit

Fox released a three-minute Season 2 trailer on July 21, 2018 at that year's San Diego Comic-Con.
Comic-Con 2018 Official Trailer THE ORVILLE Season 2 THE ORVILLE

Comic-Con 2018 Official Trailer THE ORVILLE Season 2 THE ORVILLE

The first trailer released at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con.

The trailer's serious tone was a remarkable departure from the 2017 May trailer, which portrayed the show as comedy-driven. Creator Seth MacFarlane was delighted: "I think the trailer that Fox has put together this year is awesome. They've knocked it out of the park. They've really captured the balance [of comedy and drama] perfectly. I think it's much more representational of what the show is than last year's."[9]

On October 27, a second trailer aired during commercials for the 2018 baseball World Series, a mix of new material and old footage revealed in the first trailer. On October 29, Fox released a third trailer. On December 20 and 21, Fox released "preview" videos entitled Preview: Welcome To The Galaxy and Preview: There's Nothing Like It.

2018-19 schedule Edit

Orville Season 2 poster

Season 2 promotional poster.

Season 2 began on December 30, 2018, a Sunday night, on a midseason schedule, and after the premiere episode, the show reverted to its old Thursday night time slot.[10] Fox did not specify why it unexpectedly bumped the show to a midseason schedule although the studio did mention that the show would begin exactly after the conclusion of Thursday Night Football - a newly purchased property that had occupied The Orville's old Thursday night time slot during the fall.

Michael Cecchini, a journalist for Den of Geek who attended the Fox Upfronts, mollified fans not to be "fooled" by Fox moving The Orville to midseason, reporting that network leadership said the show is a "huge priority."[11] Within the studio, the extension came as a "huge relief" to the crew, according to visual effects producer Brooke Noska, as the team had much more time to complete post-production.[12]

Episode count Edit

Jon Cassar Season 2 filming

Director and producer Jon Cassar published this photo of Captain Ed Mercer's office to his Instagram, the first image revealed of the set in the second season.

Going into Season 2, creator Seth MacFarlane wanted a low number of episodes to maintain the high quality of the show: "I'd rather do fewer episodes and have them be better content-wise than do 22 and have them be filler."[13]

The second season includes the missing episode Primal Urges. The first season had 13 episodes but the twelfth was moved to the second season, meaning that the second season would have at least 14 new episodes in addition to one already-produced episode.

Whether the season would have 15 total episodes was at one point an open question. Originally, Fox purchased 13 new episodes. According to executive producers David A. Goodman and Brannon Braga and director Jon Cassar in a July 2018 table interview, Fox purchased an additional episode to bring the total to 15.[14] While there is no clear answer to the producers' comment, the final number of episodes was 14.

Production Edit

Preview- Welcome To The Galaxy - Season 2 - THE ORVILLE

Preview- Welcome To The Galaxy - Season 2 - THE ORVILLE

On December 20, Fox released a new video featuring both old and never-before-seen content.

As production began, the crew was understandably nervous for the success of the show. "It’s scary going into a brand-new season," MacFarlane said. "Because you’ve just written an entire batch of episodes, presumably that you are proud of and that you feel good about, and then you have to do it all over again. In the back of your head, there’s always the scary thought, ‘Oh, s—t. We used up all the stories, and there are no more.’"[15]

The cast and crew had their first joint meeting for the upcoming season on January 28.

Writing Edit

According to executive producer David A. Goodman, several important writing changes occurred between Season 1 and 2:

  • At MacFarlane's suggestion, when the writing team met for Season 2, they decided to pen more dramatic, less comedic scripts.[16]
  • Plot lines and character arcs would be more continuous from episode to episode.[16]
  • Great attention would be paid to the lore of The Orville by fleshing out the "nuts and bolts" about locations and species.[16]

Other early writing decisions included giving Gordon Malloy more screen time by making him desire companionship, fostering a familial relationship between Claire Finn, her children, and Isaac for the first half of the season, and having Ed Mercer and Kelly Grayson date other people.[16]

Some episodes came from Season 1. During writing production for Season 1 in 2016 through 2017, MacFarlane and the writing team completed 16 scripts, 13 of which were used in the first season and three set aside if the show was renewed (two of which were the scripts for Identity, Pt. 1 and Identity, Pt. 2).[3]

At the conclusion of writing for the new season, "a couple" scripts were set aside for a possible Season 3.[17]

Changes to the cast, Halston Sage departs, Jessica Szohr joins Edit

Preview- New Missions, Epic Adventures - Season 2 - THE ORVILLE

Preview- New Missions, Epic Adventures - Season 2 - THE ORVILLE

A second trailer was released on October 27, 2018 during the World Series games.

Several major changes to the cast occurred, the most infamous being the departure of actress Halston Sage (Alara) to star in a Netflix movie. Actress Jessica Szohr replaced Sage,[18] playing Talla Keyali.

Two new regularly recurring actors were added, Chris Johnson (Cassius)[19][20] and Michaela McManus (Janel Tyler). The characters were promoted as creating a "rift" between Ed and Kelly, and forcing the commanders to deal with separate relational problems.[21]

Changes to the crew Edit

Jon Cassar, who directed the episode Krill, was hired as a permanent director.[22]

Joe Menosky, a writer for Star Trek: Discovery, left the show and joined The Orville as writer and co-executive producer.[23] He would write the episode Sanctuary.

Tami Lane replaced Howard Berger as head of the make-up department. Co-executive producer Wellesley Wild, author of the episode Primal Urges, left The Orville to create a reboot of the show Animaniacs. Shonnard Hedges left the editing team, reducing the number of editors to two.[24]

Throughout the season, famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson served as an informal science adviser to the show.[25]

Changes to sets Edit

Season 2 set

Setting up the Bridge for filming during Season 2.

Design and construction teams led by production designer Stephen J. Lineweaver and art director Robert Strohmaier built an armory for the ship, more ship hallways, and a classroom.[26] New decals were added to the exteriors of Union shuttles.[27]

Filming Edit

Filming took place between February 26[28] and October 15, 2018,[29] although second unit filming continued until February 26, 2019.[30][31] Total filming took exactly one year.

After filming of the sixth episode concluded on May 11, the cast and crew took a several weeks-long break.[32] The purpose of the break was to give the effects team time to edit the shot footage while others could prepare for the next five episodes, followed by another break for the remaining episodes.[12] Season 1 had no breaks, and the effects team found themselves pressed against time to finish editing.[12] A second break took place at the end of July.

Post-filming Edit

The Orville Season 2 Gag Reel

The Orville Season 2 Gag Reel

A composite video with outtakes from Season 2 episodes.

As they had done in Season 1, the cast and crew celebrated with a wrap party on October 13. This time, the party was held at The Highlight Room in Los Angeles, California, which featured a disc jockey, MacFarlane singing "Fly Me to the Moon,"[33] and a novelty portrait room that made a three-dimensional photograph of people with the Orville.[34] MacFarlane gifted members of the production crew with personalized "Orville" bottles of Tennessee bourbon or embroidered throw pillows.[35] Editors showed outtake montages of the cast.[36] (The Planetary Union Network published a video of the montages several days after Season 2 concluded.[37])

After the final day of shooting, the footage entered post-production and the main cast returned to their daily lives. "It feels so surreal. It's been a wonderful journey," Penny Johnson Jerald (Claire Finn) told her fans. "I can't wait for you guys to see what we have in store."[38]

Post-production Edit

Preview- The Crew Is Back - Season 2 - THE ORVILLE

Preview- The Crew Is Back - Season 2 - THE ORVILLE

The third trailer premiered online on October 29.

Towards the end of [the season] the scripts get more ambitious. They'll be fun to watch; they'll be Hell to make. New species. Lots of eye candy. Lots of layered storytelling.Tom Costantino[39]
The second season represents a significant increase over the first in the amount of edited footage. The first season represented over 4,000 visual effects shots, and the second is expected to double that number.[40]

Visual effects vendor Pixomondo joined the retinue of effects companies working on The Orville for Season 2.

After November, editors worked on the footage in MacFarlane's studio in New York City, New York so that he could shoot a short film while monitoring the edits as well.[41]

Transition to JAZ Pods Edit

Throughout 2018, Fox explored the idea to reduce the number of commercials during television programs by 40 percent. By early June, the proposal caught MacFarlane's attention, who wanted more air time per episode of The Orville.[42] Meanwhile, Fox wanted "to give the show more content and respect to Seth's creativity."[43] The two entered talks to test "JAZ Pod" commercials, an industry name for one-minute commercials that would split the episode into more breaks but greatly increase the amount of episode time[42] from 43:45 to 48:10.[43]

By early August, MacFarlane and Fox agreed to use the JAZ Pod format for Season 2. Editor Scott Powell reported that the switch adds five minutes more air time per episode.[44] MacFarlane was elated: "We're part of this new, experimental program that creates a different balance between ad time and programming time, ... [which] allows you to let things breathe in a way that streaming shows are able to do. … That’s been a big boon for our storytelling process."[7]

Music Edit

All of the composers of Season 1 returned, though the transition to JAZ Pods gave the show five more minutes to develop the music of each episode. "We structured the commercials differently, so we suddenly had all this extra time to play with," MacFarlane recalled. "All of that went into shoeleather where it's not dialogue, it's not story; it's imagery that lets you take a breath and take in the set, the visual effects work, and the music."[45]

Preparing to air Edit

Seth MacFarlane Smoked Weed with His Parents

Seth MacFarlane Smoked Weed with His Parents

Seth appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! with a completely new sneak preview of the season.

On January 4, TVGuide reported that the show would not air in 2018.[13] The bit of misreporting earned the attention of even the showrunner, MacFarlane, who published a correction via Twitter that show would air later in the year as originally planned.[46] A finalized premiere date was announced in mid-May that The Orville would return on December 30.[10]

After shooting concluded in late November, the actors and workers behind the show returned to interview. Perhaps the most notable appearance was by MacFarlane on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on December 18 where a new clip from the next season aired for the first time. "We go deep this season," Jerald promised. "We hit on some issues that people are afraid to touch."[47]

Leaks Edit

From a production standpoint, inadvertently leaked information sparked a change in policy while filming. In an interview with the Planetary Union Network, editor Tom Costantino said a "very gentle hammer" came down on the crew who posted pictures to their social network.[48] Unlike Season 1, in which the show operated in relative obscurity, "now there's at least a couple people checking our [social network] feeds. ... Now we have to be careful."[48]

The risk of divulging spoilers became a frequent topic of conversation by the cast in interviews. As actor Scott Grimes explained, "[W]e’ve had some people on the show tweet some things and they get a call from Fox immediately – or Seth. Well, Seth probably calls Fox and says, ‘Call this son of a b****.’"[49]
Orville Season 2

The first of two official promotional posters released for the season, this one came on for the San Diego Comic-Con.

PaleyFest and the Television Academy sneak-peak Edit

The first major public appearance by the crew was March 17, when the main cast, Coleman, Braga, Goodman, and Clark returned to PaleyFest for a panel discussion of the show.[50] The panel reflected over Season 1 and teased the crowd with snippets of Season 2 information.

That same day, Fox quietly hosted a sneak-peak look at Season 2 production for members of the Television Academy.[51] Little is known of that event but some details have since surfaced through promotional items.

2018 San Diego Comic-Con Edit

The cast and crew returned to the San Diego Comic-Con on July 21, exuding a new confidence in the show that was not there in 2017. The hosted a panel question-and-answer session, signings, live-streamed interviews, giveaways of merchandise and props from the show, and a Season 2 trailer reveal. Show props given away include a PM-44, a latchkum, a Union comscanner, and several skulls signed by the main cast.[52]

Cancelled 2018 New York Comic-Con Edit

While the cast had long been scheduled to return to New York's Comic-Con in early October (they had attended in 2017), the host unexpectedly announced on September 28 that the show would not make an appearance and the panel was cancelled. New York Comic-Con cited only to a "scheduling conflict," much to the dismay of fans.[53] Editor and associate producer Tom Costantino clarified that the cast and crew needed to shoot, and could not afford to push filming back any later.[54]

Season premiere Edit

Preview- There's Nothing Like It - Season 2 - THE ORVILLE

Preview- There's Nothing Like It - Season 2 - THE ORVILLE

On December 21, 2018, 20th Century Fox released its fifth teaser video for the season above.

Days before the release of Ja'loja, the crew expressed their jitters. "We spend an entire year working on this,” MacFarlane confessed. “You get anxious to get some feedback, because you’re really working in a vacuum up to that point... We always joke on the set that it’s an impossible show to complete on a network schedule and budget, yet somehow, we do it. We’ll be in post-production right up to the wire, trying to get all the stuff done."[55]

Trivia Edit

  • When second-unit filming is included, filming took exactly one year, lasting from February 26, 2018,[28] until February 26, 2019.[31]
  • In January 2019, Scott Grimes and Adrianne Palicki announced their engagement. [56]

List of episodes Edit

List of episodes
Count Season Episode ID Code Title Airdate Ratings[57] Notes
Summary
013 02 01 S02E01 1LAB14 Ja'loja Dec. 30, 2018 1.52/5.683 Season 2 premiere.
As the Orville heads towards Moclus for Bortus’ special once-a-year ceremony, Ed discovers Kelly has moved on and has started dating. Meanwhile, Gordon asks for John’s help in getting game, and Claire turns to Isaac for parenting advice.
014 02 02 S02E02; S01E12 (former) 1LAB12 Primal Urges Jan. 3, 2019 0.63/2.821 Return to Thursday night schedule. Twelfth series production episode. Originally Season 1, Episode 12.
Ed and the crew race to save a small group of survivors on a planet about to be destroyed by its sun, while Bortus and Klyden start marriage counseling after Bortus’s obsession with the ship’s Environmental Simulator gets out of hand.
015 02 03 S02E03 1LAB15 Home Jan. 10, 2019 0.74/3.063 Departure of Alara Kitan (Halston Sage).
Ed, Gordon, and Alara visit Alara's home planet of Xelaya.
016 02 04 S02E04 1LAB16 Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes Jan. 17, 2019 0.73/3.012
Ed finds himself behind enemy lines when he crash-lands on a mysterious planet. Meanwhile, Kelly questions why Gordon wants to take the Command Test.
017 02 05 S02E05 1LAB17 All the World is Birthday Cake Jan. 24, 2019 0.74/3.176 Introduction of Talla Keyali (Jessica Szohr).
The Orville makes first contact and a new crewmember joins the ship.
018 02 06 S02E06 1LAB18 A Happy Refrain Jan. 31, 2019 0.68/3.105
The Orville crew is surprised when Claire's personal life takes an unexpected turn, and Gordon makes an unusual grooming suggestion to Bortus.
019 02 07 S02E07 1LAB19 Deflectors Feb. 14, 2019 0.7/3.065
A renowned engineer joins the Orville, but he hides a shameful secret. Meanwhile, Kelly breaks up with Cassius.
020 02 08 S02E08 1LAB20 Identity, Pt. 1 Feb. 21, 2019 0.75/3.05
After Isaac suddenly shuts down, the crew journeys to his home world of Kaylon 1.
021 02 09 S02E09 1LAB21 Identity, Pt. 2 Feb. 28, 2019 0.78/3.151
The captured Orville leads the Kaylon armada on its way to Earth for a battle to destroy all biological life.
022 02 10 S02E10 1LAB22 Blood of Patriots March 7, 2019 0.63/2.935
Ed must initiate peace talks with the Krill but two unexpected guests risk everything.
023 02 11 S02E11 1LAB23 Lasting Impressions March 21, 2019 0.64/2.939
The crew of the Orville opens a time capsule from the year 2015, and Gordon finds love in an unexpected place. Meanwhile, Bortus and Klyden take up smoking.
024 02 12 S02E12 1LAB24 Sanctuary April 11, 2019 -
When two Moclans board the Orville, they bring a secret that threatens the Planetary Union.
025 02 13 S02E13 1LAB25 Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow April 18, 2019 -
A time distortion brings someone from the past to the Orville.
026 02 14 S02E14 1LAB26 The Road Not Taken April 25, 2019 -
The crew must contend with the disastrous fallout from Kelly's decision.


See also Edit

ReferencesEdit

  1. [[1]]
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  4. Andreeva, Nellie & Dominic Patten. "‘The Orville’ & ‘Good Trouble’ Eye Renewals After Landing Tax Incentives For Future Seasons". Deadline. Dec. 10, 2018.
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  28. 28.0 28.1 Cassar, Jon. "Here we go #TheOrville season 2 starts shooting. Stay tuned." Instagram. Feb. 26, 2018.
  29. @joncassar. On the Fox backlot setting up the first shot of our last shooting day of season 2 on #TheOrville. Instagram. Oct. 15, 2018.
  30. @joncassar. "A little second unit pickup shooting today on #TheOrville ...coming at ya In December". Instagram. Oct. 29, 2018.
  31. 31.0 31.1 @TomCostantino. "MORE-VILLE stuff from my phone. Future throwback #BTS. The last set up of Sesaon 2. @SethMacFarlane @TheOrville #TheOrville @planetary_union @joncassar". Twitter. March 6, 2019.
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  34. For example, see this untitled photograph posted by @StJerome. Twitter (Oct. 14, 2018).
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  39. [[2]]
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  45. "La-La Land Records Presents: The Music of "The Orville"". La-Land Entertainment. May 9, 2019.
  46. MacFarlane, Seth. "To correct a bit of misreporting: No, there won’t be an Orville/Family Guy crossover, and yes, The Orville season 2 will arrive later this year." Twitter. Jan. 7, 2018.
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  53. @NY_Comic_Con. "Due to a scheduling conflict, the cast of THE ORVILLE will not be attending NYCC this year and the panel has been cancelled.". Twitter. Sept. 28, 2018.
  54. u/editboy1000. "Sorry gang. Still, shooting! Tried to save the panel until the last minute. Was going to release some new material for the panel. hoping to have it out before the premiere." Reddit. Sept. 29, 2018.
  55. Bobbin, Jay. "Seth MacFarlane’s ‘The Orville’ takes off for Season 2 on Fox". ONTVToday. Dec. 24, 2018.
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