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I am confident this will be the most surprising season yet. It is not going where you think it is going.Seth MacFarlane[1]
Season 3 is the upcoming season of The Orville on Hulu.

The current projected number of episodes will be 13, which is based on the number of scripts creator Seth MacFarlane believes he can write. "Thirteen episodes in is when I start to come apart," he quipped.[2]

No production schedule has been announced, although script writing[3] and planning for pre-production[4] has begun.

The show is slated to return in the year 2020[5][6] and, according to both creator Seth MacFarlane and associate producer Tom Costantino, probably in the autumn.[2][7]

Early development Edit

The Orville's staff met with senior concept designer Lex Cassar on June 6, 2019 to begin pre-production for the art department.[4] "If we as an art department don't start planning ahead we could fall behind real quick," Cassar surmised the next day.[8]

Writing Edit

During writing production for Season 2 in 2017 and possibly 2018, "a couple" scripts were set aside if the show were renewed for Season 3.[9]

By early May, the writing staff was authoring scripts for Season 3.[3] The team completed five stories by August 19, 2019.[2]

Executive producer David A. Goodman stated that he would like to explore the repercussions of Isaac's decisions in Identity, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2.[10]

In late July, MacFarlane stated that Alara Kitan could make an appearance on the show, but could not say more as writing had not finished. He also left open the possibility of further exploring the planet Xelaya.[11]

On August 9, MacFarlane said that "we are broadening [the Krill species] a bit, so it's not just that... I don't want to give anything away... It's an element that... [sighs] Whenever I write the Krill there's that thing in my head, Are they terrorists, are they us? I can never figure out where they land. They always seem to be a metaphor for something."[2]

Filming Edit

On May 13, 2019, Costantino said that while a shooting schedule had not been finished,[3] two extra days were added to each episode's schedule.[7]

Changes to the crew Edit

Eric Hadyn joined the visual effects department in August 2019 as a visual effects supervisor.[12]

Renewal Edit

Renewal came late in the year for The Orville, several weeks after the conclusion of Season 2. While the cast expressed their hopes for a Season 3[13] and the producers said they were "optimistic,"[14] Fox declined to answer publicly whether the show was renewed or cancelled through the show's entire second season run. At the end of Season 2, ratings analysts were divided whether The Orville would be renewed.[15][16][17]

At the end of April 2019, creator and showrunner Seth MacFarlane said that he had decided before Season 1 aired that if he did not see "growth" by the end of Season 2 then he would end the show,

but it's exceeded my hopes.... The audience was with us from day one. ... I'm reading all these great reviews of the show, which is a relatively new experience for me- these rave reviews, and it does feel good.[18]
The show's producers entered talks with Fox concerning renewal by May.[n 1] MacFarlane's ten-year contract with Fox was set to expire in June 2019, and many suspect the future of The Orville to be a part of negotiations.[19]

By early May, the show's producers possibly entered talks with Fox on renewal.[n 1] At that time, executive producer David A. Goodman commented: "I think the show has been doing well for [Fox]. The studio loves the show. It sells well in foreign sales. So, I am optimistic, but as I often say in this business it is nothing until it is something."[10]

Fox officially announced that The Orville was renewed on May 11, 2019.[20]

Two days later, editor and associate producer Tom Costantino said that the show was never in danger of cancellation: the very late date of renewal was the result of Fox's business interests and not about the show's ratings.[3]

Budget Edit

On December 10, 2018, the state of California approved $15.8 million in tax credits were Fox to renew The Orville for a third season.[21] The write-off was one of the highest of any network television show, and roughly $1 million more than the previous season.

Move to Hulu Edit

On July 20, 2019 during San Diego Comic Con, Seth MacFarlane announced the show would move to Hulu for its third season.[22] Charlie Collier, CEO of 20th Century Fox, said the decision to move the show to Hulu was due to scheduling.[23]

In their own study of the switch to Hulu, The Popcast found:

There was a lot of speculation that Disney's takeover of Fox was the real reason or that the show had poor ratings. But the reality was that behind the scenes, things were very friendly. Fox was happy with the show and they wanted it renewed for a third season as well.[24]
The Popcast determined that the change was most likely due to (1) advertising scheduling concerns, (2) Disney's desire for the Fox channel to focus on sports and news, and (3) the show's very large streaming audience, most of whom watched through Hulu.[24]

Despite its late announcement, the move to Hulu seems to have been known as early as April 2019, long before a Season 3 was announced. When asked in an April 25 interview if he could make a show on streaming platforms like Netflix or Hulu, MacFarlane avoided answering the question,

The project dictates what the platform is. ... The Orville is very different from Family Guy in that it doesn't require - I think we have like one broadcast standards note for all of Season 2 [for the episode Primal Urges[25]]. It's just not that kind of show; it goes for something different. The project, and the story, and the tone tell you where it wants to be.[18]

Preparing to air Edit

2019 San Diego Comic-Con and The Orville Experience Edit

SDCC 2019 The Orville panel

SDCC 2019 The Orville panel

San Diego Comic-Con 2019

The Orville made its third appearance at the San Diego Comic-Con. The event featured a cast panel, "exclusive ... never-before-seen moments of season 2," and a sneak peak at Season 3.[26]

Perhaps the most surprising addition was a museum exhibition titled The Orville Experience, which was free to the general public. The Orville Experience was designed by Seth MacFarlane, associate producer and editor Tom Costantino, visual effects producer Brooke Noska, and senior concept designer Lex Cassar.[27] MacFarlane said shortly before opening:

After completing two seasons of The Orville and witnessing the wonderfully gratifying audience response, I decided I wanted to bring something directly to the fans this year — and there’s no better place to do it than San Diego Comic-Con. ... We figured our fans would love to see all of it firsthand, so we pulled together an extensive collection directly from the set....[28]
The exhibition featured the show's original props and artwork, costumes, pieces of the set (such as the infamous hallway of the Orville where an unnamed ensign is ejected from an airlock[29]), and a unique model of the Orville.[30]

San Diego Comic-Con voted The Orville Experience as the best offsite attraction of the year.[31]

Notes Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Initially, executive producer David A. Goodman said the show was "beginning talks" with Fox on renewal. Pascale, Anthony. "Interview: David A. Goodman On How ‘The Orville’ Wrapped Up Season Two And Where It Could Go Next". TrekMovie. May 3, 2019. Associate producer Tom Costantino later clarified that communications were not "beginning" per se. /u/tqgibtngo. "David Goodman interview". Reddit. May 4, 2019.

References Edit

  1. [[[1]]]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Mindscape 58 | Seth MacFarlane on Using Science Fiction to Explore Humanity". Sean Carroll. Aug. 5, 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "The Orville Renewed! Season 3 Insider Interview with Tom Costantino". The Popcast. May 13, 2019.
  4. 4.0 4.1 @GoodNaturedVLLN. "I apologize for a lack of a stream yesterday.  The good news is I was busy in an official #TheOrville preproduction meeting.  All I can say is we have some big things coming for season 3. It’s going to be quite the adventure!". Twitter. June 7, 2019.
  5. Rice, Lynette. "See Fox's 2019-20 primetime schedule". Entertainment Weekly. May 13, 2019.
  6. Halterman, Jim. "Fox Fall 2019 Schedule: 'Last Man Standing' & 'Orville' Held to 2020, 'Empire' to End With Season 6". TV Insider. May 13, 2019.
  7. 7.0 7.1 u/tqgibtngo. "I'm confused. — Reports say Fox indicated a "midseason" 2020 premiere. Doesn't "midseason" traditionally span from January to circa May? Is Fox going for a RUSHED production schedule?". Twitter. May 13, 2019.
  8. @GoodNaturedVLLN. "No deal yet but as you know Tom, if we as an art department don’t start planning ahead we could fall behind real quick. Always good to stay ahead of the curve. 👍👍😊". Twitter. June 7, 2019.
  9. "The Orville star Adrianne Palicki beams aboard the ORVILLELAND podcast". ORVILLELAND. Jan. 4, 2019.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Pascale, Anthony. "Interview: David A. Goodman On How ‘The Orville’ Wrapped Up Season Two And Where It Could Go Next". TrekMovie. May 3, 2019.
  11. Pascale, Anthony. "SDCC19: ‘The Orville’ Panel Promises Season 3 Will Be Most Surprising + Watch Season 2 Deleted Scenes". TrekMovie. July 24, 2019.
  12. @brooki_eh. "[ Hey #TheOrville family!! ]@megamanex [ and I are excited to let you guys know that our super vfx team just got a little added touch of awesome for Season 3! Please help us in welcoming ] @EricHayden1 to the crew! #TeamSuperSupesinSpace !!!!!". Twitter. Aug. 19, 2019.
  13. See, e.g., Cap, Damon. "Kai Wener From The Orville Exclusive BSCKids Interview". BCSKids. April 5, 2019.
  14. @SethMacFarlane. "We are optimistic — Stay tuned". Twitter. Jan. 17, 2019.
  15. "Cancel Bear vs. FOX, week 16: ‘The Orville’s’ second season is off to a rocky start". The Cancel Bear. Jan. 17, 2019.
  16. Maglio, Tony & Jennifer Maas. "On the Bubble 2019: Which Broadcast TV Shows Will Be Canceled and Which Will Be Renewed?". The Wrap. April 29, 2019.
  17. Goldberg, Lesley, et al. "Fox Scorecard: Complete Guide to What's New, Renewed and Canceled (So Far)". Hollywood Reporter. April 29, 2019.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Seth MacFarlane - 'The Orville'". THR Awards Chatter. April 25, 2019.
  19. Katz, Brandon. "3 Showrunners Disney Should Lock Up With Long-Term Contracts Following Fox Deal". Observer. March 20, 2019.
  20. Petski, Denise. "‘The Orville’ Renewed For Season 3 By Fox". Deadline. May 11, 2019.
  21. Lovett, Jamie. "'The Orville' Awarded Tax Credit for Potential Third Season". ComicBook. Dec. 10, 2018.
  22. @SFKMagazine. "Seth McFarlane says #TheOrville is moving to Hulu for season three". Twitter. July 20, 2019.
  23. Franklin, Garth. "FOX Chief Talks “Orville” Shift To Hulu". Dark Horizons. Aug. 9, 2019.
  24. 24.0 24.1 "This is why The Orville is moving to HULU". The Popcast. Aug. 17, 2019.
  25. "Mindscape 58 | Seth MacFarlane on Using Science Fiction to Explore Humanity". Sean Carroll. Aug. 5, 2019.
  26. Lovett, Jamie. "The Orville Is Headed for San Diego Comic-Con 2019". Comic Con. July 1, 2019.
  27. Twombly, Kim. "“THE ORVILLE” ALIENS TO APPEAR AT COMIC-CON ON SATURDAY". SDCC blog. July 19, 2019.
  28. "Seth MacFarlane Brings The Orville Experience to San Diego Comic-Con". MetalLife. July 16, 2019.
  29. Episode 2x09: Identity, Pt. 2
  30. THE ORVILLE EXPERIENCE. SDCC blog. Last accessed July 19, 2019.
  31. THE SHRUGGIE AWARDS OF SAN DIEGO COMIC-CON 2019 – WINNERS. SDCC Blog. Last accessed July 26, 2019.
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