This page contains information about a future product.
Storylines will not be dropped. There will be a continuation of things we care about, characters we care about. Even some things people online have complained about.
Season 3 will have 11 episodes which Hulu will release on a weekly basis, despite the fact that Hulu wanted only 10. Each episode will have 12 to 15 more minutes of air time than in previous seasons.
Season 3 is expected to increasingly turn to dramatic storytelling and action-based narratives. After fans and critics praised Identity, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 as some of the show's finest episodes, director Jon Cassar reported that creator Seth MacFarlane "wants to make this year all like that."
The show was originally projected to return in the year 2020 and, according to both MacFarlane and Costantino, probably in the autumn. However, more recently Costantino said any release date was still to be determined, though they were aiming for late 2020. This may be due to a months-long production suspension that began mid-March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Production has not restarted as of September 2020.
- 1 Production
- 2 Renewal
- 3 Budget
- 4 Move to Hulu
- 5 Preparing to air
- 6 List of episodes
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
Production[edit | edit source]
Development of The Orville began only after Season 2 ended and the show was officially renewed. As a result, the show had no production schedule as late as May 2019. Staff met with senior concept designer Lex Cassar on June 6 to begin pre-production for the art department. "If we as an art department don't start planning ahead we could fall behind real quick," Cassar surmised the next day. To meet production and filming demands, Hulu doubled Season 3's production schedule over Season 2.
By August 29, staff commenced construction changes to Stage 15, which houses the majority of The Orville's set. Post-production crew re-made the opening title screen to be "even more beautiful."
Writing[edit | edit source]
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. Writers initially planned for up to 13 episodes, based on the number of scripts creator Seth MacFarlane believed he could write: "Thirteen episodes in is when I start to come apart." The final number was reduced to 11.
The writing staff was authoring scripts for Season 3 by early May 2019. Switching to Hulu, a streaming service, gave the writers more air time over network televisions, so they enjoyed greater leeway to tell their stories. Writers returned to allegorical storytelling to drive the plot. As executive producer David A. Goodman put it,
The show can't just be fun space action. Commenting on current society and social mores—we almost consider that our responsibility. The reason people watch is the characters. Those emotional stories really drive the show.
More air time meant grander plots and more elaborate special effects; Goodman said Identity, Pt. 2, by far The Orville's most ambitious episode to date, "would be one of the smaller episodes this year." Visual effects producer Brooke Noska added, "Last season, we pulled off the impossible for the [midseason] battle. Now we're trying to do that almost every single episode. And we're doing more content in less time."
Individual episodes[edit | edit source]
Goodman stated that he would like to explore the repercussions of Isaac's decisions in Identity, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2. MacFarlane later promised that Season 3 would show the fallout from Kaylon's attack on the Planetary Union and what happens to Isaac.
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 left open the possibility of further exploring the planet Xelaya. He also stated that a "revelation" about Doctor Claire Finn had been cut for time from Season 2 would appear in Season 3.
On August 9, MacFarlane said that they are "broadening" the Krill species so that it's not just about religion. 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."
On October 6, director Jon Cassar teased "there'll be space battles, there'll definitely be parties, Bortus gets up to the microphone again, half this crew is gonna get really wet- and did I say there'll be parties?"
Changes to the cast[edit | edit source]
Changes to the crew[edit | edit source]
Eric Hayden joined the visual effects department in August 2019 as a visual effects supervisor. Brandon Fayette, digital effects supervisor in Season 2, was made visual effects supervisor. Hillary Wills, formerly an assistant editor, was promoted to editor. Doug Drexler, famous for his work as an artist in the Star Trek franchise, joined the show's art department. Joe Menosky, co-executive producer and writer behind Sanctuary, left. Dan O'Shannon and Andi Bushell were added to unknown roles.
Filming[edit | edit source]
Suspended production[edit | edit source]
In February 2020, coronavirus Covid-19 spread quickly through the United States and the world, creating a global pandemic. Crew began washing their hands, bumping elbows in lieu of shaking hands, and practicing social distancing.
The Orville voluntarily suspended all production for three weeks starting on March 13, 2020, when the show was "about halfway" through filming. MacFarlane broke the news to the cast by phone call, expecting the suspension to last only a week-and-a-half to two weeks. Actress Jessica Szohr (Talla Keyali) recalled, "We were, like, pushing through the middle of the season, scripts were banging out, gas pedal down, and then it was like, ‘Halt!'"
MacFarlane, editors, and effects producers worked remotely through suspended production, allowing post-production to continue. However, with only five episodes filmed, Costantino speculated that, should the suspension persist, post-production employees might eventually run out of work. By July 22, production had not re-started and Costantino confirmed that editing of existing material had completed.
The crew had hoped to resume production in August 2020 but, as of October, production has not restarted. By late September, the production crew began brainstorming procedures to safely apply makeup and prosthetics to actors so that shooting could restart. "I’m trying to figure out how to return safely to work on ‘The Orville’ during a raging pandemic,” MacFarlane told Variety in October. “Turns out it‘s probably safer to actually shoot the thing in outer space than it is in L.A., because at least Boba Fett will wear a mask."
Renewal[edit | edit source]
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 and the producers said they were "optimistic," 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.
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.
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.
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."
Fox officially announced that The Orville was renewed on May 11, 2019.
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.
Budget[edit | edit source]
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. 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 | edit source]
On July 20, 2019 during San Diego Comic Con, Seth MacFarlane announced the show would move to Hulu for its third season. Charlie Collier, CEO of 20th Century Fox, said the decision to move the show to Hulu was due to scheduling and executive producer David A. Goodman has said that Fox actively wanted to keep the show in its television lineup, but agreed to release it to Hulu.
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.
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. Despite its late announcement, the move to Hulu seems to have been known to the executive producers 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]. 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.
However, the acting cast have said that they did not learn of the move to Hulu until just before walking onto the stage of the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con cast panel.
Preparing to air[edit | edit source]
2019 San Diego Comic-Con and The Orville Experience[edit | edit source]
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.
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. MacFarlane and Fuzzy Door Productions paid for the Experience largely out-of-pocket. 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....
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), and a unique model of the Orville.
San Diego Comic-Con voted The Orville Experience as the best offsite attraction of the year.
2019 New York Comic-Con[edit | edit source]
The Orville made its second appearance at the New York Comic-Con on October 6, 2019. (The team first attended in Season 1.) Executive producer David A. Goodman held a panel interview with the main cast and director Jon Cassar, joking about past seasons and teasing Season 3.
Science fiction alumni[edit | edit source]
Between September and October 2019, fan media account Orville Nation organized a number of actors of science-fiction television shows to publicly express interest in roles on The Orville, including Connor Trinneer (Trip Tucker in Star Trek: Enterprise), Corbin Bernsen (Q2 in Star Trek: The Next Generation), Jonathan Frakes, Corin Nemec (Jonas Quinn on Stargate SG-1), and Garrett Wang (Ensign Harry Kim in Star Trek: Voyager).
Frakes, who already directed two episodes of The Orville by that point, said he wished to appear "perhaps in full alien regalia." Wang joked that while he had not yet been asked to perform on the show, if they asked him to play a captain, a "phaser," or a shuttle, "I would be there in a second." (Wang had visited the set in Season 2.) Meanwhile, Nemec already auditioned for a role on the show and was waiting to hear back.
2020 GalaxyCon[edit | edit source]
In July 2020, Scott Grimes (Gordon Malloy), Peter Macon (Bortus), Mark Jackson (Isaac), J. Lee (John LaMarr), and Kelly Hu (Ozawa) attended GalaxyCon, which was held by video conference due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
List of episodes[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- 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 | edit source]
- @TomCostantino. "See ya Monday. @TheOrville @hulu #TheOrville @planetary_union 🚀". Twitter. Oct. 18, 2019.
- An Interview with Tom Costantino, Co-Producer of The Orville. Multiverse Tonight. Nov. 6, 2019
- (212) Discovering The Orville. Trekzone. Oct. 20, 2019.
- Sun - Main Stage | NYCC 2019 | SYFY WIRE. SyFy Wire. Oct. 6, 2019.
- Tom Costantino – Co-Producer of the Orville!. Spoiler Country. May 11, 2020.
- @TomCostantino. "10, try 12-15". Twitter. Oct. 6, 2019.
- Rice, Lynette. "See Fox's 2019-20 primetime schedule". Entertainment Weekly. May 13, 2019.
- Halterman, Jim. "Fox Fall 2019 Schedule: 'Last Man Standing' & 'Orville' Held to 2020, 'Empire' to End With Season 6". TV Insider. May 13, 2019.
- "Mindscape 58 | Seth MacFarlane on Using Science Fiction to Explore Humanity". Sean Carroll. Aug. 5, 2019.
- 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.
- "(#310) The Orville Is Returning!". Trekzone. March 15, 2020.
- Andreeva, Nellie. "‘Last Man Standing’ & ‘The Orville’ Join List Of Shows Shut Down Over Coronavirus". Deadline. March 15, 2020.
- "Talking with The Orville Co-Producer Tom Costantino Ep #14". THESMOKE007. Sept. 16, 2020.
- "The Orville Renewed! Season 3 Insider Interview with Tom Costantino". The Popcast. May 13, 2019.
- @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.
- @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.
- The Orville Season 3 - ...On The Move To Hulu Interview | TOM COSTANTINO & BROOKE NOSKA. Egotastic Funtime. Aug. 29, 2019.
- THE ORVILLE SEASON 3 | The Day Productions Shut Down - Biggest Season Yet | TOM COSTANTINO INTERVIEW. Egotastic FunTime. July 22, 2020.
- "The Orville star Adrianne Palicki beams aboard the ORVILLELAND podcast". ORVILLELAND. Jan. 4, 2019.
- Oullette, Jennifer. "Go behind the scenes of The Orville as series embarks on a new season". Ars Technica. March 26, 2020.
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- Pascale, Anthony. "Interview: David A. Goodman On How ‘The Orville’ Wrapped Up Season Two And Where It Could Go Next". TrekMovie. May 3, 2019.
- Pascale, Anthony. "SDCC19: ‘The Orville’ Panel Promises Season 3 Will Be Most Surprising + Watch Season 2 Deleted Scenes". TrekMovie. July 24, 2019.
- @SethMacFarlane. "That’s the magic balance, yes. I think anything over an hour is too long in any case. But sometimes a difference of minutes can mean keeping or trimming a nugget of character. For example, there’s a Claire revelation that was cut for time in season 2– you’ll find out in season 3!". Twitter. July 22, 2019.
- Petski, Denise. "‘The Orville’: Anne Winters Joins As New Series Regular For Season 3". Deadline. Nov. 4, 2019.
- @brooki_eh. "[https://twitter.com/Brooki_eh/status/1163617540771205120 Hey #TheOrville family!! ]@megamanex [https://twitter.com/Brooki_eh/status/1163617540771205120 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.
- @ChillyKillary. "Whoops my insta isn’t public - here is the pic!". Twitter. Nov. 12, 2019.
- Doug Drexler on The Orville. Trekzone. Last accessed June 12, 2020.
- Pascale, Anthony. "Interview: Tom Costantino And David Goodman On How ‘The Orville’ Season 3 Will Be A “Barn Burner”". TrekMovie. June 11, 2020.
- Lovett, Jamie. "Star Trek's Jonathan Frakes Talks Picard, Discovery, Movies, The Orville, and Marvel". ComicBook.com. April 22, 2020.
- @Brooki_eh. "When the composer stops by to play a little #TheOrville tune at the Christmas party!!! 🤯". Twitter. Dec. 15, 2019.
- @GDNaturedVLLN. "Downside to the Corona virus is having to shutdown production for a few weeks. Upside is I'll be returning to daily streaming on Monday. See you then.". Twitter. March 13, 2020.
- Writer-Producer and WGA President DAVID A. GOODMAN (The Orville). A ROBSERVATIONS VAM Interview. THE BURNETTWORK. May 7, 2020.
- EPISODE 20 Adrienne Palicki & Scott Grimes. The Mike Henry Show. May 15, 2020.
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- See, e.g., Cap, Damon. "Kai Wener From The Orville Exclusive BSCKids Interview". BCSKids. April 5, 2019.
- @SethMacFarlane. "We are optimistic — Stay tuned". Twitter. Jan. 17, 2019.
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- Lovett, Jamie. "'The Orville' Awarded Tax Credit for Potential Third Season". ComicBook. Dec. 10, 2018.
- @SFKMagazine. "Seth McFarlane says #TheOrville is moving to Hulu for season three". Twitter. July 20, 2019.
- Franklin, Garth. "FOX Chief Talks “Orville” Shift To Hulu". Dark Horizons. Aug. 9, 2019.
- "This is why The Orville is moving to HULU". The Popcast. Aug. 17, 2019.
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- Lovett, Jamie. "The Orville Is Headed for San Diego Comic-Con 2019". Comic Con. July 1, 2019.
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- Episode 2x09: Identity, Pt. 2
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- Q 2-THANK YOU CORBIN!. Orville Nation. Oct. 10, 2019.
- Orville Nation. Thank You JONATHAN FRAKES!!!. YouTube. Oct. 28, 2019.
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- Orville Live Stream Q&A with Scott Grimes, Kelly Hu, J Lee, Peter Macon, & Mark Jackson. GalaxyCon. July 16, 2020.