|Also known as||The Orville: New Horizons (season 3)|
|Created by||Seth MacFarlane|
|Theme music composer||Bruce Broughton|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Original network||Fox (seasons 1–2)|
|Picture format||HDTV 720p|
|Audio format||5.1 surround sound|
|Original release||September 10, 2017 –|
The Orville is an American science fiction comedy-drama television series created by and starring Seth MacFarlane as series protagonist Ed Mercer, an officer in the Planetary Union's line of exploratory space vessels in the 25th century. The show is inspired primarily by the original Star Trek and its Next Generation successor, both of which it heavily parodies and pays homage to. It follows the crew of the starship USS Orville on their episodic adventures.
Produced by Fuzzy Door Productions and 20th Television, The Orville premiered on September 10, 2017, and ran for two seasons on Fox. A third season is due to be released on Hulu on June 2, 2022, subtitled The Orville: New Horizons with no current plans for a fourth season. Season one received generally negative reviews from critics, while season two was better-received. The show had relatively successful ratings on Fox, becoming the broadcaster's highest-rated Thursday show as well as Fox's "most-viewed debut drama" since 2015.
The Orville is set on the titular spacecraft: USS Orville (ECV-197), a mid-level exploratory vessel in the Planetary Union, a 25th-century interstellar alliance of Earth and many other planets. The show consists of adventures encountered by the ship's crew, usually involving planet exploration and visits to various parts of the galaxy.
|First released||Last released||Network|
|1||12||September 10, 2017||December 7, 2017||Fox|
|2||14||December 30, 2018||April 25, 2019|
|3||11||June 2, 2022||TBA||Hulu|
Main article: The Orville (season 1)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|1||1||"Old Wounds"||Jon Favreau||Seth MacFarlane||September 10, 2017||1LAB01||8.56|
|2||2||"Command Performance"||Robert Duncan McNeill||Seth MacFarlane||September 17, 2017||1LAB03||6.63|
|3||3||"About a Girl"||Brannon Braga||Seth MacFarlane||September 21, 2017||1LAB04||4.05|
|4||4||"If the Stars Should Appear"||James L. Conway||Seth MacFarlane||September 28, 2017||1LAB02||3.70|
|5||5||"Pria"||Jonathan Frakes||Seth MacFarlane||October 5, 2017||1LAB05||3.43|
|6||6||"Krill"||Jon Cassar||David A. Goodman||October 12, 2017||1LAB06||3.37|
|7||7||"Majority Rule"||Tucker Gates||Seth MacFarlane||October 26, 2017||1LAB07||4.18|
|8||8||"Into the Fold"||Brannon Braga||Brannon Braga & Andre Bormanis||November 2, 2017||1LAB08||3.83|
|9||9||"Cupid's Dagger"||Jamie Babbit||Liz Heldens||November 9, 2017||1LAB09||3.69|
|10||10||"Firestorm"||Brannon Braga||Cherry Chevapravatdumrong||November 16, 2017||1LAB10||3.32|
|11||11||"New Dimensions"||Kelly Cronin||Seth MacFarlane||November 30, 2017||1LAB11||3.63|
|12||12||"Mad Idolatry"||Brannon Braga||Seth MacFarlane||December 7, 2017||1LAB13||3.54|
Main article: The Orville (season 2)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|13||1||"Ja'loja"||Seth MacFarlane||Seth MacFarlane||December 30, 2018||2LAB01||5.68|
|14||2||"Primal Urges"||Kevin Hooks||Wellesley Wild||January 3, 2019||1LAB12||2.82|
|15||3||"Home"||Jon Cassar||Cherry Chevapravatdumrong||January 10, 2019||2LAB02||3.06|
|16||4||"Nothing Left on Earth Excepting Fishes"||Jon Cassar||Brannon Braga & Andre Bormanis||January 17, 2019||2LAB03||3.01|
|17||5||"All the World Is Birthday Cake"||Robert Duncan McNeill||Seth MacFarlane||January 24, 2019||2LAB04||3.18|
|18||6||"A Happy Refrain"||Seth MacFarlane||Seth MacFarlane||January 31, 2019||2LAB05||3.11|
|19||7||"Deflectors"||Seth MacFarlane||David A. Goodman||February 14, 2019||2LAB06||3.07|
|20||8||"Identity"||Jon Cassar||Brannon Braga & Andre Bormanis||February 21, 2019||2LAB07||3.05|
|21||9||"Identity Part II"||Jon Cassar||Seth MacFarlane||February 28, 2019||2LAB08||3.15|
|22||10||"Blood of Patriots"||Rebecca Rodriguez||Seth MacFarlane||March 7, 2019||2LAB09||2.94|
|23||11||"Lasting Impressions"||Kelly Cronin||Seth MacFarlane||March 21, 2019||2LAB10||2.94|
|24||12||"Sanctuary"||Jonathan Frakes||Joe Menosky||April 11, 2019||2LAB11||2.59|
|25||13||"Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow"||Gary Rake||Janet Lin||April 18, 2019||2LAB12||2.68|
|26||14||"The Road Not Taken"||Gary Rake||David A. Goodman||April 25, 2019||2LAB13||2.97|
Main article: The Orville (season 3)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date||Prod.|
|27||1||"Electric Sheep"||TBA||TBA||June 2, 2022||TBA|
MacFarlane originally wrote The Orville as a spec script, which was given a 13-episode order by Fox in May 2016, making it the first live-action television series created by MacFarlane. Following the project's greenlight, MacFarlane stated, "I've wanted to do something like this show ever since I was a kid, and the timing finally feels right. [...] I think this is gonna be something special." According to MacFarlane, The Orville was inspired by The Twilight Zone and Star Trek. He was also encouraged to sell the series due to the success of Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool.
In November 2017, Fox renewed the series for a second season. "Primal Urges", one of the thirteen episodes for season one, was held for the second season due to a gap in broadcast dates caused by the broadcaster's lengthy Christmas programming.
In December 2018, it was reported that the California Film Commission had approved $15.8 million of tax credits for a potential third season.
In July 2016, MacFarlane's role was revealed to be Ed Mercer, the captain of the Orville, while Adrianne Palicki had been cast as Kelly Grayson, Ed's ex-wife and newly appointed first officer of the Orville, and Scott Grimes (who voices Steve Smith on American Dad!, another show created by MacFarlane) was cast as Gordon Malloy, Ed's best friend whom he has assigned to pilot the Orville. In August Peter Macon and J Lee were cast as series regulars. In October Halston Sage and Penny Johnson Jerald joined the cast while Mark Jackson was added in December. In April 2017, Chad L. Coleman was added as a series regular and Larry Joe Campbell in a recurring role.
At San Diego Comic-Con in July 2017, MacFarlane said that Charlize Theron would guest-star in an episode. The two had previously co-starred in A Million Ways to Die in the West. Theron appeared in the series' fifth episode "Pria".
In February 2018, Jessica Szohr was cast as a regular for season two and Chris Johnson in a recurring role. In November 2019, Anne Winters was cast as a regular for season three.
In August 2016, actor and director Jon Favreau signed on to direct the pilot. Production on the pilot episode began in late 2016, and the rest of the episodes began filming in March 2017. Production wrapped in August, with a total of $56.2 million spent in California. Star Trek veterans Jonathan Frakes and Robert Duncan McNeill, who have directed episodes within the Star Trek franchise, have each directed an episode of The Orville. Four episodes were directed by Brannon Braga, a long-time Star Trek alum who began as an intern on Star Trek: The Next Generation, was producer of Star Trek: Voyager, and co-created Star Trek: Enterprise.
Filming for the second season began in February 2018, and Frakes and McNeill each returned to direct another episode. Production for the second season concluded in October 2018, having spent $69.2 million.
In March 2020, production on the series was shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
Seth MacFarlane and Jon Cassar are the directors of season 3.
On August 11, 2021, MacFarlane officially announced filming on season 3 had wrapped
Studios hired to work on the visual effects of the show include Tippett Studio, CoSA VFX, Pixomondo, Crafty Apes, FuseFX, Eight VFX and Zoic Studios.
The show uses a 75-piece orchestra for the music in each episode, written by several different composers, such as John Debney, Joel McNeely and Bruce Broughton, who wrote the show's theme and composed the score for the pilot. MacFarlane said "We score it like a movie" and "We really put as much into that as we do into the effects." A soundtrack album for season 1 was released by La-La Land Records on January 22, 2019. An album for season 2 was released on January 19, 2021.
On May 15, 2017, the Fox Broadcasting Company released the first trailer of The Orville as part of their upcoming slate of television series including the X-Men series The Gifted and the supernatural sitcom Ghosted. To promote the series, Fox organized a panel at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con on July 22 featuring cast members Seth MacFarlane, Adrianne Palicki, Scott Grimes, Penny Johnson Jerald, Peter Macon, Halston Sage, J. Lee, Mark Jackson and Chad Coleman, and producers David A. Goodman and Brannon Braga. In addition, Fox established an Orville Space Training Station at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Law with a "Cryopreservation program" for fans.
On July 22, 2018, Fox released the trailer for the second season of The Orville at the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con. To promote the series, Fox sponsored a series of Orville-themed pedi-cabs for people attending the San Diego Comic Con. In addition, Goodman moderated a Q&A panel on July 21 at the Comic Con alongside cast members MacFarlane, Palicki, Jerald, Scott Grimes, Braga and Jon Cassar.
New episodes aired Thursdays on Fox during the 2017–18 season. On November 2, 2017, Fox renewed the series for a second season, which premiered on December 30, 2018. Fox renewed the series for a third season that was originally scheduled to be released on Hulu late in 2020. The third season titled as The Orville: New Horizons is scheduled to premiere on June 2, 2022.
The Orville is available for streaming in the United States on through Hulu, Amazon Prime, and the iTunes Store. In Canada, the series aired on Citytv (former home of entries in the Star Trek franchise from Star Trek: The Next Generation to Star Trek: Enterprise). In the United Kingdom, the series is available on Disney+ via Star. In Australia, The Orville is available on the television channel SBS Viceland and streams on SBS On Demand and Disney+ Star. In New Zealand, the series is available on the free TVNZ OnDemand streaming service.
|1||30% (53 reviews)||36 (21 reviews)|
|2||100% (14 reviews)||N/A|
On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has an approval rating of 30%, with an average rating of 5.22/10 based on 53 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "An odd jumble of campiness and sincerity, homage, and satire, The Orville never quite achieves liftoff." Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 36 out of 100, based on 21 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Liz Miller writing for IndieWire compared the series to Star Trek, calling it a rip-off and "bankrupt: creatively, morally, and ethically." She criticized the lack of creativity, the blatant imitation, and was surprised that the show is "uninterested in being a comedy".
Kevin Yeoman of Screen Rant suggested, "The show might have stood a better chance with a different actor in the captain's chair, one better suited to navigating the inexplicable tonal shifts and maybe earn the audience's patience and empathy in the process."
Tim Surette at TV Guide says, "The truth is, The Orville was never going to win over critics because it's a throwback and goes against everything modern television is. It's not that The Orville doesn't know what it wants it to be, as critics assume, it's that it wants to be a little bit of everything".
On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has an approval rating of 100%, with an average rating of 7.6/10 based on 14 reviews. The website's critic consensus states: "Fun, focused, and surprisingly thoughtful, The Orville's second season makes good use of its talented crew."
Nick Wanserki of The A.V. Club praised the season's first episode "Ja'loja" for its character-driven drama and focus on low-stakes plots which built upon the first season's efforts to develop the crew of the Orville into a group of people that the audience cared about. Liz Miller of IndieWire awarded The Orville a B rating, expressing hope that the series could evolve into a character-driven "dramedy" set in space, which she described as something unique that could make the show worth watching. Ryan Britt of Den of Geek praised the second season for playing to its strengths as a sitcom and addressing the "wonkiness" of the first season.
Kevin Yeoman of Screen Rant opined that the series "had found its footing and maybe its identity in telling smaller, more character-driven stories, that better serve its sometimes confounding mix of sincerity and irreverence."
Will Harris of The Verge similarly noted that the two-part episode "Identity" demonstrated the series' ability to downplay its humor and "hold its own with any of the more traditional science fiction properties out there."
Web personality Joe Vargas of The Angry Joe Show noted the gulf between the response to the series among critics and viewers, contrasting the Rotten Tomatoes' 19% approval rating from professional critics to the 91% viewer approval rating. Vargas compared this to Star Trek: Discovery, which received an 83% rating from critics but a fairly low audience score of 54%, saying "Star Trek fans—at least the ones that watch my show—like The Orville way more than they like Star Trek: Discovery". Tim Surette of TV Guide also wrote about the critic-to-viewer Rotten Tomatoes rating, noting the balance had shifted to 21/93, and that its Metacritic score was 36% approval from critics, and 82% from viewers. As a critic himself, Surette notes that, as a throwback, The Orville is an anomaly in modern television, and found showrunner David A. Goodman's admission that MacFarlane wants to vary between serious or dramatic and lighter or comedic episodes a potentially dangerous or risky strategy, but concedes that the show's viewers appear to like it for that reason.
After its premiere on Sunday, September 10, 2017, the show moved to Thursday nights at 9 p.m. In its first broadcast in the new time slot, The Orville became Fox's highest rated Thursday 9 p.m. broadcast in two years. After taking into account DVR and VOD, The Orville was Fox's most-viewed drama debut since the premiere of Empire in 2015.
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||Episodes||First aired||Last aired||TV season||Viewership
|1||Sunday 8:00 pm (1–2)
Thursday 9:00 pm (3–12)
|12||September 10, 2017||8.56||December 7, 2017||3.54||2017–18||63||6.55||TBD||2.0|
|2||Sunday 8:00 pm (Premiere)
Thursday 9:00 pm
|14||December 30, 2018||5.68||April 25, 2019||2.97||2018–19||TBD||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|2018||International Film Music Critics Association Awards||Best Original Score for Television||Bruce Broughton, John Debney, Joel McNeely, Andrew Cottee||Won|||
|Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards||Best Special Make-Up Effects – Television and New Media Series||Howard Berger, Tami Lane, Garrett Immel||Nominated|||
|Publicists Guild Awards||Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Showmanship Television Award||Erin Moody||Nominated|||
|Saturn Awards||Best Science Fiction Television Series||The Orville||Won|||
|Best Actor on Television||Seth MacFarlane||Nominated|
|Best Actress on Television||Adrianne Palicki||Nominated|
|Young Artist Awards||Best Performance in a TV Series – Recurring Young Actor||Kai Wener||Nominated|||
|Young Entertainer Awards||Best Recurring Young Actor 11 & Under – Television Series||Kai Wener||Nominated|
|2019||Dragon Awards||Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series||The Orville||Nominated|||
|Saturn Awards||Best Science Fiction Television Series||The Orville||Nominated|||
|Best Actor on Television||Seth MacFarlane||Nominated|
|Best Actress on Television||Adrianne Palicki||Nominated|
|Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Special Visual Effects||Luke McDonald, Tommy Tran, Kevin Lingenfelser, Nhat Phong Tran, Brooke Noska, Melissa Delong, Brandon Fayette, Matt Von Brock, Joseph Vincent Pike (for "Identity Part II")||Nominated|||
|Hollywood Professional Association Awards||Outstanding Visual Effects – Episodic (Over 13 Episodes)||Tommy Tran, Kevin Lingenfelser, Joseph Vincent Pike, Brandon Fayette, Brooke Noska (for "Identity Part II")||Won|||
|2020||International Film Music Critics Association Awards||Best Original Score for Television||Bruce Broughton, John Debney, Joel McNeely, Andrew Cottee||Nominated|||
Season 1 of The Orville was released on DVD on December 11, 2018. Season 2 was released on December 10, 2019.
In 2019, Dark Horse Comics released a pair of two-issue comic book miniseries set between the first and second seasons of The Orville, collected as The Orville: Season 1.5. Both miniseries were written by television series executive producer and writer David A. Goodman, illustrated by David Cabeza, and colored by Michael Atiyeh. The first storyline "New Beginnings" deals with Captain Mercer and Lieutenant Gordon responding to a distress call from a lost Union ship while Commander Grayson has to contend with a domestic dispute between Bortus and his spouse over their son's education. The second storyline "The Word of Avis" deals with the Orville crew investigating a Union ship heading into Krill space.
In 2020, Dark Horse Comics reunited the same creative team for The Orville: Season 2.5, beginning with the two-issue miniseries "Launch Day".
|Issue||Story arc||Release date||Story||Art||Colors||Collection||Library Edition|
|#1||"New Beginnings"||July 17, 2019||David A. Goodman||David Cabeza||Michael Atiyeh||The Orville: Season 1.5—New Beginnings
Release date: February 5, 2020
|The Orville Library Edition – Volume 1|
Release date: October 5, 2022
|#2||August 14, 2019|
|#3||"The Word of Avis"||September 11, 2019|
|#4||October 16, 2019|
|#1||"Launch Day"||September 2, 2020||David A. Goodman||David Cabeza||Michael Atiyeh||The Orville: Season 2.5—Launch Day|
Release date: March 24, 2021
|#2||October 7, 2020|
|#3||"Heroes"||November 4, 2020|
|#4||December 2, 2020|
|#1||"Digressions"||May 5, 2021||David A. Goodman||David Cabeza||Michael Atiyeh||The Orville: Season 2.5—Digressions|
Release date: March 16, 2022
|#2||June 2, 2021|
|#3||"Artifacts"||October 20, 2021|
|#4||November 24, 2021|
Yes, the flower cameo was indeed Bruce Willis. Seth MacFarlane confirmed this on Twitter.
Also new is ... The Orville
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