Seth MacFarlane swears The Orville isn’t actually dead

It’s been more than a year since Seth MacFarlane and Hulu released the third season of The Orville, MacFarlane’s weirdly sincere effort to merge the space-based storytelling of his beloved Star Trek: The Next Generation with his more usual brand of television comedy. But despite evidence to the contrary—notably, the cast being released from their contract back in 2022, before the show’s third season even actually came out, due to long delays caused by COVID—MacFarlane has just reasserted that the show isn’t actually dead.

This is per an interview that the Family Guy and Ted creator gave to The Wrap this week, stating that, “All I can tell you is that there is no official death certificate for The Orville. It is still with us. I can’t go any further than that at the moment. There are too many factors.” Co-star Scott Grimes, who’s currently working with MacFarlane on the TV version of Ted, said he still has confidence that the sci-fi show might get a fourth season, noting that, “I do know that we are still talking about it. It’s not dead in any sort of way whatsoever. It’s just about when, where, and how, and building the stuff again.”

That’s an altogether rosier picture than the one presented by co-star Adrianne Palicki last year, while she was talking to Michael Rosenbaum for his Inside Of You podcast in November 2023—telling Rosenbaum that she had genuinely no idea whether the show would ever come back, and pointing out that the cast and crew had made “33 episodes in six years.” (Palicki, engagingly candid, went so far as to suggest that COVID lockdowns weren’t the only reason it took forever for season 3 to get made, noting that MacFarlane’s desire to write every episode of the show significantly slowed things down.)

The Orville has not had an easy time of things over the last few years; the show was in the midst of filming its third season, slated for the move to Hulu from its original (not especially appreciated) home on Fox, when the COVID-19 lockdowns hit. The one thing it really has going for it, honestly, is that MacFarlane still clearly adores it, and still has a hefty amount of pull in the industry. (That, and the show’s consistently fervent fanbase, who hung on after a fairly rough first season as it eventually got more confident in its sci-fi storytelling.)

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