During today’s The Orville panel at San Diego Comic-Con, show creator and star Seth MacFarlane made big news, announcing the show is hopping from the Fox Broadcasting Network to the Hulu streaming service.
The move is a surprise, as Fox had already announced a third season renewal for The Orville in May. According to MacFarlane, moving to Hulu is something he felt would be best for the show, allowing it more flexibility. No date was given for the premiere of the third season, but sources tell TrekMovie it is targeted for the fall of 2020, with production set to start this fall. The third season is expected to run 10-13 episodes and will be released on a weekly basis, which is traditional for most of Hulu’s original series, like The Handmaid’s Tale.
The Orville premiered in September 2017 on FOX, giving viewers their first look at Seth MacFarlane’s comedic take on a Star Trek show, something fans have largely praised despite lukewarm reviews from critics. The show follows Planetary Union officer Ed Mercer as he gets command of his own ship, one with his ex-wife as First Officer.
The first two seasons of the show aired on FOX, but MacFarlane announced during San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday that the third season will be a Hulu exclusive. While that’s good news for Hulu subscribers, it’s a bittersweet moment for fans: the change, according to Variety, is partly due to MacFarlane’s busy schedule and the third season won’t arrive until the end of next year.
MacFarlane’s schedule isn’t the only reason for the change. In a statement published by Variety, MacFarlane explained that the production demands for the series meant the team wouldn’t have the third season finished and ready to air mid-season on FOX. That led to discussions and a shuffle, putting The Orville fully on Hulu.
Details about the show’s third season weren’t provided. Based on the estimated release schedule of late 2020, it’ll likely be many months before we get our first official look at the new episodes. The first two seasons of The Orville are available exclusively on Hulu.