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Seth MacFarlane Promises Star Trek Cameos in The Orville

By Brian Gallagher — September 17th, 2017

One week ago today, Fox kicked off its fall TV season with the series premiere of The Orville, a new sci-fi comedy series created by and starring Seth MacFarlane. Most fans noticed from the trailers alone that the show was heavily influenced by Star Trek, with fans spotting a dearth of Star Trek Easter Eggs in the series premiere. Now Seth MacFarlane has confirmed that there will be cameos from at least a few Star Trek cast members. Unfortunately, he wouldn't confirm the identities of these actors, or when they may pop up, but the news is certainly encouraging for fans of both Star Trek and The Orville.

Seth MacFarlane revealed the news during a Reddit AMA session, when a fan asked if there are plans for any "Trek actors" to make cameos on the show, to which MacFarlane responded to by saying, "We got one or two in the lineup...." He also didn't specify if he was referring to stars from the original Star Trek series, such as William Shatner (Captain Kirk), George Takei (Sulu) or Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), or spin-off shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Voyager or Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Regardless, they will most likely be welcomed with open arms, no matter which show they were on first, and the show already has quite the large fan base after just one episode.

The Orville premiere last Sunday marked the network's largest drama debut in over two years since Empire in January 2015. In Live+3, The Orville delivered a 3.5/12 rating, Fox's highest-rated drama launch since Empire (5.3/15 L3, 1/7/15) and television's highest-rated drama premiere in nearly a year (since 9/21/16, Designated Survivor, 3.7/13 L3), according to Nielsen. The episode posted a +30% gain from its same day viewership last Sunday, Sept. 10, at 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PT, immediately following the NFL On Fox doubleheader. Including its Tuesday encore, THE ORVILLE delivered 13.0 million viewers across all platforms. Across Fox Now and Hulu, The Orville's three-day streaming average audience amounted to 650,000 viewers, making it the most-streamed new Fox drama premiere in three years (since 9/22/14, Gotham, 865K) and new Fox opremiere in two years (since 9/22/15, Scream Queens, 812K).

In the next all-new episode of The Orville, "Command Performance," airing this Sunday, Sept. 17 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/5:00-6:00 PM PT), immediately following the NFL On Fox doubleheader, Ed (MacFarlane) and Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) are tricked by a hologram of a ship in distress and find themselves prisoners in a replica of their former home. Alara (Halston Sage) then must step up in her first command of the Orville and attempt a heroic rescue. Meanwhile, Bortus (Peter Macon) and Klyden (Chad L. Coleman) receive some happy, yet unexpected news. Jeffrey Tambor and Holland Taylor guest-star.

From Emmy Award-winning executive producer and creator Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, Ted) The Orville is a live-action, one-hour space adventure series set 400 years in the future that follows the exploits of The U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory spaceship. Its crew, both human and alien, face the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the problems of everyday life. The series stars MacFarlane as Ed Mercer, the ship's Captain, and Adrianne Palicki (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Friday Night Lights) as his ex-wife, Kelly Grayson, who's assigned as his First Officer. The series also stars Penny Johnson Jerald (24, The Larry Sanders Show) as Dr. Claire Finn, Scott Grimes (American Dad!, Justified) as Gordon Malloy, Peter Macon (Shameless, Bosch) as Bortus, Halston Sage (Neighbors, Goosebumps) as Alara Kitn, J Lee (American Dad!, The Cleveland Show) as John Lamarr, Mark Jackson (That Royal Today) as Isaac, Chad L. Coleman (The Wire) as Klyden and Norm Macdonald (The Middle, Saturday Night Live) as Yaphit. Seth MacFarlane, David A. Goodman, Brannon Braga, Jason Clark and Liz Heldens are executive producers. Jon Favreau directed the series premiere episode, "Old Wounds."

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