The Orville is getting a shake-up in season 3, as the sci-fi series has found a new home. As revealed during the show's panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Seth MacFarlane's sci-fi comedy will be streaming on Hulu when it returns, as opposed to airing on Fox. That effectively puts the show's future in the hands of Disney, as the studio is now in full control of Hulu, following their merger with Fox and a separate deal with Comcast.
The reveal direct from the show floor of San Diego Comic-Con comes as something of a surprise, given that Fox had already handed out a season 3 renewal for the show. The move reportedly came as a result of the show's production schedule, which had to be pushed back a bit. That made it difficult to meet the mid-season debut Fox originally had in mind. Instead, The Orville season 3 will now arrive on Hulu in 2020, though no specific release date was revealed at the panel. Seth MacFarlane had this to say about the move in a statement.
"The Orville has been a labor of love for me, and there are two companies which have supported that vision in a big way: 20th Century Fox Television, where I've had a deal since the start of my career, and Fox Broadcasting Company, now Fox Entertainment, which has been my broadcast home for over 20 years. My friends at the network understood what I was trying to do with this series, and they've done a spectacular job of marketing, launching and programming it for these past two seasons.
But as the show has evolved and become more ambitious production-wise, I determined that I would not be able to deliver episodes until 2020, which would be challenging for the network. So we began to discuss how best to support the third season in a way that worked for the show. It's exactly this kind of willingness to accommodate a show's creative needs that's made me want to stick around for so long. I am hugely indebted to Charlie Collier and Fox Entertainment for their generosity and look forward to developing future projects there. And to my new friends at Hulu, I look forward to our new partnership exploring the galaxy together."
Seth MacFarlane has a tremendous working relationship with the Fox network, as his hits Family Guy and American Dad were produced for the network. MacFarlane is also behind shows like The Cleveland Show and Cosmos. Craig Erwich, Senior Vice President of Content Development at Hulu, had this to say in a statement.
"We know our viewers are huge fans of The Orville, along with many of Seth MacFarlane's groundbreaking hit shows, and we can't wait to bring Season 3 to them exclusively on the platform. Hulu is a home for the world's most sought-after creative talent, and we're incredibly excited to welcome Seth and the entire cast and creative team of The Orville to our Hulu Originals slate."
The Orville debuted in September 2017, with the pilot episode directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man). While the series wasn't huge in the live ratings, it's streaming numbers were pretty sizable, which is likely what helped motivate the move to Hulu. As of this writing, no trailer for season 3 had been released, which means we'll likely have to wait until closer to the show's premiere date to get a glimpse at what's coming. This news was previously reported by Deadline.