Captain Mercer and his crew will soon enough be embarking on new interplanetary adventures on Fox, as the network has officially renewed The Orville for Season 3. The show recently concluded its second season just weeks ago, and the future of the series has been unclear since. Averaging an 0.75 key demo rating with 3.2 million viewers, The Orville had seen a significant shift downward in ratings compared to Season 1, which averaged a 1.25 demo rating with 4.3 million viewers. Fortunately for fans, the viewership is still apparently high enough for Fox to roll the dice by bringing it back for another season.

First premiering on Fox in 2017, The Orville was created by Seth MacFarlane of Family Guy and American Dad fame. On the show, MacFarlane stars as Captain Ed Mercer, commanding officer of the titular Orville. Following his divorce, Captain Mercer is surprised to learn his ex-wife Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki) will serve as his first officer. As an homage to popular sci-fi shows from the past like Star Trek and its subsequent follow-up series, The Orville follows Mercer, Grayson, and the rest of the dysfunctional crew of the mid-level ship as they explore the universe. An impressive who's who of guest stars have appeared on the series during the course of its two seasons, including Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Bruce Willis, Ted Danson, and Norm Macdonald.

The show might be enjoyable, but it's still a little surprising Fox chose to give it a renewal. The Orville had been on the bubble in the weeks after the Season 2 finale as the network considered its options. Fox can be a little trigger happy when it comes to getting rid of underperforming shows, after the cancellations of other shows like Lethal Weapon, Proven Innocent, Gotham, The Passage, and The Gifted would suggest. Renewing The Orville could be seen as a little bit of a gamble, as viewership could continue to drop after the premiere of Season 3. Still, Fox clearly sees something in the series, as it officially joins 9-1-1, Empire, and The Resident in the shows for the network to recently be renewed.

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Although The Orville began with a heavier focus on comedy, the show has since evolved into something a little more serious. It has a lighter tone overall, but its sci-fi aspects are enjoyable, and some fans even prefer the show over Star Trek Discovery on CBS All Access. There's indeed a certain charm to The Orville, and even if live viewership isn't as high as the Fox network would like, the series clearly has a dedicated fan base. Because the Season 2 finale saw a rise in ratings compared to the episodes before it, hopefully ratings will continue to climb high enough for Season 3 to keep the series around for as long as possible.

The Orville seems like a series that could find a new home elsewhere, should the show get the boot in the future. Still, with rumors surrounding the show's status prior to the Season 3 renewal, fans had been concerned we had seen the last of the sci-fi series. For now, it's good to know that it will be around for at least three seasons, courtesy of the Fox network. This information comes to us from TVLine.

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Jeremy Dick