The Orville – will ‘New Horizons’ be the show’s final season?

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While The Orville: New Horizons launches in June, Seth MacFarlane’s attentions may be elsewhere… 

Thanks to a piece in Deadline last week, we find ourselves considering whether the long-awaited third run of The Orville will be its last.

Debuting in 2017 the Seth MacFarlane-fronted show won fans by presenting a very 1990s style of science fiction spacefaring; its look was in stark contrast to more serious first season of Star Trek: Discovery which debuted the same year.

Due in June, its launch having slipped back from March, the upcoming run of The Orville promises a soft reboot of the show with the season dubbed New Horizons. With the main cast all returning, it also adds a new crewmember; Anne Winters (13 Reasons Why) is joining the show as Ensign Charly Burke.

New Horizons elsewhere?

Ahead of that return, Deadline are reporting that no preparations appear to be taking place for a fourth season and that the casts contracts have expired. There could be a couple of reasons for this…

The upcoming run’s production was impacted by the pandemic, hence the more than three-year gap between seasons. Originally commissioned by FX, the show now has a new home; FX has been absorbed into Disney and The Orville: New Horizons set to air on Hulu in the US. While they took on a legacy show already in production, Disney/Hulu many wish to commission new shows, rather than continue with those it has inherited.

Ted movie


The other thing that may have come into play is Seth MacFarlane’s schedule. The Orville is his creation – he stars as its central character and writes a good proportion of the episodes. He also directs on occasion and is the executive producer. However, MacFarlane has other babies – most notably a foul-mouthed furry one; Peacock has commissioned a television series spun out of his popular Ted movies.

Ted (2012) was McFarlane’s feature directorial debut, which he also co-wrote. Starring Mark Walberg, with Joel McHale and Giovanni Ribisi, it’s the story of a John Bennett whose childhood wish brings his best friend, the eponymous teddy bear, to life. A box office hit; the film spawned a 2015 sequel Ted 2.

The show, continuing the comic exploits of the bear (voiced by MacFarlane), will also star The Orville’s Scott Grimes, as well as Giorgia Whigham and Max Burkholder. However, it appears to wind back the clock to 1993, with Burkholder playing a teen version of John Bennett. MacFarlane has developed the show with Modern Family writers Paul Corrigan and Brad Walsh who will co-showrun with him. He will direct, write and executive produce the series.

Whatever the future hold for the crew of the Orville, we can at least look forward to New Horizons. The 11-episode season lands on the 2nd of June in the US. In the UK, seasons one and two of The Orville can be found on Disney+ (and we imagine that’s where New Horizons will land too).

In the meantime, here’s the epic clip released to tease the show’s return: