When Seth MacFarlane's The Orville returns for its third season next year, you won't be able to catch new episodes on Fox. Owing to the lengthy time needed to make the special effects-heavy sci-fi series, MacFarlane was unable to deliver a completed series in time for its usual midseason launch. Instead, the third season of The Orville will be shown exclusively on Hulu with new episodes expected to arrive late 2020.
In a statement released via Variety, here's what Seth MacFarlane had to say;
“’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.”
What started as a bit of a spoof of Star Trek quickly became something a little more unpredictable with episodes of The Orville shifting from high drama to comedy with no warning. While it might be inconsistent, The Orville has been a watchable show with its mostly lighthearted nature and game cast. It's no Galaxy Quest, but that's not The Orville's fault.