Judging by the critics, many people didn’t think that Seth MacFarlane’s new series The Orville would make it through the first season, much less get renewed. A little more than halfway through its 13-episode first season, Fox has officially renewed the series for a second season. According to Deadline, the limited first season was due to the show’s elaborate production and post-production, including visual effects.
“Once again Seth has struck a powerful chord with viewers,” said Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn. “He has delivered a series full of optimism, drama and his trademark humor. We want to thank him and the rest of the talented cast, as well as the producers and crew, for an incredible first season. We can’t wait to see where The Orville travels in the second.”
Online reports when the series debuted had the show destined for an early cancellation. However, among Star Trek fans, it seems the show has drawn an ardent following. The series, in many instances, found it a worthy successor to the original Star Trek series than Star Trek Discovery, who is in as many episodes.
The series debuted to strong and consistent rantings debuting after Sunday NFL games. Ratings did take a dip when it was moved to Thursday. However, the series posted L+SD highs in both 18-49 (1.2) and total viewers (4.2 million). Season-to-date, The Orville is averaging a 2.5 Live + 7 Day 18-49 rating, a +67% lift from Live + Same Day, and more than 10 million multi-platform viewers, +108% vs. Live + Same Day.
While the series was expected to be a Star Trek parody, the people behind the series downplayed that fact. MacFarlane, who is a Trek fan himself, considered it a vision of Roddenberry’s future but with a more realistic tone. While it took Discovery to find its footing in a darker universe, MacFarlane knew what made Trek special. There is no indication as to how many episodes season two will have or when it will arrive on Fox.