October 7, 2022


The Orville has had a pretty wild ride over the last three years, starting with FOX, moving to Hulu where a lot more creative freedom (and a bigger budget) took the show to new creative heights. But all one wants to know is whether through all this, Season 4 is coming.

Things are about to get even weirder with The Orville’s life trajectory, and its next move may dictate how and when this fourth season plays out. It has been announced that all three seasons of the series will be headed to Disney Plus on August 10, making it the third airing in its short life.

Seth MacFarlane he told TVLine that the odds are about 50-50 if Season 4 happens now, but that Disney Plus could be the deciding factor needed to get Season 4 greenlit and produced:

“I hope that when the show comes out on Disney+, people who haven’t discovered it yet will suddenly give it a chance,” MacFarlane said. “This is a potential game changer for us.”

In many ways, The Orville is a good fit for Disney Plus, which is looking to expand its horizons beyond its current lineup of Star Wars, Marvel and children’s programming. The Orville, at least by audiences and critics, is currently one of the best sci-fi series on TV, and continued investment in it could make it a real contender for something like Star Trek on Paramount Plus.

The hard part about The Orville is selling the show it looks like a parody of Star Trek based on Seth Macfarlane, but it’s not that at all. While it has comedic elements, it has expanded dramatically in terms of scope and the types of issues it deals with. And as it’s gone on, it’s gotten a bigger and bigger budget that has taken it from looking like an SNL sketch to something that rivals any other major sci-fi production on television.

I recently wrote about my own process of going through seasons 1-3 of the show in about two weeks, which dramatically changed my own perception of it, as I didn’t expect to be as engaged as I was, nor agree with the consensus that yes, there are few better sci-fi series on TV these days (especially now that The Expanse is over).

In theory, this seems like it could be a great fit for Disney’s catalog, but again, the hard part might be building that initial audience, and it’s going to take a lot of promotion and work on the Disney Plus end to make sure people give of a shot.

We’ll see what happens, but hopefully those coinflip renewal odds will swing in The Orville’s favor once it hits Disney Plus and expands its audience again.

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