Today at The Orville’s SDCC panel, creator and star Seth MacFarlane dropped the bomb that the series would not run on Fox for its third season. Instead, the show will become a Hulu original. Wha? Why?
The decision was Seth’s, and he made it to produce the series on a more relaxed schedule. “‘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,” MacFarlane says. “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.”
Hulu’s gain is Fox’s loss — it means one less good show on network TV, and Fox hasn’t done the most stellar job of filling those holes with decent programming. The Orville returns in 2020, but it’s no longer a guarantee for the winter.