The Orville is setting course for a new home – Hulu.
The FOX science-fiction series created and starring Seth MacFarlane will be having its third season roll out on the streaming outlet late next year.
MacFarlane made the announcement at San Diego Comic-Con earlier today, stating –
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 Co., 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.
The show, which recently wrapped up its second season, had initially been renewed by FOX for a third and was being scheduled to air on FOX early 2020 as a mid-season replacement. But with a reported growing post=production schedule for the visual effects heavy show, it was determined that The Orville wouldn’t be able to make that mid-season premier date. Moving The Orville‘s third season to Hulu postpones the show to later in the year, allowing for the time to complete the show’s visual effects in an unhurried manner.
While it is not unusual these days to see network series migrating to streaming services for additional seasons after being cancelled on networks – Fox’s Lucifer going to Netflix and NBC’s AP Bio going to NBCUniversal’s upcoming steaming service being two recent examples – this is the first time that a show has made such a transition without being ousted from its network home first.
A solid ratings performer for Fox, The Orville has been handily doubling its ratings with the 18 to 49-year-olds in its first seven days of streaming availability.
The Orville is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television, now a part of Disney thanks to the Mouse’s acquisition of a majority of Fox’s entertainment assets earlier this year. The Fox network was not part of that acquisition. Hulu is majority owned by Disney.