The Orville creator Seth MacFarlane took to Twitter today to celebrate the sci-fi show’s fifth anniversary with what fans will likely see as an optimistic message. The Orville debuted on September 10, 2017, on Fox. After two seasons on the network, The Orville released its long-delayed third season, with the new title The Orville: New Horizons, on Hulu earlier this year. Following that season’s completion, The Orville also became available to stream on Disney+. While fans await news about a possible fourth season, MacFarlane tweeted, “#theorville premiered 5 years ago today, and we’re still going strong! Thanks to everyone on both sides of the screen!”
That MacFarlane says the series is “still going strong” will give fans reason to hope that more episodes are still a possibility. The anniversary also falls on the same day that the “Inside The Orville” panel is occurring at the D23 Expo. It features The Orville stars Penny Johnson, Scott Grimes, J. Lee, and Anne Winters pulling back the curtain on making the series. In August, MacFarlane said he believed The Orville had a 50/50 chance of renewal. However, he felt that new viewers binging the series on Disney+ could tip the scales in The Orville’s favor.
“My hope is that when the show drops on Disney+, the people who haven’t yet discovered [The Orville] will suddenly give it a chance,” MacFarlane told TVLine. “That’s a potential game changer for us. I think that creatively and audience-wise, when people sit down and give the show a chance, it upends their expectations. The biggest burden with the show is preconceptions. People think it’s one thing — there are people out there who think it’s a sitcom — and when they sit down to watch it they realize its something completely different. Once you get people’s eyeballs on it, the show does the work, its speaks for itself, and people tend to be hooked.”
As for what The Orville’s fourth season would look like, should the series get a renewal, MacFarlane called it a blank slate. “It’s tough to chart what exactly what a Season 4 would be, because when we started writing Season 3, half the stuff that happened — the shifting of the Alliances, the Kaylon becoming an ally, the Moclans becoming enemies — I never could have predicted. It’s just something that came about in the writers room over time. Certainly we set up threads this year, and most were pretty obvious, that lend themselves to payoffs in a Season 4, but how everything intertwines and evolves and develops…. I don’t even know if we’re picked up!”