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NASA shouts out The Orville in official report—Can we have season 4 now?

2022 was jam-packed with excellent science fiction and fantasy shows, but one of the best by far was Hulu’s The Orville: New Horizons. The Seth MacFarlane-helmed sci-fi show took an enormous leap forward in its third season; the leap in quality from previous seasons to New Horizons was jaw-dropping. And those previous seasons were great too, so the bar was already set pretty high.

With all the gushing I just did, you’d expect that it would be a no-brainer for Hulu to renew The Orville for a fourth season. But six months out from the perfect finale of New Horizons, we still don’t know whether we’ll be getting another season. The appetite is certainly there. The Orville: New Horizons garnered a ton of praise during its run, sometimes from high places, including The Martian author Andy Weir, Space.com and even NASA. And now, the U.S. space agency has given the show another cool shoutout.

The image above comes from page 24 of NASA’s Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES) report. If you’re a fan of The Orville you’ll probably recognize the names on the chart. We’ve got MacFarlane’s Ed Mercer, Kelley Grayson (Adrianne Palicki), Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald), Alara Kitan (Halston Sage) and Bortus (Peter Macon), as well as some fun notes at the bottom talking about how Dr. Finn received a referral letter from the Saturnian School of Medical Sciences, while “Graduate student” Bortus received a grant from the Moclan College.

Are these actual schools in The Orville? No idea, but someone at NASA is clearly a fan. If NASA loves The Orville this much, then surely Hulu should take heed, right? Alas, our wait to find out whether The Orville will be renewed for season 4 continues, though it certainly can’t hurt matters to have the show making headlines because members of NASA enjoy it enough to start sneaking references to it into official documents.


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