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SYFY WIRE The Orville

'The Orville' creator Seth MacFarlane teases 'step up' for return, explains 'New Horizons' subtitle

The Orville's imminent return features a bigger budget and a subtitle to match the new scope.

By Matthew Jackson
Capt. Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane) in Season 3 Episode 6 of The Orville: New Horizons.

It's been more than three years since the last new episode of the sci-fi comedy The Orville, and the wait for more is finally almost over. Next week, the show returns for its third season, The Orville: New Horizons, sporting an updated look and a move to Hulu from its previous home on Fox. 

Everyone, including the show's creator and star Seth MacFarlane, knows the wait has been long, and even the trailers have found sly ways to hint that the new season will be "worth it." MacFarlane stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! Wednesday night to try and underscore that point, and in the process explained why the move to Hulu has been a big help in making sure fans get what they've been waiting for.

"Hulu and Disney really believed in the show and they really gave us a shot at doing a big swing here, so each episode is basically a little movie," MacFarlane explained to Kimmel, following a clip from the show that featured the Orville crew approaching a massive alien object in space during a shuttle flight. You can check out the clip, and MacFarlane's remarks about the show, beginning at about 7:25 in the video below.

Season 3 marks the first season of The Orville to debut exclusively on the streaming service, after the first two seasons aired on the Fox network in the era before Disney acquired Twentieth Century Fox and its various entertainment assets. According to MacFarlane, adding the subtitle New Horizons was part of underlining the shift not just to a new viewing home, but into a bigger better-looking version of the show.

"It started off as a suggestion from corporate. You know, 'Maybe you want to give it a subheading this year just to kind of indicate to the audience that you've kind of taken a step up in production value.'"

That step up in production value also means MacFarlane just keeps getting closer to his childhood Star Trek dreams, captaining a show set on a starship while also playing a starship captain. 

"It's definitely the most fun I've had on a show in all capacities," he said. "It's a blast. With the Ted movie it's like 'OK, you're building an apartment, you're building a bar, you're building a restaurant.' Here you're building a spaceship, so it's like every day it's like the cool kind of setup like you're in line at Disneyland, and they have cool stuff all around you."

The Orville: New Horizons premieres June 2 on Hulu. 

Looking for more sci-fi TV set among the stars? SYFY has the new series The Ark in the works from original Stargate film writer/producer Dean Devlin, as well as Stargate SG-1 producer Jonathan Glassner. Want more funny aliens? SYFY's hit series Resident Alien returns this fall with new episodes, with the first half of Season 2 streaming now on Peacock.