Seth MacFarlane has been letting his old school Star Trek flag fly with the sci-fi dramedy The Orville, and now the ship will keep exploring the universe for at least another season.
The Fox network announcing today that the series has been renewed for a second season, though additional details are still thin. The decision comes just seven weeks into the 13-episode first season, but there's no word yet on whether the same amount of episodes or more (or less) will be produced for Season 2.
"Once again Seth has struck a powerful chord with viewers. He has delivered a series full of optimism, drama and his trademark humor," Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn said in a statement. "We want to thank him and the rest of the talented cast, as well as the producers and crew, for an incredible first season. We can’t wait to see where The Orville travels in the second.”
Fox, which has been in the Seth MacFarlane business for a long time due to cash cows like Family Guy, put a lot of money and marketing muscle behind The Orville and it mostly paid off, despite a lackluster critical reception. The series premiere drew some 8.6 million live viewers, with that number expanding to 14 million thanks to streaming and DVR. The show became Fox's highest-rated new venture since Empire launched in 2015, although the ratings slipped somewhat when it moved from its first two Sunday showings to its regular Thursday night slot.
Nevertheless, it's retained consistently solid ratings and some fans consider MacFarlane's more optimistic and humorous view of the future a spiritual successor to Star Trek, especially with the show's look and visuals channeling Star Trek: The Next Generation to some degree. While Star Trek: Discovery has also been a hit with viewers and critics (even as a streaming-only series), its darker vision and lack of visual continuity with previous Trek series has alienated some diehard Trekkers.
In the long run, it's certainly cool that two new shows with Trek in their DNA are both on the air and doing well. Have you watched The Orville yet? If so, are you excited about season 2 and how do you think it stacks up next to Star Trek: Discovery?