There is a “better than good possibility” that The Orville will one day fly again, says one member of the sci-fi dramedy’s cast. But what is series creator/on-screen captain Seth MacFarlane’s current POV — especially in the wake of Adrianne Palicki’s bearish take on a possible Season 4?
An original cast member, Palicki said on a recent podcast that she was “no longer” doing The Orville, thought she couldn’t confirm the Hulu series as cancelled. “I think there’s talk that it could possibly be something that certain people want to do…,” she said, choosing her words carefully, “but it’s a really difficult show to shoot.” Palicki proceeded to detail the long wait between short seasons, and indeed, cast contracts h ave expired since Season 3’s Summer 2022 run.
TVLine recently spoke with both MacFarlane and Orville castmate Scott Grimes, ahead of the Ted prequel series’ Peacock premiere. (Ted creator MacFarlane again voices the titular bear, while Grimes plays Dad to a young John Bennett, with Parenthood’s Max Burkholder channeling a teenage Mark Wahlberg.)
Asked for the latest prognosis for The Orville, Grimes said that he and MacFarlane talk about continuing the exploration vessel’s adventures “all the time.”
In fact, “right before the strike, it feels like we were going to announce a Season 4,” Grimes told TVLine. That of course didn’t come to pass, but “I think it’s a better than good possibility that we get to do this again,” Lt. Gordon Malloy’s portrayer ventured.
“This is [Seth’s] little child, he loves to do The Orville, and it’d be a shame if we didn’t get to do one more season,” Grimes added. “So I would say that I’m optimistic. That’s what I would say.”
But how optimistic is MacFarlane, the one who’d have to actually write the scripts for and executive-produce the elaborate, not-inexpensive sci-fi production?
“I’m trying to remember what the exact, well-worded politic statement was that Hulu put out…,” MacFarlane began to answer, chuckling. (Refresher: Hulu originals chief Craig Erwich told TVLine last January, “It’s a great show and I know that the fans loved having it back in their lives. And Seth did a great job, uniquely as he can, in front of and behind the camera. But we don’t have anything to share.”)
“All I can say is the same thing that Hulu said, which is the show is not dead,” MacFarlane told TVLine. “Nobody has told me that it’s dead from the network, so we’re proceeding under those auspices.”
When TVLine previously spoke with MacFarlane, following the Season 3 finale, he said that one sticky wicket facing any possible Season 4 was, “How do I work it into everything else that’s now going on?” (including but not limited to Ted). “I will say that I get as emotionally invested in the show as any of the fans, so I will find a way to do it if there is a Season 4.” — With reporting by Ryan Schwartz