The Orville: New Horizon’s San Diego Comic-Con panel unfortunately didn’t bring much in the way of news—still no word on whether or not the show will be getting a fourth season, for instance—but series creator, writer, producer, and star Seth MacFarlane did drop one promising nugget: the Hulu series will soon also be available for streaming on Disney+.
Here’s the announcement from Captain Ed Mercer himself:
Bringing the first three seasons to Disney+ will introduce The Orville to a much wider audience, something that could work in the show’s favor big-time when the powers that be are deciding whether or not to greenlight more episodes. “I’m thrilled to bring all three seasons of The Orville to Disney+,” MacFarlane said in a press release. “Making this show has been one of the most satisfying experiences of my career, and I’m immensely grateful to Disney for providing us the opportunity to expand our Orville community further. I can’t wait for new audiences to experience this series.”
MacFarlane beamed into Comic-Con via video chat, but his co-stars Penny Johnson Jerald (Claire), Peter Macon (Bortus), J Lee (John), Mark Jackson (Isaac), Chad L. Coleman (Klyden), Jessica Szohr (Talla), and Anne Winters (Charly) were all there in person, along with executive producer Brannon Braga and editor/producer Tom Constantino.
The Orville: New Horizons has aired eight of its 10 episodes so far, but there’s a bonus of sorts in the form of The Orville: Sympathy for the Devil, a recently released MacFarlane-penned novella set in the series’ third season. “We had planned to shoot 11 episodes, but because of covid it just became impractical. This was an episode that, for reasons you’ll see if you can pick it up, we couldn’t shoot it in LA. We had to shoot it either in Prague, somewhere in Europe, or in Canada—trying to find a location that would suit this story just became impossible,” he told the SDCC crowd. “I kind of grappled with, ‘Do we gamble for a season four, and just withhold this and shoot it then?’ Because it was a really experimental episode; if you choose to read the book, you’ll see why.”
“In my mind, if we do wind up with more episodes of the show,” he continued, “it’s theoretically something that we could still shoot. It’s one of those ideas that’s so out-there and so bizarre, you don’t want to give it up. I decided, just in case this was it for The Orville, that I really wanted to get this story out there, so I wrote it as a novella. I don’t want to give too much away about it, but it’s a very unique episode, and if you read it you’ll see why it would have been difficult to shoot.”
Later in the panel, MacFarlane emphasized how much he loathes and tries to avoid any and all spoilers, so aside from a brief clip reel teasing season three’s last two episodes, he wouldn’t say much about what to expect from the remainder of The Orville’s season, other than “There’s a nice shape to the season and all I can say is you will be very creatively satisfied by it.” As to the potential for a season four, he said, “We don’t know. I don’t think we’ll know until this season is finished,” pointing out that streaming platforms don’t track ratings like traditional networks do. “But there is certainly a desire for it on our end.”
The first three seasons of The Orville will arrive on Disney+ on August 10—but first, the last two episodes of season three will hit Hulu (where the entire series will also continue to stream, even after the Disney+ rollout) on July 28 and August 4.
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