Between Family Guy, American Dad, and The Cleveland Show, prolific writer/producer/voice actor Seth MacFarlane has voiced a lot of characters on television and created even more, but now he’s heading into the live-action realm for his next TV series.
Fox announced today that MacFarlane is developing a new, though still untitled comedic drama for the network for which he’ll executive produce and star based off a script he wrote. Here’s what we know: the series will consist of 13 hourlong episodes and takes place 300 years in the future where the crew of the Orville, “a not-so-top-of-the-line exploratory ship in Earth’s interstellar Fleet,” deal with cosmic challenges on their adventures.
“I’ve wanted to do something like this show ever since I was a kid, and the timing finally feels right,” MacFarlane said in a statement. He also called it a “no-brainer” in coming to Fox with the series, given his overall deal with the 20th Century Fox TV. Dana Walden and Gary Newman, who are overseeing the new series, have been involved with MacFarlane’s past efforts. He’ll also still have Family Guy, which, currently on its 13th season, got renewed through 2017. Similarly, American Dad got a two-season renewal by TBS, and he’s a producer on Fox’s animated Bordertown.
MacFarlane has a passion for space and sci-fi, as evidenced by his work on the docu-series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Neill deGrasse Tyson told The Guardian:
“I’d known that in his cartoons, in Family Guy, there are many references to science, not the least of which are the destinations of Stewie’s time machines. In one episode he goes to the beginning of the universe – the big bang – and in another one he goes to multiple universes. So I said, ‘There is some machinery churning in Seth MacFarlane’s head beyond the fart jokes.’”
This is the first live-action series MacFarlane created and the first he’ll star in, but he also ventured into the live-action space on the big screen. He wrote, directed, and starred in A Million Ways to Die in the West opposite Charlize Theron performed the same duties on Ted and Ted 2. Though if this new untitled series takes off, a regular live-action TV gig could limit his involvement in the feature realm in the near future.