The hourlong sci-fi series The Orville has been renewed for a third season, albeit with a big change: it’s switching networks. Indeed, the Fox sci-fi series created by Seth MacFarlane will be moving to Hulu for Season 3, which marks a significant shift for the show. The Orville launched on Fox in 2017 as MacFarlane’s biggest live-action TV series yet, serving as both executive producer and star, and while some expected a more comedic twist on the sci-fi genre, the show quickly settled into a very earnest Star Trek-esque groove. It was also a ratings hit, but as MacFarlane explains, delays on The Orville Season 3 led to his decision to move the series to Hulu:
“The Orville has been a labor of love for me, and there are two companies which have supported that vision in a big way: 20th Century Fox Television, where I’ve had a deal since the start of my career, and Fox Broadcasting Company, now Fox Entertainment, which has been my broadcast home for over 20 years,” MacFarlane said in a statement. “My friends at the network understood what I was trying to do with this series, and they’ve done a spectacular job of marketing, launching and programming it for these past two seasons. But as the show has evolved and become more ambitious production-wise, I determined that I would not be able to deliver episodes until 2020, which would be challenging for the network. So we began to discuss how best to support the third season in a way that worked for the show. It’s exactly this kind of willingness to accommodate a show’s creative needs that’s made me want to stick around for so long. I am hugely indebted to Charlie Collier and Fox Entertainment for their generosity and look forward to developing future projects there. And to my new friends at Hulu, I look forward to our new partnership exploring the galaxy together.”
The unsaid portion of this is that MacFarlane is now able to move his series away from Fox Entertainment, which has suffered scrutiny from certain liberal actors, creators, and producers due to its ties to Fox News. When Disney purchased 20th Century Fox, they bought the film library and the cable networks, but not Fox proper, which is now its own entity under New Fox alongside Fox News and Fox Sports. So while Disney now controls Hulu, this isn’t a lateral move to a sister network—it’s a move from one distinct network to another.
So when The Orville Season 3 premieres in 2020, look for it on Hulu, where the first two seasons of the show are currently streaming.