Seth MacFarlane and team “working very hard” on The Orville season three

The sci-fi comedy-drama from the Family Guy creator IS returning.

The Orville

It’s been almost 18 months since Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane last piloted the space ship The Orville on Fox but, bear with him and his team, they are continuing to “work very hard” on season three.

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The sci-fi comedy-drama is a playful homage to Star Trek (and other genre shows), pitching MacFarlane as a relatively straight but down on his luck character, Captain Ed Mercer, who has made a sideways career move onto the craft of the title.

While the first two seasons screened on Fox, according to TV Line, season three is destined for Hulu, with an original premiere date of late 2020. Of course, The Orville has been waylaid by the COVID-19 pandemic.

MacFarlane told cast member Jessica Szohr, who plays Xelayan officer Talla Keyali: “All I can say is we’re working on it. We’re working very hard. We got hit by this [pandemic delay] just like everyone else, but we are working on it.”

In the Instagram chat, Szohr indicated that at the time the pandemic shut down production, “We were, like, pushing through the middle of the season, scripts were banging out, gas pedal down, and then it was like, ‘Halt!’”

Season three of The Orville still had a significant chunk to film but Macfarlane was bullish: “We will be back soon, folks.”

He continued: “There has been a lot of speculation online: Will the show come back? The show is still a huge priority for me and for the cast and everyone else. We do have a season to finish, and we are going to finish it,” once the logistics for producing a show “in this climate” are figured out.

“For a show with a lot of prosthetic makeup that requires close contact, a lot of background artists… it’s a big job, and you want to make sure you do it in a way that keeps everyone safe and secure,” he said. “Once we have those protocols figured out, we will start up again and you will get more Orville.”

The first two seasons of The Orville screened on Fox in the UK, but with the show moving to Hulu it’s not yet clear where fans will be able to watch it here.

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Check out what else is on with our TV Guide, or take a look at our new TV shows 2020 page to find out what’s airing this autumn and beyond.