Halfway through its freshman season, The Orville, Fox’s ambitious space adventure dramedy created by and starring Seth MacFarlane, is on a hot streak. The show’s seventh episode, which aired Thursday, 26 October, drew 4.2 million viewers and scored a 1.2 rating on the key 18-49 demographic. Its performance also marked a significant increase for both measures – north of 20 percent – compared to its most recent original episode. An uptick in ratings like this is a good indicator that a new series has staying power – an especially important factor when it comes to high-concept, effects-heavy productions like The Orville. Sure enough, the following week, Fox decided to renew the Star Trek-inspired series for a second season.
The Orville is the brainchild of Seth MacFarlane, the man responsible for several popular animated series, including Fox’s Family Guy and The Cleveland Show, in addition to the hit stoner-comedy film Ted.
Named for the 25th-century exploratory spacecraft in which much of the show is set, The Orville follows the personal and professional journeys of Captain Ed Mercer (MacFarlane), his first officer and ex-wife Kelly Grayson (Friday Night Lights’ Adrianne Palicki), and the vessel’s interstellar crew.
“Once again Seth has struck a powerful chord with viewers,” said Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn, crediting MacFarlane’s patented blend of optimism and humour, as well as the work of the cast and crew, for what’s so far been a strong first season. “We can’t wait to see where The Orville travels in the second.”