10 Things To Know About ‘The Orville’ Season 2

1. Season two debuts December 30th

The second season of The Orville arrives on Sunday, December 30th, on a special night following an NFL double-header (approximately 8:00 PM ET/5:00 PM PT live to all time zones). The rest of the episodes will then air on Thursdays at 9:00 PM, starting on January 3rd. The main reason FOX moved the show to a mid-season position is due to their acquisition of Thursday Night Football, which debuted in September.

More recently, Fox announced it will premiere season two on January 10 for viewers in the UK.

2. Season two will be preceded by a DVD release of the first season

Season one of The Orville will be released on DVD on December 11th in the U.S. Fox Home Entertainment has not yet announced full details, but it is expected to include the same special features as the UK release. You can pre-order the 4-disk set on Amazon, discounted to $19.96. Sadly, it does not appear The Orville will be released on Blu-ray, as Fox Home Entertainment generally only releases Blu-rays of its feature films, not its television shows. If you do want the show in HD, you can purchase a digital version on iTunes or on Amazon for $24.99.

3. Season two will have 14 episodes

The second season of The Orville will be a bit longer than the first with a total of 14 episodes. This includes one originally produced for the first season, “Primal Urges,” which was pulled due to scheduling changes. While The Orville structures its show for episodes to be standalone, some additional shots and edits were made to this episode to make it fit into the second season. It will now be one of the early episodes of the new season. We also know that there will be at least one two-part episode towards the middle of the season (with both counting towards the total of 14).

Captain Mercer held at gunpoint

4. There is one change in the main cast

While there has been no official word about changes in the main cast, it has become apparent that Halston Sage’s Alara Kitan will not be present for the entire second season. She will definitely appear in the early episodes, including one titled “Home” featuring a visit to her home planet of Xeleya and the return of Star Trek: Voyager alumnus Robert Picardo playing her father.

There will, however, be a new character: Talla Keyali played by Jessica Szohr, who (like Kitan) is also Xelayan and a security officer on board the USS Orville. Sage was in production on the Netflix film Last Summer during much of the time the second season of The Orville was being shot, and it isn’t clear at this time if she will return to the show. Details on how they’ll transition between Alara and Talla are unknown, but speaking to TrekMovie at SDCC executive producer David A. Goodman said, “I think you are going to be intrigued to see what we do with both of those characters. I don’t want to spoil it, but it is unexpected.”

Jessica Szohr (far right) joins the cast in season 2 as Talla Keyali

5. More Trek veterans have come on board

The Orville is unabashedly an homage to Star Trek: The Next Generation and creator Seth MacFarlane went out of his way to bring in a number of Star Trek veterans to work on the show, including executive producers Brannon Braga and David A. Goodman, cinematographer Marvin Rush, science advisor and writer Andre Bormanis, and directors Robert Duncan McNeill and Jonathan Frakes, all of whom are back for the second season. Also joining the team is writer and producer Joe Menosky. And a number of Star Trek series stars will have guest roles, including Marina Sirtis, Tim Russ, John Billingsley, and the aforementioned Robert Picardo.

Marina Sirtis/Twitter

6.  Some big-name guest stars are stopping by

Season one had some big names pop up. Oscar winner Charlize Theron had a guest starring role as the titular “Pria,” Rob Lowe made a brief appearance in the pilot and then came back as a full-fledged guest star late in the season as the blue skinned Derulio, and Liam Neeson even got in a quick appearance.

Season two looks to be on track to have quite a few big names as well, including Ted Danson (Cheers, The Good Place), F. Murray Abraham (Amadeus and Star Trek: Insurrection), Tony Todd (multiple Trek roles and Candyman), and Carlos Bernard (24). There may be even more well-known actors; back in the spring, actor J. Lee teased that a “legend” was under the alien makeup seen below.

J. Lee/Instagram

7. Episodes will be longer

The Orville is one of the shows in which Fox is embracing the idea of reducing commercial time. This means shorter commercial breaks, and a projected 5 minutes more content than the first season episodes.

Footage from Season 2 trailer

8. Season two will have more action

Recently MacFarlane told Australia’s SBS:

It’s more of an anthology show so if we get it right, you won’t know what to expect. Also, there is more action as it continues because the early episodes were an experiment to get the response we wanted from the studio and they’ve given us more time and resources to film more complex scenes. We also brought in (24 producer) Jon Cassar, so there’s nobody better at doing action than that guy.

Cassar was active on social media during the filming of Season 2, often posting behind-the-scenes photos.

Jon Cassar on the set of The Orville earlier this year

9. There will be more of a focus on science fiction and more allegories

At San Diego Comic-Con, creator Seth MacFarlane said that this season The Orville can “really be a sci-fi show,” with the comedy as “a garnish.”

Writer/Producer David A. Goodman expanded on this idea:

We definitely have some episodes which are allegories. We go back to Moclus, which was obviously was an allegory last year, and we explore a little bit more of that. And there are new worlds as well, where we explore.

Writer/Producer Brannon Braga also weighed in:

If we find a topic that hasn’t been explored in a particular way, it is a story idea. At the end of the day, we are looking for good stories. We knew we wanted at least a couple of the episodes to be new cultures, that were interesting in some way. Otherwise it is just people with funny makeup.

Captain Mercer suits up

10. More Dann!

Lieutenant Dann (AKA the elevator alien) was a fan favorite last season, even though he only appeared in two episodes. On social media, we could see that Dann actor Mike Henry was on The Orville set fairly frequently, and TrekMovie has confirmed that we can expect to see quite a bit of him this season.

Mike Henry is best known as the voice of Cleveland Brown from Family Guy and The Cleveland Show, and voices a number of other characters on Seth MacFarlane’s shows, so he’s a natural fit for some latex-masked comic relief in The Orville.

Mike Henry/Twitter

 


Orville returns this month

The second season of The Orville debuts on Sunday, December 30th, in a special night following an NFL double-header.

Here’s the latest promo:

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ML31

Not that I plan to purchase the discs but seems pretty foolhardy to NOT release the discs on BD. IMHO, Fox ought to rethink that policy.

Very much looking forward to this shows return. But wish the comedy was more of the meat of the show instead of the “garnish”. Last season the shows with more laughs worked much better than the more serious shows. I’d prefer it to be mainly comedy with some serious stuff from time to time but it seems Seth and the others prefer to go the other way around. It was still good enough that I’m watching anyway.

Now let’s open the gates to the inevitable Discovery vs Orville arguments!

Cygnus-X1

I’m inclined to agree — I wouldn’t have asked for less comedy. For me, the Season 1 episode that worked best and was most enjoyable was “Cupid’s Dagger,” which was a comedy all the way through. But, I am interested to see where this goes.

ML31

I thought “Cupid’s Dagger” was one of the two best from last season as well. Mainly because it was full on comedy.

kitbashcanon

Maybe season 3 can have more comedy. I loved the S1 comedy…more please.

Phil

Assuming it’s renewed for season three….

kitbashcanon

All I can do is watch season 2 (which I will do…and buy DVDs too) and hope that is good enough for them to do a season 3.

kitbashcanon

Still haven’t seen disco yet. I’ll get around to the DVDs soon. Based on comments, I’ve dialed down my expectations. I’ll forgo the AllAccess route though.

ML31

That is not a bad move but for the price of buying the discs you could have paid for one month of AA and seen the show. IMHO, it’s not worth even considering owning. I just wish the discs were made available through Netflix. I might be patient enough to wait for that to see the shows. Like I do with GoT. But I’m such a Star Trek schmuck that I don’t think I could wait that long.

kitbashcanon

I just like collecting DVDs, and I’ve been a fan since the original series…the good, the bad, AND the ugly of it all.

kitbashcanon

I’m from the generation that collected vinyl albums by the hundreds…and then cassettes and then CDs and videos and then DVDs. Collecting physical, tangible artifacts is our generation’s habit. Had my fair share of Star Trek models too…and pewter “collectibles”.

ML31

I’m with you. I like actually having the physical media in my hand. And I like my CD and BD shelf. :)

Lefty Throckmorton

Why the frak is everybody so down on Discovery for? And what is this’SJW’ nonsense with reference to Star Trek all about?

Phillip Thorne

It seems that consuming the show via CBS All Access or on BD are not equivalent experiences. According to the review posted on November 16 (https://trekmovie.com/2018/11/16/disco-s1-bd-review/), CBSAA (a) did a poor job collapsing the 5.1 audio to stereo, (b) and streamed in 720p with aggressive compression.

It’s aggravating that CBS’s platform couldn’t deliver CBS’s flagship show the way the creators intended — or rather, that nobody said “let’s optimize our artistic techniques for the intended distribution platform” — but that’s what it is. The phrase “reach exceeds their grasp” comes to mind.

starlordtheoutlaw

I really loved the Galaxy Quest-esque tone of the pilot.

Lefty Throckmorton

Maybe they want to make sure that everybody can buy The Orville on disc?

Ian

MacFarlane’s writing and acting frequently see him out of his depth IMO, but his heart is in the right place. He’s certainly surrounded himself with a dream team of collaborators who often rise to the occasion. The show has its moments.

Trutrek

I can’t get through a single ep of Seth’s ego trip, sorry. It’s too bad I can’t complain about Seth’s sophomoric humor and language now that Disco tosses F-bombs and nudity around so please drop me off at the Guardian for a one way trip to 1966, I’m done with this century…

MattR

One quick flash of nudity, and one 10 second sequence with the f-word used in a non-derogatory way.

Shatterhand2049

Oh, brother. You’re giving a whole new dimension to the concept of “trying too hard”.

Phil

Now! With even more TNG!

Caught an episode last season, that was enough for me.

Hashmaster9000

That’s nice. I’ll make sure to jot that down for future reference.

J.P.

DVD only? Are we living in 1998? I guess they don’t want to make any money as no one who cares about quality will be purchasing that.

Living Raktajino

Bingo.

Disinvited

J.P.,

Personally, I feel as you that they must be doing something wrong in their marketing of TV shows’ box sets. But FOX insists DVDs are the sweetspot for making money off Home Video of shows. They continually assert there’s no money in bd box sets.

Darfyn

Bingo Two !!

Denny C

DVD sets are cheaper and result in higher profit margins. The resolution is far less important in an era where so many watch the bulk of their content on screens that range in size from an iPhone to an iPad. I still see people watching boxed sets on portable DVD players when I’m on the train or flying.

kmart

No blu-ray for a space show with lengthy beauty shots of the ships?

For the life of me, I cannot understand watching programming on a tiny little screen. It’s like deciding a 13″ B&@ set w/ rabbit ears is the way to go. I have watched parts of a few movies on laptops several years back, and it was just not satisfying in the slightest, though convenient to hear music scores on shows that didn’t have affordable or complete music CDs.

If studios are going to be gearing things toward the … people who watch on their phones, what is that going to do to dramatic visual storytelling? You can’t see a telling nuance on a phone, does that mean they’ll have to put up a BATMAN-style animated caption to explain what was once subtlety?

I swear, convenience seems to herald the death of so many aspects of life.

ML31

“It’s like deciding a 13″ B&@ set w/ rabbit ears is the way to go. ”

Yes. Yes. And Yes. That. Absolutely. I absolutely will NOT watch anything more than a quick youtube video on my phone. And I will NOT watch a movie on my tablet. And only will stream SOME TV on the tablet under certain circumstances. My kid and my nephews and nieces on the other hand… They don’t seem to care. My 2nd oldest niece doesn’t even own a TV. She uses her tablet for everything video.

Redshirt Rosie

I couldn’t agree with you more. I’m extremely picky about picture and sound quality. In fact, I’ll no longer buy any physical media that isn’t 4K HDR. However, from my experience, most people don’t seem to care, and are perfectly happy with DVDs You’d be surprised how many people buy those Blu-Ray DVD combo packs….for the DVDs!

KevinA Melbourne Australia

This is the also same era where TVs are getting bigger and bigger and people are watching these shows in home cinemas on wall sized projection screens. You gotta have HD or it just look crap. 4K would be better!

Lefty Throckmorton

For me, all I see movies on are the big screen or on Blu-Ray on a big screen HDTV set; if I could afford to do so, I’d buy the bigger sets that are UHD along with a 4k disc player.

jerr

1998? Hardly anything was on DVD then. ;-) That aside… having only DVD as the only format you can own really encourages piracy. I’m surprised by that.

ML31

Maybe it’s me but I noticed new comments since the last visit are no longer highlighted.

From some reason that option changed to “off” after an upgrade of the comments system. I just turned it back on.

ML31

Had to restart the browser but it seems to be back. Thanks.

Kev-1

Looks good. Had zero expectations for this show and have enjoyed it immensely. Will miss Alara — very good character.

Lefty Throckmorton

She’s not doing so, IIRC.

Danpaine

I had so much fun with season one I’ll probably give it another watch before season two starts. An all-around feel-good show for me, and a nice transition on Sunday nights from the weekend into the reality of another work week, with a smile on my face. Nice balance of humor and relevant commentary on society today, imo. Happy to have it back.

Ben Adams

Halston Sage’s Alara Kitan seemed to be the breakout character in the first season, so the dribs and drabs I’ve been seeing regarding her sidelining have been a bummer of galactic proportions. I wonder what happened behind the scenes?

Darfyn

Sadly , she skipped to do an ensemble Summer comedy (The Last Summer) !

Jeff

TV networks REDUCING ad time?! There’s a pig flying outside my window.

Denny C

One of the perks of reduced ad time!

alphantrion

If I remember correctly Fox tried to do something similar about 10 years ago with Fringe and Terminator The Sarah Connor Chronicles but then discontinued it because apparently it wasn’t “successful”.

Danpaine

Fringe…good show.

ML31

Yeah. I heard Satan has been tossing snowballs around lately too…

Darfyn

Seems very stupid for Fox to release the Series only on the archaic Dvd format , when other Series are rushing to put out on Blu-ray/4K as well ? This series is growing in popularity and maturity , and I’m looking forward to more , and hopefully more seasons to come , with those outstanding guest easter eggs !

Shatterhand2049

I’ll give Jessica Szohr and her new character a chance, but if they write Alara out of the show completely and it’s revealed Halston isn’t coming back, Jessica better knock it the hell out of the park, or else I’m done with the Orville.

I’m not a hater, don’t get me wrong here, but this show is not Star Trek. I don’t come here to read about other shows. It’s not even good sci fi or comedy ,(both of which it tries hard to be).

I love this site. I’ve been checking it daily for years and I really don’t want to read about garbage shows that have nothing to do with why I choose to be here. Please stop.

Tiger2

These posts kill me. Jsson, it’s pretty simple, if you don’t want to hear about other show that’s not Star Trek, then simply don’t click on the links that is not about Star Trek. Instead put all your attention and energy of alllll the other links that are about Star Trek.

TM can post what it wants. It’s a business, its not your personal website .

StevenPDX

Well said.

I run a website myself and I try to take note of what my visitors like and dislike. I didn’t say it was my personal website. I’m expressing an opinion. Isn’t that why there’s a comment section?

ML31

For example… I skip the gaming and comic book articles. I’m not going to post in them ripping them to all the people who ARE interested.

Danpaine

….then the Twilight Zone article above must really piss you off.

Lol not really. I have to admit that there’s something about The Orville that’s bugs me. I can’t help it.

Danpaine

Fair enough – the show angers many people here :)

Lol it’s because it’s rubbish. Maybe the site owners have a deal with the show’s creators. Who knows. It doesn’t make sense either. I run a Star Wars fan site (link in signature) and it’s like me adding Doctor Who posts or something. I wouldn’t do it because I know why my visitors have come to my site.

Cygnus-X1

Jsson

Do you include content from the Disney Star Wars movies on your site? I consider those to be rubbish and not real Star Wars, so you shouldn’t include them.

I agree. They are rubbish. But some SW fans like them, so I do sometimes post about them.

Cygnus-X1

Jsson

Well, now you know why they post about The Orville here.

Because some of us like it.

See, everything works out. :-)

LMAO OK you got me there.

HashMaster9000

Just because you have an opinion, doesn’t make it fact.

Alrighty then.

Hashmaster9000

So, it’s really that you have a kind of lame ulterior motive, rather than a purist aversion to anything posted that isn’t directly related to Star Trek. So noted.
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Garth Lorca

Great show! But please, give us Blu-Ray! I stopped buying DVDs in 2009…

Hear, hear.

Thomas W.

Of course I will buy the DVDs. May I pay with these pretty stones?

Really, Fox? DVD? DVD????

Where’s the VHS release?!?

ML31

LOL! Good one NoMad.

kmart

Wake up and smell the 90s, you gotta go S-VHS! It’s almost like having laserdisc quality, but on tape!

David Alexander Harrison

Will the elevator alien get new legs?

Loved the first season, once I finally got around to catching it on Hulu. I’ll definitely be onboard for season 2.

Cygnus-X1

BTW, I think that FOX’s decision to have less commercials and more content is praiseworthy. And, hence, to that end and forthwith, I do hereby praise them thus:

Fooooooor, they’re a jolly good net-work, for they’re a jolly good net-work, for they’re a jolly good net-worrrrrrrrk. . .

Which nobody can deny.

Duane Stull

It’s a great show. Those who disagree just dont get it.

Oy maybe they just didn’t like it.

I loved the first season and get the desire to defend it, but this sort of thinking is wrong-headed.

Mel

I am looking forward to season 2. I really like the show, especially in the later half of season 1 it found its feet. I think season 2 will be even better than season 1 as they learned what works well and what works less well. A bigger focus on science fiction is also always a good thing.

Avindair

Loved the first season, looking forward to the second.

Good on Seth for making the “Trek” series he wanted to, in the way he desired.

Curious Cadet

@Avindair — except it’s not his to do with as he pleases. Changing the names doesn’t really absolve him of ripping off someone else’s IP. GQ was a novel approach with a clear intent on parody. This is just a blatant rip-off.

HashMaster9000

I don’t exactly see CBS or Paramounts lawyers beating down Fox’s doors with a Cease and Desist. Companies pretty jealously protect their IP’s, so if this show is getting a second season, it’s different enough not to cause a ruckus… except with people who don’t like it based on specious reasoning, or want to see it fail because most folks liked it a bit more than STD.

ML31

Those who think CBS can start a lawsuit against FOX for The Orville just don’t understand the concept. If such things warranted lawsuits there would never ever be another hospital drama or cop centered show or family based comedy every again. I think it is more annoyance that there is a current show that emulates TNG a bit. I cannot even begin to figure out why that irritates some fans. But it sure seems to.

Danpaine

Agreed, Avindair. Same here.

Darfyn

It’s common knowledge that the creator of Babylon 5 approached the Star Trek Franchise to produce his Series , and they ripped off his idea for Deep Space 9 .
And it’s well known the Abrams Star Trek Movies were ripped-off ideas too !