Step by step, film and television production is slowly resuming, even as the pandemic continues. Star Trek: Discovery started production on season four a week ago in Toronto, and Picard is set to get going on season two in January in Southern California. And we just got word that The Orville, Seth MacFarlane’s homage to Star Trek: The Next Generation, is ramping up to restart production on its third season in December.
DECEMBER UPDATE: Orville production restarts
The Orville returned to production on Friday, December 4th. See our full report.
The Orville is returning to space
Like other productions, filming on The Orville was put on hold when Hollywood went on lockdown in March. Shooting on the third season had started in October 2019 and they were a bit shy of halfway done at the time of the halt. According to a source with the production, cameras will start rolling again in the first week of December.
Prep work for restarting season three has already begun, with some people already at work on the Fox lot in Century City, CA. Most of the cast and crew are expected to be on set after Thanksgiving weekend for rehearsals and to do some pick-up shots. Production will continue through December until the Christmas and New Year break, and then restart in early January.
It is expected that work under strict COVID protocols to complete season three will take five or six months in total. Production will restart on the Fox lot, with location shooting in Southern California also being planned. The Orville creator/executive producer Seth MacFarlane and executive producer Jon Cassar will continue to split directing duties for the rest of the season.
As of now, there isn’t a target date for The Orville season three’s debut on Hulu, but the team’s hope is to start the season before the end of 2021. Season three will consist of eleven episodes, each of which will have a longer runtime than episodes from the first two seasons, which aired on Fox Broadcast Network.
Braga on “ambitious” season three (and possibly four)
Last month, when speaking to TrekMovie about his new Hulu horror movie and his time with Star Trek, The Orville executive producer Brannon Braga also talked about the production delay and his expectations for season three:
This is a work of deep passion for Seth, and it’s a really great season. I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone on the show that isn’t eager to get back to work, as long as it is safe. The shot delay is simply COVID, but it’s also taking longer to film because it’s so much more ambitious even in its scope, in comparison to the first two seasons. And that’s partly because it’s on Hulu, and we can expand the scope and increase the length of the episodes, and all the reasons Seth wanted to take it to a streaming service. This season is the best one. I can’t wait for people to see it.
According to TrekMovie sources, no decision has yet been made on a potential fourth season for the series. As for Braga, he tells TrekMovie he is ready for more:
I love The Orville and I love the style of storytelling that it features which I really missed. I really missed it. And personally, I would work on it forever, as long as it’s on. It’s fun to do.
If you want more on The Orville season three, see our June 2020 interview with senior editor and co-producer Tom Costantino and executive producer and writer David Goodman.
TrekMovie will keep track of progress on The Orville, and be providing updates as the next season progresses.
Season 3 of The Orville will be available exclusively on Hulu in the USA. It isn’t known yet where it will be available for on the air on via streaming internationally. You can search for ways to stream overseas with sites like howtowatch.co.nz.
Keep up with all The Orville news and analysis on TrekMovie.