‘The Orville’ Restarts Production On Season 3

Last month TrekMovie exclusively reported that The Orville was going to restart production in early December. And today Seth MacFarlane’s loving homage to Star Trek: The Next Generation did just that, with cameras rolling on in Los Angeles.

The Orville is back

The Orville shut down on its third season last March when all of Hollywood went on lockdown. News of The Orville returning to production today came from the official social media accounts, showing a clapper board for the first new scene. For the record, it was scene V-24, and it is being directed by The Orville star and showrunner Seth MacFarlane. He and executive producer Jon Cassar are sharing directing duties for the entire third season.

The Orville senior editor and co-producer Tom Costantino also shared an image from the set at Fox Studios where the show is filmed. In this image, you can see crewmembers wearing PPE, as the show is being produced under strict COVID procedures. Even though Los Angeles is under a new lockdown as of this week, film and television productions adhering to restart protocols are exempt from this order.

Work on season three originally began in October of 2019. They were a bit less than halfway through filming when things shut down in March 2020, and they expect the season will take five or six months to complete. In addition to filming on the Fox lot, The Orville is planning to do more location shooting in Southern California.

More ambitious season coming to Hulu

Season three of The Orville moves the show to the Hulu streaming service. 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. Episodes are expected to stream weekly.  As of now, there is no set start date, but the hope is for season three to debut before the end of 2021.

The Orville is now a Hulu original series

This upcoming season has been described as “much more ambitious” by executive producer Brannon Braga, who believes it is the “best one” yet for the show. Executive producer David Goodman told TrekMovie over the summer the move to Hulu allows the show “more freedom,” adding:

“This season is a barn burner. Our biggest episode last year, “Identity, Part 2,” would be considered one of the smaller episodes of season three. We’re going all the way. This season looks big, great stories. I am really excited about it. And that’s genuine. We are doing amazing stuff this year.”

Another clapper board from the season three restart (Photo: Brandon Fayette)

UPDATE: More from restart day

Actor Chad Coleman (Bortus) shared a fun brief Instagram video showing how “even Moclans mask up.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chad Coleman (@chadlcoleman)

EP/Director Jon Cassar tweeted an image showing they are back on set and take security seriously.

And finally, the man himself chimed in to announce his show Is back in business.


Keep up with all The Orville news and analysis on TrekMovie.

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It will be interesting to see if any actors gain 20lbs midway through an episode, due to the split filming

If they can de-age Shatner, they can de-flate MacFarland.

I see what you did there!

That can be easily done by sending the Orville back to that “Flatland” region in space. ;-)

It’s MacFarlane, Phile!

COVID weight gain yikes.


My Hulu subscription is ready! The Orville is going to be fun.

The Mandalorian on Disney+ and Star Trek on CBS All Access.

The Expanse on Amazon and Netflix in between. HBO Max and Apple TV+ has Foundation.

Every streaming service has its own sci-fi show and that’s amazing.

Hulu can take my money.

I know, right? It’s a wonderful time to be a space-themed TV show lover. Quite splendid after such a long drought prior to 2016 or so.

Not streaming, but don’t forget Doctor Who! The best non Trekian optimistic sci fi out there imo.

Well… The new Who show-runner is awful. The series took a major downward turn once that guy took over.

Look forward to THE ORVILLE, but feel I will have a very long wait for it show up on Amazon or flix (I let go of Hulu after realizing there was pretty much nothing of interest except the superb THE LOOMING TOWER limited series … first couple eps of HANDMAID’S TALE were of interest, but was too stressful to watch — reserve right to change view on that, picked up s1 blu-ray for $2 in 2019, may try again),

Would still gladly trade PICARD and DISCOVERY in their totality away to get a season of any kind of GALAXY QUEST series.

Really really really wanted to like THE EXPANSE, and fully expected to dig it, but visually I found the show to be as hard on the eyes as nuBSG, maybe moreso. I forced myself to finish s1, but haven’t gone back since, even with it free on Prime. And that’s despite me being a totally dedicated freak when it comes to working-class in-solarsystem print SF, like Allan Steele’s ORBITAL DECAY and LUNAR DESCENT.

I enjoyed Nu-BSG back then. It was like VOY or ENT should have been. I was curious and satisfied when Stargate Universe switched over to that style because I never got into Stargate: SG1.
Therefore I gave The Expanse a try a few weeks ago, but I stopped after a few episodes.
I recently discovered new sci-Fi-Shows with Katee Sackhoff and Hillary Swank. The first one I gave up after 1,5 episodes, the last one I watched half and then I skipped forward to the last episode.
On the other hand I enjoyed and binged watched Lost in Space and MARS. Also the first and second season of Discovery.
But the show I mostly enjoyed is the Orville. Whenever I discover a rerun of the Orville by accident, I simply can watch an enjoy any random standalone episode. That doesn’t work with the other shows anymore and I already know I won’t rewatch Discovery season 3.

I saw S1 of Handmaid’s Tale on Netflix. Didn’t find it stressful. Just patheticly bad. It makes Discovery look smart. When S2 became available I opted out. The one season was bad enough.

I would give them all up (maybe excepting SNW and Picard) for more Stargate.

This just goes to show that Star Trek bridges a wide group of niche tastes.

I understand that there are a lot of Star Trek fans, across generations, that love SG, but it’s never sustained my interest.

I’m very much an enthusiast for The Expanse, but I still think the first half of season three was its best so far. I’m looking forward to season 5 which looks to be more space based and more interesting to me.

Truth Seekers from Simon Pegg and co was fun, and genuinely weird in a British mix of fantasy and sci-fi way.

Right now I’m working through Trickster on the CBC which is Indigenous myth based and is very, very well done — it’s scheduled for the CW in the US in January, but it’s beyond the CW’s typical fare by a long stretch.

As for The Orville, I’m glad it will be around to fill in the void until Trek productions are through production and post — providing its Canadian distribution lands on a broadcast or cable station in our package.

However, I’m not excited for it in the same way. The blah beige sets and uniforms that look like they were designed for a fast food restaurant or car rental firm (even moreso than Discovery’s) are not appealing at all. There’s been just enough in the episodic plots to keep me and one of the kids watching, so there’s that.

Don’t forget the final season of Lost in Space!

Yeah it is pretty great!

In fact, I am doing a lot of ‘space’ watching these days in the last few months.

Oh All Access, obviously Discovery and of course constant rewatches of the other Trek shows.

On Netflix, just started watching season 2 of Lost in Space. Season 3 of that starts early next year.

On Disney+, The Mandalorian of course but also just finished watching The Clone Wars and Rebels for the first time. Both very good although TCW was better.

On Peacock, just finished my rewatch of BSG yesterday. I could watch it for free again, so I thought why not.

But now that that is done, I’m going to start catching up with The Expanse on Prime soon with the new season starting there.

Watched the first episode of Raised by Wolves on HBO MAX a few weeks ago, but plan to watch the rest when I can squeeze in the time. ;)

And yes will definitely be watching both Orville and Foundation when those start.

Thanks to streaming, if you like space shows, you have a ton of choices now. We wouldn’t have half these shows on today (and probably NO Star Trek whatsoever) without these sites.


Yes!! Really looking forward to this :)

Finally a return of REAL Trek!

Discovery this season has been good for the most part, but nothing beats The Orville. It truly is what Star Trek was meant to be!

Are you talking yourself here, perhaps? ;-)

Well… Season 2 did feel like TNG season 8. If that is what you are getting at.

Personally, I’d like to see something new and different (that’s GOOD!) but I guess that’s just me.

Maybe Hulu will change the show for the better.

That’s subjective opinion even for you.

You can keep telling yourself that.

Excellent. I have nothing but good vibes for this show. It always leaves me smiling, and often look very forward to the next episode.

What else is on?


But I’m not going to see season 3 until it becomes available on Netflix. Unlike Amazon Prime, Hulu still makes their stuff available to Netflix.

Although I’m not expecting it to be much. By all accounts the idea of making the show a “dramedy” has been completely tossed out the window. Which is unfortunate. That first season had better jokes than the entire season of Lower Decks. Made me think that Seth should have helmed the Trek animated comedy instead of McMahon.

The Orville will never be on Netflix. Hulu or bust pal.

Don’t see why not. Other Hulu productions have made their way there. I saw both season 1 of Handmaids Tale and their new Catch-22 on Netflix.

One more thing…

Not really sure why TV production is considered “essential” and gets to keep going when the rest of LA has to shutter and close. But very few of these decisions have made sense.

Oddly enough, I find it eerie that COVID is responsible for the rise of all the UV room scrubbers which vindicate my position that the Krill had a valid decontamination reason for having them installed on their ships.

I wish they just released two or three episodes that they are done with