The Orville: 176 Days Later, Hulu Still Doesn't Have Season 4 Update
Nearly six months since The Orville: New Horizons wrapped, fans probably aren't going to be too thrilled by Hulu's latest Season 4 "update."
Five months and twenty-three days. 176 days. 4,224 hours. 253,440 minutes. 15,206,400 seconds. However way you want to calculate it, it's been a long time since the third season of Seth MacFarlane's The Orville (with the added "New Horizons" for Season 3) wrapped up its run on Hulu. And if we're being completely honest? We have a ton of respect for how patient the fanbase has been, considering how things have been left twisting in the wind for close to a half-year. To put it in perspective? Netflix's The Sandman was renewed a little more than three months after it dropped. Then, Netflix renewed Wednesday only two months after it dropped (granted, it also debuted with obscenely impressive numbers). And in both instances, the respective fanbases thought their waits were too long (in reality, even when combined, the length of time is still less than what The Orville fans have had to endure). Well, we wish we had a better update to pass along from TVLine… but at least it's not a cancellation notice?
Even with the six-month-mark on the horizon, Craig Erwich, President, ABC Entertainment, Hulu & Disney Branded Television Streaming Originals, still didn't have anything to offer regarding an update other than "status quo" (translation: keep waiting) during this month's Television Critics Association (TCA) press event. "We don't have anything to share right now. It's a great show, and I know that the fans loved having it back in their lives. And Seth [MacFarlane] did a great job, uniquely as he can, in front of and behind the camera. But we don't have anything to share right now," Erwich shared. Of course, there's always the possibility that this could be a swerve before some really great news drops. But considering just how unpredictable the media landscape has become in the era of streaming, it's tough to choose between the glass half-empty and the glass half-full. After the jump, take a second to revisit our editorial from the end of last year for our perspective on things.
The Orville: After Nearly 5 Months, Did Disney Forget About Season 4?
So the last time that fans of Hulu and Emmy Award-winning executive producer & creator Seth MacFarlane's The Orville: New Horizons (otherwise known as Season 3) had good news to celebrate, it was inching towards the end of July, and they learned that all three seasons would be streaming on Disney+. That news would hit just before the final two episodes of the season would air, with MacFarlane saying at the time that it was too soon to have any news on a possible fourth season. So the appropriately-titled "Future Unknown" would hit screens on August 4th, and then… nothing. At the time, that's understandable. But now, 142 days (or 4 months & 19 days) later, it's still… nothing. That's a long time to wait and be patient, and it's especially surprising that we're into the final two weeks of the year & knee-deep in holiday stuff and still… nothing. Does it have to do with recent Disney financial issues? Is it an issue with MacFarlane and the cast seeing their schedules getting too busy? Could this be part of some bigger rollout involving multiple seasons or a spinoff? Normally, in this situation, it would be tough to say. Add in the fact that we live in a streaming world where "guarantees" are about as legit as the paper they're no longer written on. So here's a look back at my pitch for why it needs to return…
Ahead of the release of The Orville: New Horizons, I binged the first season and seriously fell in love with it. But since I wasn't able to binge the second season before Season 3 kicked in, I had to watch the second season in-between episodes of "New Horizons." But even having to watch it in a not-so-normal manner, my initial impressions of the series only grew. It's rare to find a series that's shown so much growth within the span of three seasons.
And while folks might be tired of the "Star Trek" comparisons, in this instance, it's more about how they contrast in that I can appreciate both for two very different reasons. With the "Star Trek" universe, I'm watching a "grand idea" of what the future and humanity can be. Essentially, hopes, aspirations, and dreams are portrayed against a backdrop that's a promise of a better tomorrow. But with The Orville, I feel like I'm being presented with the same hopes, aspirations, and dreams, but in a way that breaks it down to our day-to-day lives. While "Star Trek" is about the future, The Orville is about the "beautiful disaster" process that allows us to make it to that future and the hardships, sacrifices & tough choices that are necessary along the way.
Throw into that mix a third season that makes every episode look & feel like a mini-movie, an ensemble cast on par with any going in television right now, and writing that stays with you well past the final credits, and it should have been a no-brainer. At a time when streaming services are looking for "tentpoles," The Orville has more than earned another run in the form of a fourth season (and a move to Disney+). And in case anyone over at the "Haus of Mouse" needs reminding, the show comes with a passionately impressive fan base that will do the marketing for you. Because they know that this crew still has far too many "new horizons" to discover…