The Orville Creator Seth MacFarlane on Season 4 Being "A Blank Slate"

When it comes to the future of The Orville regarding a fourth season, creator Seth MacFarlane still isn't sure no matter how many times he's bombarded with that question (Hint: Bug Disney). In fact, there's still so much to process with everything that happened in season three in the New Horizons era. MacFarlane addressed whether Giorgia Whigham's Lysella will be elevated to the main cast if the series moves forward.

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Seth MacFarlane in The Orville: New Horizons. Image courtesy of Hulu

"That's a tough one because I don't know. Season 4 is a blank slate," MacFarlane told TV Line. In the story of the season finale "Future Unknown," Lysella is fleeing Sargus 4, requesting asylum after seeing how far she saw her home planet had fallen. "The question is, 'Is she Gillian Taylor [Catherine Hicks] in 'Star Trek IV,' or what's the story there?'" he explained. "It's tough to chart what exactly what a Season 4 would be because when we started writing Season 3, half the stuff that happened — the shifting of the Alliances, the Kaylon becoming an ally, the Moclans becoming enemies — I never could have predicted. It's just something that came about in the writers' room over time. Certainly, we set up threads this year, and most were pretty obvious, that lend themselves to payoffs in a Season 4, but how everything intertwines and evolves and develops…. I don't even know if we're picked up!"

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The Orville: New Horizons — "Future Unknown" – Episode 310 — A celebration is underway aboard the ship on the season three finale of "The Orville: New Horizons". Dr. Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald), Capt. Ed Mercer (Seth MacFarlane), Issac (Mark Jackson), and Cmdr. Bortus (Peter Macon), shown. (Photo by: Gilles Mingasson/Hulu)

As far as the series' own future, it may tie into how the series performs with Disney expanding the Hulu series to Disney+. "That's going to hopefully expose the show to a whole new audience. And I think, really, that's the biggest challenge with 'The Orville,'" MacFarlane told Decider. "When you sit down to watch 'The Orville,' and you give it a chance, I'm confident that it delivers. I'm confident that it pulls you in. The biggest challenge of the show is defying expectations. The fact that I've done all of these animated comedies and movies like 'Ted' and 'A Million Ways to Die in the West'… It's such a left turn that it's hard to break that logjam of expectations that people have about the show. In many cases, people think it's a sitcom based on its initial marketing campaign. But, of course, it's something so radically different. And when people do give it a chance and sit down to watch the show, they're almost invariably surprised and caught off-guard. 'Oh, wow, this is completely the opposite of what I thought it was going to be…in a good way!' And I think if we can get enough of those folks giving us a chance, the rewards will be in the form of a Season 4 and perhaps beyond. So it's really in the hands of the audience. Because it is a business. The show is expensive to produce, it needs to justify its own existence with audience enthusiasm and viewership. So hopefully, Disney+ will give us that chance."

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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