Before every episode of The Orville airs, Fox notes that the show is airing with “limited commercials.” But the commercials seem to happen so frequently, it doesn’t feel true. Well, it actually is. Despite the frequency of the commercials, The Orville Season 2 episodes really are longer than The Orville Season 1 episodes.
Tom Constantino, AP/editor for The Orville, occasionally comments on Reddit about the show. He confirmed that yes, the episodes are longer in Season 2. He wrote: “I time it every time we lock and [sic] episode. 48:10, vs 43:40 season 1.”
So yes, Season 2 episodes are actually clocking in at about five minutes longer than Season 1 episodes. And five minutes can really add up to a lot of interesting content on a TV show.
The Orville Wiki notes that Season 2 uses a format called “JAZ Pods,” which uses more frequent but overall shorter commercial breaks. So they’ll run one or two-minute commercial breaks more frequently instead of having fewer breaks that are longer.
Typically, one-hour shows on TV only have about 41 to 43 minutes of content for every 60-minute show. But The Orville adds an additional five minutes of content in the second season due to Fox’s decision to have limited commercial interruptions.
Yes, the interruptions are happening more frequently in Season 2 than they did in Season 1, but the commercial breaks are also shorter.
On Reddit, a UK viewer noted that things are different there. Redditor u/calgil wrote: “As a Brit, American adverts seem to be deliberately infuriating. In the UK, you get one 2-3 minute advert per 30 minutes of content, usually at around the same time. It gives you time to go to the bathroom or make a cup of tea, if you don’t want to watch adverts. And some streaming services don’t even seem to have adverts… In America, it seems like you get them fast and furious so you can’t avoid them, they’re quick so don’t give you enough time to do anything in the meantime, they’re at random times. It seems just designed to force you to watch them – which of course makes sense, but I much prefer the methodology of ‘people aren’t forced to watch them, but we try to make them captivating or interesting so that the audiences will stick around and watch them.'”
If you don’t want any commercials at all while watching live in the U.S., you can subscribe to Hulu Live and watch The Orville there. But if you’re watching it on TV live on Fox, you’ll have to sit through commercials. (Unless, of course, you just record it and watch it on your DVR later. You can fast forward through the commercials then.)