The Season 2 finale of The Orville is airing tonight, so of course fans are going to want to know if the show is renewed or canceled. Things are looking good for The Orville‘s future, but Fox hasn’t officially announced yet if the show is renewed. We might not know for certain until May. Here’s what we know so far, including some words shared this week from people who work on the show. Don’t forget to scroll to the end of this story and click on a petition (in bold) that you can sign to show your support for a renewal.
Fox has announced some cancelations (such as The Gifted) and The Orville wasn’t one of them, but that doesn’t mean The Orville is in the clear yet. Deadline reported that after the news of The Gifted‘s cancellation, they believe The Orville‘s chances of renewal are looking good: “The Orville, also from 20th TV, is expected to be renewed.” Variety also believes The Orville has a good chance of renewal. The put The Orville in the category of shows that should “expect another season.”
Unfortunately, it could be a while before we learn The Orville‘s face. Last year, Fox announced some cancellations in May. In fact, Fox canceled five series in May and didn’t renew Gotham or Lethal Weapon until May 13, 2018. So we may not learn Fox’s decision on The Orville until mid-May 2019.
Tom Costantino, AP/editor for The Orville, occasionally comments on Reddit about the show. He hasn’t given much hope at this time about whether the show is being renewed, even in comments that he left this week. But he is telling fans to have patience and to “hang in there.” Some are interpreting this as a good sign.
In a thread about modest ratings, he wrote: “Patience gang, hang in there. Would say more if I could.” Then just five days ago, when someone thanked him for being honest with fans and for doing a great job on the show, he wrote: “It’s seriously appreciated. Getting to chat with all of you makes the gig that much better.” But he still didn’t offer any more news about renewal hopes.
He’s also, of course, constrained by NDA rules. When people were concerned about ratings, he wrote two months ago: “Live and same day ratings matter but this show is different then some other fox shows. Fox also takes into consideration the delay numbers because a lot of their shows do well as DVR’d shows. … Our numbers are the same each week, then double over seven days, more than triple once streaming comes in.”
Costantino said the show gets a lot of support from Fox, who accommodate the show’s unique nature and looks at delayed viewing rates, not just live ratings.
He added: “This show isn’t just about a ratings numbers game, It’s shot like a streaming show, post produced like a movie, and it’s more expensive than your ‘fox in a box’ network show … [that] can be on the air with 4 months turnaround. But it’s from a prolific and respected show-runner … so there’s that huge factor. So when they make decisions about renewal on a show like this it’s complicated, or we would have had the renewal already, because it bends the traditional model of network production. … The S3 conversation has been in all kinds of engaged stages for longer then you can all imagine. They are doing a great job trying to accommodate a ‘streamer’ model… so credit where credit is due to the support we get from the studio.”
Earlier today, Costantino confirmed that a decision hasn’t been made yet about a renewal because it’s “complicated.” He’s still thankful to the Fox studio, who has been very supportive of the show, and said he will share more once a decision is made and he’s able to do so. He also advised everyone not to panic.
In a thread with a similar topic about renewal last week, he wrote: “Don’t lose hope, as stated above.” He referred readers to a comment by another person about how Fox wasn’t mentioning most of its decisions on renewals or cancelations yet, partially due to Disney.
At one point fans thought about sending jars of pickles to encourage Fox to renew The Orville.
But Costantino said on Reddit that this wasn’t a great idea. “The pickles were immediately rerouted to our office because the mailroom is smart enough to not land pickles in the lobby of the exec building! Hence don’t send pickles. :)”
If it is canceled (and we hope it’s not), all hope isn’t over. 20th Century Fox TV is now part of Disney, so there’s a chance that any shows owned by them and canceled by Fox could later be picked up by Disney for Disney+ streaming or for Hulu streaming (of which Disney also owns a significant part.)
Fans have started a Change.org petition seeking renewals and it needs a lot more attention. You can sign the petition here.
As far as when it will return if it’s renewed, we don’t know that yet either, but it’s safe to say that it will be about a year away. Season 2 premiered on December 30, 2018. Season 1 premiered on September 10, 2017. Since no one is working on Season 3 yet, as Fox hasn’t announced if the show’s renewed, it’s unlikely that we’ll see a fall return for Season 3. The earliest will likely be December of maybe even 2020. Of course, that’s all conjecture and we will know for sure when Fox makes an official announcement.