Why Is Season 2 of ‘The Orville’ So Short?

FOX The Orville

Sadly, tonight is the finale of The Orville. This means that Season 2 was only 14 episodes long, which is just two episodes longer than Season 1, which ended with Mad Idolatry (episode 12) on December 7, 2017.  Some fans really wish the show had 20+ episodes, but it’s actually not possible considering how the show is made. Here’s why.

The Orville‘s seasons are short because it has extensive production and post-production, which include expensive visual effects.

Tom Costantino, AP/editor for The Orville, occasionally comments on Reddit about the show and he expanded on Reddit about why the seasons are short. He noted on Reddit that The Next Generation had 20 to 40 VFX per episode and The Orville averages 600. It would be impossible to do more episodes.

He wrote, “110 hour weeks 7 days a week is about all the human body can handle. We can try to get out 18, but we’ll need people to attend our collective funerals since there will be so many at once. We shoot, post, budget as a steaming [sic] show. We are in line with that output. Unless there is a world where there are 22 eps of stranger things in a season.”

He also added:

Would love to do 22 [episodes]. We’d literally die.”

As an interesting point of trivia, The Orville Season 1 was originally supposed to be one episode longer at 13 rather than 12 episodes. Those plans changed partway through the season. Episode 13 was supposed to be the finale, but it was ultimately moved to Season 2. Fox did something similar with Lucifer in Season 2, moving four episodes to Season 3, so this wasn’t unprecedented.

So as you can see, The Orville is not going to be one of those shows that has a 20+ episode season. The cost and time required for the special effects is simply too much, even though the crew would love to do more if they were able. But it’s also part of the reason that each episode of The Orville is high quality and so important. Often, shows with 20+ episode seasons resort to filler episodes, dream sequence episodes, and the like in order to fill out all the episodes they have to create. And sometimes this can really annoy fans. The Orville isn’t like this, and each of their episodes is important in terms of either character development, plot movement, or both.

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