Seth MacFarlane is the wonderful creator behind the popular long-running TV shows Family Guy and American Dad! Now we see the comedic actor in a new role as Ed Mercer in The Orville. The show follows Mercer who after his divorce from Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki), is presented the first command of the U.S.S. Orville. However, there is a twist. His first officer happens to be his ex-wife, Grayson.
Season one held onto mixed reviews with fans believing the show is “out of this world.” Others were not so fond of the concept. “Season 1 [advertising] was definitely more of a misfire,” MacFarlane says. “It just wasn’t indicative of what the show was. You were seeing basically every gag in the pilot rattled off, one after another, when in reality they were fairly sparse and the focus was more on the story. I think that didn’t do us any favors, at least as far as the show was received by critics. I think a lot of them felt misled and that made them real cranky.”
There was a confirmation for a season two which will have a special two-hour premiere tonight. MacFarlane says, “I think people can expect a major step up in scope this year as far as how cinematic the show is, as far as the visual effects are concerned. There’s been a real effort to make each week feel like you’re watching a little movie. [Audiences are] going to see a show that’s firing on all cylinders, that’s really come into its own and found itself.” Season two will carry 14 episodes.
New shows have the tendency to be either really great from the get-go or a bit shaky with its footing. “When you’re combining drama and comedy, particularly in an hourlong format, there’s always a bit of a learning curve and I think by the end of season 1 we really locked into what we wanted to be, and we’ve been thrilled with what we’ve done this season,” says MacFarlane. “I think it’s really going to surprise people in a great way.”
Watch The Orville when it returns tonight on Fox at 8/7c. Afterward, the show will return to its regularly scheduled programming on Thursdays starting on January 3.