How Orville Season 3’s Switch to Hulu Made It Better

The Orville: New Horizons’ transfer to Hulu is discussed, and Seth MacFarlane explains how the Star Trek-inspired show improved in season 3.

The Orville’s third season was enhanced by finding a new home on Hulu, according to Seth MacFarlane. The Orville, a series of episodic adventures inspired by Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek, is set 400 years in the future and centers on the U.S.S. Orville’s crew as they explore the universe’s secrets.

MacFarlane, who also serves as the series’ director and actor as Captain Ed Mercer, the captain of the Orville, conceived the show. As members of Ed’s crew on the Orville, Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Jessica Szohr, J. Lee, Mark Jackson, and Anne Winters all make appearances.

The Orville season 3 has made its Hulu debut to incredibly positive reviews under the title New Horizons. Since the first season of the show, which was universally panned by critics, New Horizons has gone a long way. The Orville season 2 seemed to address the focus issue that was mentioned in many reviews of the first season.

The Orville, on the other hand, appears to have found its voice at the moment, as New Horizons offered the series’ largest adventures while keeping an eye on its characters. The Orville season 3 also differed from the first two seasons in that it switched from Fox to Hulu as its only home.

In an interview with Screen Rant, MacFarlane talks about The Orville’s transition to Hulu. In the conversation, MacFarlane discusses how the significant adjustment benefited New Horizons because Hulu gave them more freedom in terms of time constraints.

The series’ creator also expresses his admiration for Hulu’s third season marketing and promotion. See MacFarlane’s complete remarks below:

From a restrictive standpoint, creatively, the biggest issue really was the time constraints. I’m a fan of movies, I’m a fan of classic movies, I’m a fan of film scores, I’m a fan of cinematography. I like it when shows take their time to make me feel something and, oftentimes, that’s done through purely visual and musical work on screen. For broadcast networks – through no fault of their own, it’s just the way the economic structure has existed for decades – they all kind of start to fall into this similar rhythm.

A network drama or a network comedy kind of has the same rhythm to it, no matter what you’re watching, because it has to fit into this pocket of exactly 22 minutes or exactly 43 minutes. That certainly was something that I just got weary of after a while. I would sit in editing, and I would have a show that was maybe 51 minutes.

It was working great, and I was happy with everything, and I was happy with the moments. Then somehow I had to cut three minutes out of the show – and it’s frustrating, because there are scenes in season two that, particularly, should have breathed a little more and they couldn’t. Because you had to make room for the fabric softener commercial. From a creative standpoint, this season for Hulu has been immensely more fulfilling for that reason.

As far as an executive standpoint, I certainly got support from Fox when we were on the air. The marketing and promotional campaign that Hulu put together feels like a movie to me, I was shocked, and still am, at how involved that was. We delivered 10 movies, and they promoted them as such, and it was great to see how well thought out that was. But yeah, that was a big difference, really, was a lack of time constraints. And that can have a profound impact on the flavor of the show.

MacFarlane is just one of many TV producers who have benefited from the runtime flexibility offered by streaming services. A tendency among several recently produced programmes appears to be episodic lengths that are both variable and prolonged.

Of course, Netflix’s Stranger Things season 4, which concluded with an astounding 150-minute finale episode, is probably the best-known example of this tendency.

The longest episode of New Horizons, meanwhile, clocks in at just under 90 minutes, enabling MacFarlane and his crew to raise the science fiction show to the level of the cinematic scale he alludes to.

The Orville has not yet received a season 4 renewal, although MacFarlane feels optimistic about it. The Orville season 3’s transition to Hulu helped the show receive some of its strongest ratings to date, so it’s possible that the series’ August 10 premiere on Disney+ will give it the extra push it needs to secure The Orville season 4. The Orville is currently only available for streaming on Hulu.

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