Attention fans of The Orville: I have one of those good news, bad news situations for you.
Based on the success of Season 1, the sophomore season of Seth MacFarlane's sci-fi adventure series is going to get a boost! When asked at the Television Critics Association winter press tour about how far along Season 2 is, MacFarlane said that Season 2 is currently being written and will feature more episodes.
"I think it's going to be at least 14 [episodes]," MacFarlane said. That's more than the 12 that made up Season 1, but considerably less than the typical 22-episode order count for broadcast shows, but there's a reason for that. "I'd rather do fewer episodes and have them be better content-wise than do 22 and have them be filler." The 14 episodes may actually be the result of Season 1 moving an episode back to Season 2, so if you want to get technical about it, it's really two 13-episode seasons.
However, more of The Orville means the second season probably won't be ready when we want it to be. When asked if Season 2 would be ready for the fall — which is when Season 1 debuted — MacFarlane didn't hesitate to temper expectations.
"No, there's too much to do," MacFarlane said. The effects-heavy show takes a long time to produce episodes, and as you can imagine, MacFarlane is a very busy person.
But there's more exciting news! During the press tour's Family Guypanel, it was revealed that a future Family Guy episode may have a crossover with The Orville. "I sent the script on a slow boat [to approve]," executive producer Rich Appel said. "But we end up live on the bridge of The Orville. We'll see."
[UPDATE] This is the best kind of correction we can make. MacFarlane says The Orville is on schedule to return later this year, so that's great news. However, The Orville crossover won't be happening...
[UPDATE 2] OK, it turns out we had it right in the first place. The Orville has been pushed back to midseason, Fox announced. Don't expect Season 2 until sometime in 2019. However, there are no indications that the delay was due to production time or anything else.
To correct a bit of misreporting: No, there won't be an Orville/Family Guy crossover, and yes, The Orville season 2 will arrive later this year.— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) January 7, 2018
MacFarlane also spoke fondly about the Orville'sfirst season, singling out one particular episode that helped convince him that the show's tone — a target of critics — worked well for him and fans.
"One of the really successful episodes to me in the first season was the one where Claire and Isaac are trapped on that planet alone," MacFarlane said. "It was a very dark, kind of somber episode that still lived in that world very successfully. That episode for me in the first season was a real test of how far we can take the genuine science fiction aspect to it."
With fall 2018 out of the question for Season 2 of The Orville, our next guess is a return date sometime in early 2019.