The Orville was a mixed bag for critics in Season 1 but found a home in the hearts of fans as they realized it wasn't live-action Family Guy in space, but rather a heartfelt attempt to bring a Star Trek kind-of show into the modern age.
The initial misconceptions about the show could be pegged to the launching marketing campaign that focused hard on the sometimes crude jokes of the series rather than the multi-dimensional drama that Seth MacFarlane intended. The producer agreed during The Orville Comic-Con panel on Saturday that the first trailers for the series probably gave audiences the wrong idea.
"Initially, I think the show was a little misrepresented in Season 1. It was marketed as a comedy, a hard comedy. I'm not sure why. I think there was a little bit of worry that this was so new and weird and different that it wouldn't land if it wasn't put into a box. It wasn't necessarily representative of the show," he said. "The nice thing is that the fans stuck with it and saw what we were, the tonal balance that we were riding and they embraced it."
MacFarlane clarified that the marketing team for Season 2 was staying more in line with what he believes is the core ethos of the show.
"The show was always intended to be what it is now. I'll start this by saying that I think the work that the marketing team at Fox did on the season is stellar. They just did a knockout job with [the Season 2] trailer," he explained.
The feel of Season 2 is going to be a lot bigger in Season 1 as MacFarlane says the writing team is taking more risks in their sophomore season.
"There are two huge changes — the experiment was a success so in Season 2 the storytelling is more assertive and bold. There's some narratively bold stuff that was just amazing to make," MacFarlane teased. "What you're going to see in Season 2 is a show that's even more comfortable in its footing as far as existing in that Goldilocks zone [between sci-fi and comedy]... Every episode feels like a movie."
Unfortunately it takes time to make that quality product. The Orville doesn't return until Dec. 30 on Fox.