There's good news and bad news for fans of The Orville, as the Seth MacFarlane starring sci-fi dramedy will return for an extended season 2, but it's unlikely it will be ready for 2018.
One of the more unlikely successes from the fall broadcast season, The Orville is the brainchild of Family Guy and Ted mastermind MacFarlane. Rather than the raunchy, lowbrow humor of MacFarlane's other work, The Orville is a largely earnest riff on Star Trek, strongly invoking the early 90s standalone structure and optimistic mood of Star Trek: The Next Generation in particular. The show's first few episodes were an uneasy blend of straight faced sci-fi with a sprinkling of pop culture jokes, but the show began to find its voice as the first season went on. It has become one of the few science fiction successes on network television in the modern era.
Related: The Orville Season 2 Ordered By FOX
Work has begun on the show's second season, but it's going to be a bit of a wait. Per TV Guide, MacFarlane suggested it's unlikely the series' sophomore season will air in 2018, as there's simply too much work to be done on a show as special effects heavy as this one. As something of a consolation, MacFarlane confirmed the new season will be expanded to 14 episodes, with MacFarlane clarifying that he chose to go with a lower episode count than the traditional 22 episode order to optimize quality over quantity. UPDATE: MacFarlane has since taken to his Twitter account to confirm that yes, The Orville season 2 will premiere sometime this year after all (see below).
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
The Orville's first season was a much needed win for MacFarlane. Following the box office success of Ted, his films A Million Ways To Die In The West and Ted 2 fizzled, and MacFarlane has no big screen projects slated for the near future. Family Guy is still a reliable moneymaker for Fox, but the series is well past its glory days, which even MacFarlane himself has acknowledged. Despite the initially unkind reviews, The Orville proved MacFarlane was capable of more than making babies and teddy bears tell poop jokes, and was a surprisingly ambitious project from a creator not known for ambition.
Ironically, The Orville has turned out to be something of a direct rebuke of the actual current Star Trek series, the dark, violent Star Trek: Discovery. Many Star Trek fans have found much more of the adventurous, optimistic spirit of past iterations in The Orville than they have Discovery, which leans into many of the more nihilistic tropes of modern prestige television. MacFarlane's show has managed to feel like a breath of fresh air by leaning into its creator's nostalgia for a brighter, happier version of the future. Fans will likely be happy to wait for its return.
Source: TV Guide
Update Source: Seth MacFarlane