The Orville

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The Orville
The Orville logo.svg
Created bySeth MacFarlane
Theme music composerBruce Broughton[4]
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes12 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Running time43 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor20th Television
Original networkFox
Original releaseSeptember 10, 2017 (2017-09-10) – present
External links

The Orville is an American science fiction comedy-drama[1][2][3] series created by and starring Seth MacFarlane. The series premiered on Sunday, September 10, 2017. MacFarlane stars as Ed Mercer, an officer in the Planetary Union's line of exploratory space vessels whose career took a downturn following his divorce, and who is given the titular ship as his first command, only to discover that his ex-wife, Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki), has been assigned to be his First Officer. Inspired by several sources,[5] including Star Trek and The Twilight Zone, the series tells the story of Mercer, Grayson, and the crew of the Orville as they embark on various diplomatic and exploratory missions.[6]

New episodes aired Thursdays on Fox during the 2017–18 season.[7][8] On November 2, 2017, Fox renewed the series for a second season,[9] which will begin with a two-hour premiere on December 30, 2018[10] during the 2018–19 season.[11]

In Australia, the series is broadcast on SBS Viceland, and in New Zealand on TVNZ Duke.[12]


The Orville is set on the titular U.S.S. Orville (ECV-197), a mid-level exploratory space vessel in the Planetary Union, a 25th-century interstellar alliance of Earth and many other planets.

Cast and characters[edit]


  • Seth MacFarlane as Captain Ed Mercer, who commands the Orville.[13][14][15] Mercer was an up-and-coming officer, believed to be on the fast track to commanding his own heavy cruiser by age 40. However, he caught his wife Kelly in bed with an alien. Over the course of the following year, he is cited for becoming lax in his duties, including six instances of reporting to duty while hung over; but he is informed that, because of the size of the fleet and the retirement of the former captain, the Orville, a mid-level exploratory ship, was in need of a new commanding officer.[14]
  • Adrianne Palicki as Commander Kelly Grayson, the first officer of the Orville and Ed Mercer's ex-wife.[13][15] The two divorced when Mercer caught Grayson in bed with an alien. Unbeknownst to Mercer, Grayson personally went to Admiral Halsey to plead for her ex-husband to be given a command, stating that, despite some personal setbacks, he deserved it. She asked Halsey to keep that from him when assigned the Orville. Mercer and Grayson decide to put their differences aside, to work together as a team and stay as friends.[14]
  • Penny Johnson Jerald[15] as Doctor Claire Finn, the chief medical officer on the Orville, holding the rank of Lieutenant Commander. A physician of exceptional credentials, she has expertise in molecular surgery, DNA engineering and psychiatry, which could have afforded her the privilege of serving on the heavy cruiser of her choice. She instead chose the mid-level exploratory vessel because, as she explains to Mercer in the pilot, she prefers to request her transfers based on where she feels she is needed, as she feels more stimulated by such assignments. When she tells Mercer she felt he could use her help on his first command, he interprets this as lack of confidence on her part in his competence, though she denies this.[14] Having never found the ideal opportunity to marry, she chose to become a single mother, and her two sons, Marcus and Ty, travel aboard the Orville with her.[16] She repeatedly rebuffs Lt. Yaphit's advances,[17][18] though they become physically intimate in "Cupid's Dagger" after falling victim to a Retepsian sex pheromone.[19]
  • Scott Grimes as Lieutenant Gordon Malloy, the helmsman of the Orville and Mercer's best friend.[13][15] Considered the best helmsman in the fleet, he was relegated to desk duty after an attempt to impress a girl resulted in him shearing the door off a cargo bay during a precarious shuttle docking, losing cargo in the process. He was specifically requested by Mercer despite some hesitation by Admiral Halsey, who harbors concern over Malloy's history of crude and juvenile pranks.[14] He is generally comfortable with his reputation for limited intelligence, to the point where he had no problem answering a series of questions from Grayson in the knowledge that she expected him to get them wrong while attending a hearing on the Moclan homeworld regarding whether Bortus's daughter should receive gender reassignment surgery, Grayson using Malloy as an example of how males were not always superior to females.[17]
  • Peter Macon[15] as Lieutenant Commander Bortus, the second officer aboard the U.S.S. Orville. Bortus is from Moclus, a planet where the primary industry is weapons manufacturing[17] and whose inhabitants are a single-gender species (although statistically, one female Moclan is born every seventy-five years).[17] Among the peculiarities of the Moclans are that they urinate only once a year.[14][15]
  • Halston Sage[15] as Lieutenant Alara Kitan, the Orville's young chief of security. She is a member of the Xelayan race, which inhabits a high-gravity planet, giving her greater-than-human strength, allowing her to knock down doors and walls by charging against them,[14] or crush a handheld cube of solid titanium and reshape it into a sphere with her bare hands.[17] She received the Sapphire Star for her role as acting commanding officer after Mercer and Grayson were abducted by the Calivon while Bortus was incubating his egg.[20]
  • J. Lee as Lieutenant (later Lieutenant Commander) John LaMarr.[15] He is navigator of the Orville for most of the first season. He and Malloy strike up an immediate friendship in the first episode.[14] Though intellectually gifted, he learned to hide his intelligence and settle for modest ambitions growing up. When Grayson discovers his high aptitude in "New Dimensions", she encourages him to fulfill his potential. As a result, he acquits himself so well during that episode's crisis that he replaces the outgoing Lt. Commander Newton as the Orville's Chief Engineer.[21]
  • Mark Jackson[15][22] as Isaac, the Orville's science and engineering officer. Isaac is a member of the artificial, non-biological race from Kaylon-1 that views biological lifeforms, including humans, as inferior. Isaac explains to Mercer in the pilot that the Union's Admiralty offered a posting to any Kaylon willing to accept it, as an attempt to initiate relations between the two powers. Isaac accepted the offer because he saw it as a way to study human behavior. During the course of his time with the crew, he comes to observe and understand aspects of human behavior, such as sarcasm, slang,[6][14] and practical jokes. Isaac perceives his surroundings with his body's internal sensors, and not with the two glowing blue "eyes" on his face, which are purely anthropomorphic.[23]


  • Victor Garber as Admiral Halsey, Mercer's superior and old friend of Grayson's father[14][19]
  • Chad Coleman as Klyden, Bortus' mate and father of their child.[20] He revealed that he was actually born a female and had the procedure to correct his gender when he was an infant, only learning about it when he was first examined by a non-Moclan doctor after joining Bortus on his first ship assignment.[17]
  • Norm Macdonald as the voice of Lieutenant Yaphit, an amorphous, gelatinous, shapeshifting engineer on the Orville,[24] who repeatedly attempts to obtain a date with Dr. Finn,[17][18] and frequently flirts with other females on the ship.[23] Despite his telling her in "Cupid's Dagger" that he is in love with her, she does not reciprocate his attraction, though they become physically intimate in that episode after falling victim to a Retepsian sex pheromone.[19]
  • Larry Joe Campbell as Lieutenant Commander[20] Steve Newton, Chief Engineer of the Orville[23] until episode 1.11, when he leaves to take a new job designing space stations, and is replaced by the promoted Lieutenant Commander LaMarr[21]
  • BJ Tanner as Marcus Finn, elder son of Doctor Claire Finn[25]
  • Kai Wener as Ty Finn, younger son of Doctor Claire Finn[25]
  • Gavin Lee as Nurse Park[19]
  • Mike Henry as Dann, unnamed alien species member of the Engineering staff, who suggests music be played in the Orville's elevators and makes unsuccessful attempts to befriend fellow crew members.[19][21]
  • Rachael MacFarlane as the voice of the Orville computer[26][27]
  • Ron Canada as Admiral Tucker[20][28]
  • Kelly Hu as Admiral Ozawa[29]

Guest stars[edit]


Season 1 (2017)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
US viewers
11"Old Wounds"Jon FavreauSeth MacFarlaneSeptember 10, 2017 (2017-09-10)1LAB018.56[32]
25th-century Union command officer Ed Mercer divorces his wife, Kelly Grayson, after catching her cheating on him. A year later, he accepts a position as captain of the U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory vessel, and learns to his dismay that his ex-wife has been assigned as his First Officer. During the Orville's first mission, the hostile alien Krill captain (Joel Swetow) attempts to steal a device that accelerates time, which has both beneficial and dangerous applications. Mercer and Grayson rig the device to destroy itself and the Krill vessel.
22"Command Performance"Robert Duncan McNeillSeth MacFarlaneSeptember 17, 2017 (2017-09-17)1LAB036.63[33]
The technologically advanced Calivon imprison Mercer and Grayson in a replica of their former home as a zoo exhibit. Alara is left in command of the Orville, as Bortus has laid an egg and must incubate it. Alara is unsure of herself, but gains confidence with the help of Claire's mentorship. Mercer and Grayson wonder if they could have made their relationship work, but finally conclude that they were never compatible for a long-term romantic relationship, despite their strong camaraderie. Admiral Tucker orders Alara to return to Earth instead of approaching the powerful Calivon; Alara violates these orders and rescues Mercer and Grayson, along with an alien child, by trading an archive of Earth's reality television for them. Mercer presents Alara with a medal of honor and believes he and Grayson can prevent her from being punished for insubordination. A female offspring hatches from Bortus' egg, stunning him and Klyden, as Moclan females are extremely rare.
33"About a Girl"Brannon BragaSeth MacFarlaneSeptember 21, 2017 (2017-09-21)1LAB044.05[34]
When Doctor Finn refuses Bortus and Klyden's request to have their daughter undergo sex reassignment surgery, which is standard practice for Moclans on the very rare occasions when a female is born, the parents petition Mercer to order the procedure. Mercer refuses, as he (and the rest of the crew) object to performing such a procedure on a healthy infant, so Bortus and Klyden arrange to have the procedure performed on a Moclan vessel. Gordon and John change Bortus' mind by showing him Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, but Klyden still wants to proceed, revealing that he was born female. The case is arbitrated on the Moclan planet, Moclus, where Grayson represents Bortus; she casts doubt on the idea of male superiority by demonstrating that Alara is physically strong and Gordon is stupid. Mercer locates a female Moclan of advanced years, Heveena, who testifies that she lived a happy and fulfilling life in seclusion, and reveals that under the pseudonym "Gondus Elden," she has become an esteemed novelist on Moclus. But Klyden and the tribunal are unconvinced, and the baby undergoes the surgery. Despite their disagreement, Bortus and Klyden are committed to one another and to giving their son, Topa, a good life.
44"If the Stars Should Appear"James L. ConwaySeth MacFarlaneSeptember 28, 2017 (2017-09-28)1LAB023.70[35]
The Orville encounters an immense, 2000-year-old derelict ship drifting into a star. Mercer, Grayson, Kitan, Finn, and Isaac enter, discovering an artificial biosphere and a civilization of 3 million who worship an entity called Dorahl, and do not know they are on a ship. Grayson is held prisoner by their theocratic dictator Hamelac, who imposes a death penalty on "Reformers" who believe anything exists beyond the known world. While Bortus takes the Orville to save a colony ship from a Krill attack, Grayson's crewmates rescue her and lead a group of Reformers to the alien ship's bridge. An ancient recording from Captain Jahavus Dorahl (played by Liam Neeson) reveals that it was a generation ship disabled by an ion storm. Isaac initiates repairs and opens the hull's window, enabling the populace to see stars for the first time, moving even Hamelac. Mercer makes arrangements for the Union to train the people to operate their ship. Meanwhile, Klyden is frustrated that Bortus' duties leave him little time for family.
55"Pria"Jonathan FrakesSeth MacFarlaneOctober 5, 2017 (2017-10-05)1LAB053.43[36]
The Orville saves Captain Pria Lavesque (played by Charlize Theron) from her imperiled mining ship. The beautiful Pria charms Mercer and others of the crew, eventually sleeping with Mercer, his first romance since Grayson. Grayson is suspicious of Pria, whose supposed employer doesn't check out, and enlists Kitan to investigate; they find a mysterious device in her quarters, but Mercer reprimands them. Pria saves the Orville from a "dark matter storm," but later hijacks the ship, using the device. She is a time-traveling 29th-century artifact dealer; history records the storm destroyed the Orville, which she transports to the future via a wormhole for her client, a collector. Isaac transfers his consciousness to the ship's computer and reclaims control, enabling Malloy to return the Orville to its own time. Mercer orders the wormhole's destruction, despite Pria's admonition that it will retroactively erase their meeting and Mercer's emotional growth; Pria vanishes. Meanwhile, Malloy decorates Isaac like a Mr. Potato Head and encourages him to retaliate with his own practical joke, a concept unfamiliar to Isaac. Isaac anesthetizes Malloy and amputates his leg, forcing Dr. Finn to regenerate it; Malloy and the crew are outraged, but Malloy later admits that it was a great prank.
66"Krill"Jon CassarDavid A. GoodmanOctober 12, 2017 (2017-10-12)1LAB063.37[37]
After recovering a Krill shuttle intact, Mercer and Malloy are ordered to pose as Krill soldiers in order to board one of their vessels and get a copy of the Ankhana, a sacred religious text. They are forced to change priorities when they learn that the Krill plan to detonate a powerful bomb over a remote Union colony. Rather than destroy the bomb, and therefore the ship, they exploit the Krill's natural weakness to sunlight to eliminate all the crew members, with the exception of a classroom full of children and their teacher Teleya, who warns Mercer that his actions will only reinforce the Krill's hatred for the Union.
77"Majority Rule"Tucker GatesSeth MacFarlaneOctober 26, 2017 (2017-10-26)1LAB074.18[38]
An undercover team led by Grayson lands on Sargas 4, an Earth-like planet with a culture similar to that of 21st-century human civilization, to locate two missing anthropologists. There, LaMarr is arrested after a video of him dancing with a beloved statue receives more than a million "down" votes, and must convince the public to pardon him or be subjected to "treatment" for his actions. Alara and Claire locate one of the missing, but find him in an irreversible lobotomized state. With LaMarr facing a final vote to determine his guilt, Mercer brings one of the planet's inhabitants, Lysella, aboard the Orville after she witnesses Alara's true appearance, and she explains about the "Master Feed", which Isaac is able to hack and upload doctored images of John, narrowly swinging the vote in his favor by generating sympathy for John, such as uploading images of John as a fat child or videos of him as a soldier reuniting with his dog. Now free, John and the others return to the ship and depart. The next day, Lysella decides against taking part in a public vote, contemplating the advice the Orville crew gave her about the difference between opinion and knowledge.
88"Into the Fold"Brannon BragaBrannon Braga & André BormanisNovember 2, 2017 (2017-11-02)1LAB083.83[39]
While traveling to a recreational planet in a shuttle, Isaac, Finn, and her sons Marcus and Ty fall into a spatial fold, and crash on a planet a thousand light-years away from their original location, devastated by famine and disease, and populated by cannibals. Finn is separated from the other three when the shuttle breaks in half while she is in the back carrying out repairs, and is captured by a survivalist named Drogen. While she works to escape, Isaac, who is unfamiliar with the care of human children, is forced to protect her sons while he tries to fix the shuttle's communication systems in order to send a distress signal. Ty becomes ill with the planet's indigenous disease. After Finn kills Drogen and reunites with the others, Isaac and Marcus hold off a large attack by the cannibals long enough for the Orville to rescue them. After Finn cures Ty's infection, Isaac tells her that, for all the faults he sees in the children, he still thinks of them fondly.
99"Cupid's Dagger"Jamie BabbitLiz HeldensNovember 9, 2017 (2017-11-09)1LAB093.69[40]
The Orville is dispatched to mediate talks between two alien species, the Navarians and the Bruidians, who have been at a centuries-old stalemate over which race lays proper claim over the planet Lapovius. Also assigned to the matter is Darulio (Rob Lowe), the Retepsian whose affair with Grayson a year prior ended her marriage to Mercer, to scan an ancient artifact from the planet for DNA to reveal which species was the original inhabitant. Unbeknownst to the crew, Darulio secretes a sex pheromone as part of his mating cycle, which affects the crew resulting in trysts between Darulio and Grayson, Darulio and Mercer, and Finn and Yaphit. This incapacitates the affected officers, resulting in the Navarian and Bruidian delegates canceling the mediation, and a full-scale battle in orbit around the planet. The crisis is resolved when Darulio and Alara expose the ambassadors to a modified version of the pheromone, resulting in a temporary infatuation that prompts a ceasefire. DNA test results from the artifact reveal that the planet's inhabitants were common ancestors to both species, legitimizing a mutual claim to the planet. When Grayson asks Darulio if he was in heat a year ago, he only answers "maybe".
1010"Firestorm"Brannon BragaCherry ChevapravatdumrongNovember 16, 2017 (2017-11-16)1LAB103.32[41]
When Lt. Payne is trapped beneath debris during a plasma storm, Alara's pyrophobia causes her to hesitate, and after he dies, she blames herself. Mercer declines her resignation and suggests she discover the cause of her pyrophobia. She learns from her parents (Robert Picardo and Molly Hagan) that, as an infant, her mother fell asleep cradling her when a fire broke out in the kitchen. Alara's cries woke her up just in time to save them both. Soon, the Orville encounters strange phenomena, including a scary clown, a giant spider that eats Malloy, and murderous versions of Finn and Isaac. It is revealed that Alara is in the holographic simulator, in a program she ordered Isaac to create to simulate any other potential fears she may have, and having Finn erase her short-term memory of having made the request to ensure an authentic reaction to the program. She completes the program, after which Mercer threatens to court martial her for invoking Directive 38 (allowing the Chief of Security to override the captain's clearance) so that no one could abort the simulation early, but decides to let Alara off easy, saying he was impressed by her ability to overcome every obstacle.
1111"New Dimensions"Kelly CroninSeth MacFarlaneNovember 30, 2017 (2017-11-30)1LAB113.63[42]
With Lt. Newton leaving the Orville, Mercer must find a new Chief Engineer. Although Yaphit is next in line for the position, Cmdr. Grayson discovers that LaMarr has been hiding intellectual gifts, stemming from wanting to be better accepted as a child growing up in his community. Grayson convinces Mercer to assign LaMarr to lead an engineering team assignment, in order to evaluate him as a candidate, but when Mercer learns that Grayson similarly pushed for Admiral Halsey to consider him for the Orville's captaincy, he becomes wracked with doubt and resentment, despite Grayson's insistence that he was granted his position on merit and Halsey's confirmation that Mercer's performance on the ship has borne this out. Meanwhile, the Orville encounters a thief with a cache of plasma rifles stolen from the Krill, who is killed when he passes into a region of two-dimensional space. To elude the thief's Krill pursuers, the Orville takes refuge in that region. When the protective quantum bubble around the ship begins to fail, LaMarr, initially daunted by being placed in a leadership position, rises to the occasion, and works with Yaphit to help the ship escape the realm, for which LaMarr is made Chief Engineer and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
1212"Mad Idolatry"Brannon BragaSeth MacFarlaneDecember 7, 2017 (2017-12-07)1LAB133.54[43]
Grayson leads a shuttle team that crashes on a suddenly appearing planet with a Bronze Age society. After leaving, the crew discovers that the planet phases in to our universe for a short time every 11 days as 700 years passes on the planet. They discover that their first visit has resulted in a religion that worships Kelly Grayson and has grown into a theocracy resembling Earth's middle ages. Admiral Ozawa reprimands Mercer for omitting mention of the contamination, and orders no further contact with the planet. Mercer and Grayson defy this order by returning to the planet to inform the society's religious leader of the truth, but a subordinate assassinates him. As a result, by the time the planet next appears, its society is comparable to early 21st century Earth, with religious bickering and strife. Resolving to end the suffering, Isaac stays on the planet when it phases out, spending 700 years with them. When the planet emerges again, it has progressed to interstellar space travel, and two of its representatives return Isaac to the Orville where they inform the crew that despite the tumultuous effect of his arrival on the planet, its society developed away from worshiping Cmdr. Grayson naturally and suggested that when they progress millennia ahead, they may study the Union.

Season 2[edit]

The second season of The Orville is set to air during the 2018–19 season.[9]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
US viewers
131"Primal Urges"[44]TBATBADecember 30, 2018 (2018-12-30)1LAB12TBD



MacFarlane originally wrote The Orville as a spec script, which was given a 13-episode order by Fox on May 4, 2016, making it the first live-action television series created by MacFarlane, as well as his first live-action starring role on television.[45] Following the project's greenlight, MacFarlane stated, "I've wanted to do something like this show ever since I was a kid, and the timing finally feels right. [...] I think this is gonna be something special."[7] According to MacFarlane, The Orville was inspired by The Twilight Zone and Star Trek.[46] He was also encouraged to sell the series due to the success of Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool.[47]

On November 2, 2017, Fox renewed the series for a second season.[9] On November 15, it was reported that one of the thirteen episodes for season one would be held back and instead air during the second season due to a gap in broadcast dates caused by the broadcaster's lengthy Christmas programming.[48][49] It will be a sequel to "About a Girl".[50]


On July 29, 2016, MacFarlane's role was revealed to be Ed Mercer, the captain of the Orville, while Adrianne Palicki had been cast as Kelly Grayson, Ed's ex-wife and the newly appointed first officer of the Orville, and Scott Grimes, who voices Steve Smith on American Dad! (another show created by MacFarlane), was cast as Gordon Malloy, Ed's best friend whom he has assigned to pilot the Orville.[13] On August 19, Peter Macon and J Lee were cast as series regulars.[51][52] On October 31, Halston Sage and Penny Johnson Jerald joined the cast.[53] On December 8, Mark Jackson was cast.[22] On April 3, 2017, Chad L. Coleman was added as a series regular and Larry Joe Campbell was cast in a recurring role.[54]

At San Diego Comic-Con in July 2017, MacFarlane said that Charlize Theron would guest-star in an episode. The two had previously co-starred in A Million Ways to Die in the West.[55] The Orville episode 5, titled "Pria", is the one in which Theron guest-starred.

On February 12, 2018, Jessica Szohr was cast as a regular for season two.[56] On February 21, Chris Johnson was cast in a recurring role.[57]


On August 24, 2016, Jon Favreau signed on to direct the pilot.[58] Production on the pilot episode began in late 2016, and the rest of the episodes began filming on March 27, 2017.[45] Production wrapped on August 23, 2017.[59] Star Trek veterans Jonathan Frakes and Robert Duncan McNeill, who have directed episodes within the Star Trek franchise, have each directed an episode of The Orville.[60] Four episodes were directed by Brannon Braga, a long-time Star Trek alum who began as an intern on Star Trek: The Next Generation, was producer of Star Trek: Voyager, and co-created Star Trek: Enterprise. Filming for the second season began on February 26, 2018.[61]

Visual effects[edit]

Studios hired to work on the visual effects of the show include Tippett Studio, CoSA VFX, Pixomondo, Crafty Apes, Fuse FX, Eight VFX and Zoic Studios.[62]


The show uses a 75-piece orchestra for the music in each episode, alongside several different composers. MacFarlane said "We score it like a movie" and "We really put as much into that as we do into the effects."[63]


Critical response[edit]

Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 21% approval rating, with an average rating of 5.06/10 based on 43 critic reviews. The website's consensus reads, "An odd jumble of campiness and sincerity, homage, and satire, The Orville never quite achieves liftoff."[64] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 36 out of 100, based on 21 reviews, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[65]

Liz Miller writing for IndieWire compared the series to Star Trek, calling it a rip-off and "Creatively, Morally, and Ethically Bankrupt". She criticized the lack of creativity, the blatant imitation, and was surprised that the show is "uninterested in being a comedy".[60]

Tim Surette at TV Guide says, "The truth is, The Orville was never going to win over critics because it's a throwback and goes against everything modern television is. It's not that The Orville doesn't know what it wants it to be, as critics assume, it's that it wants to be a little bit of everything".[66]

Erik Kain of Forbes gave a positive review of the show with the observation that "All the optimism and sincerity and lightheartedness of Star Trek is here, and in many ways it's kind of wonderful. I'm honestly surprised something like this exists." He says "TV critics" were wrong and suggests their opinions are based on disliking MacFarlane and his type of humor.[67]

Audience response[edit]

In the October 15, 2017 episode of The Angry Joe Show, "The Orville Mid-Season Angry Review", host Joe Vargas noted the gulf between the response to the series among critics and viewers, contrasting the Rotten Tomatoes' 19% approval rating from professional critics to the 91% viewer approval rating. Vargas compared this to Star Trek: Discovery, which received an 83% rating from critics, and stated "Star Trek fans—at least the ones that watch my show—like The Orville way more than they like Star Trek: Discovery".[68] Tim Surette of TV Guide also wrote about the critic-to-viewer Rotten Tomatoes rating, noting the balance had shifted to 21/93, and that its Metacritic score was 36% approval from critics, and 82% from viewers. As a critic himself, Surette notes that, as a throwback, The Orville is an anomaly in modern television, and found showrunner David A. Goodman's admission that MacFarlane wants to vary between dramatic and comedic episodes a potentially dangerous strategy, but concedes that the show's viewers appear to like it for that reason.[66]


Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired TV season Rank Avg. viewers
18–49 rating
Date Viewers
Date Viewers
1 Sunday 8:00 pm (1–2)
Thursday 9:00 pm (3–12)
12 September 10, 2017 (2017-09-10) 8.56[32] December 7, 2017 (2017-12-07) 3.54[43] 2017–18 63 6.55 2.0[69]
2 Sunday 8:00 pm (Premiere)
Thursday 9:00 pm
14 December 30, 2018 (2018-12-30) N/A N/A N/A 2018–19 N/A N/A N/A

After its premiere on Sunday, September 10, 2017, the show moved to Thursday nights at 9 p.m. In its first broadcast in the new time slot, The Orville became Fox's highest rated Thursday 9 p.m. broadcast in two years.[70] After taking into account DVR and VOD, The Orville was Fox's most-viewed drama debut since the premiere of Empire in 2015.[70]

No. Title Air date Rating/share
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "Old Wounds" September 10, 2017 2.7/9 8.56[32] N/A N/A N/A N/A
2 "Command Performance" September 17, 2017 2.2/8 6.63[33] 0.9 2.42 3.1 9.05[71]
3 "About a Girl" September 21, 2017 1.1/4 4.05[34] N/A N/A N/A N/A
4 "If the Stars Should Appear" September 28, 2017 1.1/4 3.70[35] 1.0 3.11 2.1 6.81[72]
5 "Pria" October 5, 2017 0.9/3 3.43[36] 1.2 3.35 2.1 6.79[73]
6 "Krill" October 12, 2017 1.0/4 3.37[37] 1.1 3.32 2.1 6.69[74]
7 "Majority Rule" October 26, 2017 1.2/5 4.18[38] 1.1 3.11 2.3 7.29[75]
8 "Into the Fold" November 2, 2017 1.0/4 3.83[39] 1.0 2.89 2.0 6.72[76]
9 "Cupid's Dagger" November 9, 2017 1.0/4 3.69[40] 1.1 3.01 2.1 6.70[77]
10 "Firestorm" November 16, 2017 0.9/3 3.32[41] 1.0 2.83 1.9 6.13[78]
11 "New Dimensions" November 30, 2017 0.9/3 3.63[42] 1.0 2.86 1.9 6.49[79]
12 "Mad Idolatry" December 7, 2017 0.9/4 3.54[43] 1.0 2.97 1.9 6.53[80]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2018 International Film Music Critics Association Awards Best Original Score for Television Bruce Broughton, John Debney, Joel McNeely, Andrew Cottee Won [81]
Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild Awards Best Special Make-Up Effects – Television and New Media Series Howard Berger, Tami Lane, Garrett Immel Nominated [82]
Publicists Guild Awards Maxwell Weinberg Publicist Showmanship Television Award Erin Moody Nominated [83]
Saturn Awards (44th) Best Science Fiction Television Series The Orville Won [84]
Best Actor on Television Seth MacFarlane Nominated
Best Actress on Television Adrianne Palicki Nominated

Home media[edit]

Season 1 of The Orville will be released on DVD on December 11, 2018.[85]


  1. ^ a b "Shows A-Z – orville, the on fox". The Futon Critic. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Rubin, Rebecca. "TV News Roundup: 'The Orville' Becomes Fox's Biggest Drama Debut in Two Years in Delayed Viewing". Variety. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "The Orville: Seth MacFarlane Explains Why His New Show Isn't Just a Comedy". TV Line. August 8, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
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External links[edit]