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Third and Final Season of ‘The Orville: New Horizons’ Returns as a Hulu Exclusive

Creator and star Seth MacFarlane says the sci-fi series’ move from FOX to Hulu better served its character-driven comedy.

The Orville: New Horizons, the epic space adventure series from creator and star Seth MacFarlane, has returned exclusively as a Hulu original. The first episode of the third and final season debuted yesterday on the streamer.

MacFarlane’s show is set 400 in the future, where the crew of the U.S.S. Orville explores “the mysteries of the universe and the complexities of their own interpersonal relationships.” The series premiered in fall of 2017 on FOX, but after two seasons, MacFarlane decided to move it to Hulu -- which he described to The Hollywood Reporter as a “classier” home for the material.

“The biggest change [from Fox to Hulu] is in tone,” MacFarlane says. “We moved away from the punchline model and leaned into letting the comedy come out of these characters and their personalities, and just being a real workplace.”

Another welcome difference between the networks, MacFarlane continues, is that “I don’t have to tell a story that’s exactly 43 minutes long every week because I have to make room for a certain number of commercials. That’s not how storytelling works. Different stories are different lengths, and you start to fall into this cadence where you’re shaving scenes down, you’re cutting things that don’t need to be cut. On Hulu, those moments where you want to linger on an actor’s face because it’s meaningful and it helps to tell the story -- you can do that. You have the time. You can be indulgent in that way.”

VFX on the show are produced by Crafty Apes, FuseFX, and Pixomondo.

Check out the trailer:

The cast of The Orville: New Horizons also includes Adrianne Palicki; Penny Johnson Jerald; Scott Grimes; Peter Macon; J. Lee; Mark Jackson; Chad L. Coleman; Jessica Szohr; and Anne Winters. The show is produced by 20th Television and Fuzzy Door, with MacFarlane, Brannon Braga, David A. Goodman, Jon Cassar, Jason Clark, and Howard Griffith as executive producers.

Season three of The Orville: New Horizons spans 10 episodes, each airing on Thursday. The series finale will air August 4.

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Max Weinstein is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. He is the Editor-at-Large of 'Dread Central' and former Editorial Director of 'MovieMaker.' His work has been featured in 'Cineaste,' 'Fangoria,' 'Playboy,' 'Vice,' and 'The Week.'