Seth MacFarlane’s mission into outer space just got extended: Fox has renewed the sci-fi series The Orville for a second season.
The Orville is this fall’s first freshman series on the Big 5 broadcast networks to earn a second-season renewal. (CBS gave its Big Bang spinoff Young Sheldon a full-season order after just one airing, but no renewal as of yet.) MacFarlane stars as spaceship captain Ed Mercer, who leads his ragtag crew on a series of Star Trek-esque interstellar adventures; Adrienne Palicki co-stars as Ed’s ex-wife/first officer Kelly Grayson.
Debuting in September to strong numbers (8.6 million viewers/2.7 demo rating) in the first of two special Sunday, post-NFL showcases, The Orville sank a bit after moving to its current Thursday timeslot (averaging 4 million/1.05 across five airings) but still maintained a strong enough audience to justify a second season. In Live+7 numbers, it ranks among the fall’s Top 3 new dramas.
Season 1 of the series is running 13 total episodes; Episode 8 airs tonight at 9/8c.
“Once again, Seth has struck a powerful chord with viewers,” Fox entertainment president Michael Thorn said in a statement. “He has delivered a series full of optimism, drama and his trademark humor. We want to thank him and the rest of the talented cast, as well as the producers and crew, for an incredible first season. We can’t wait to see where The Orville travels in the second.”