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Ever since The Orville wrapped its second season on Fox back in April 2019, the sci-fi dramedy has dealt with some ups and downs that have kept audiences waiting to see what will go down in Season 3. For one, Seth MacFarlane & Co. made the transition to Hulu for the third season, and while fans might have thought a streaming home would extend The Orville's longevity, rumors recently surfaced claiming that the show has already been cancelled with no chance of Season 4 happening. But is that the case?
Over the weekend, The Orville's rumored cancellation was reported on by The Cinema Spot, where it was claimed that Hulu never intended to produce Season 4 in the first place. That report also alleges that after completion of The Orville's Season 3 production, which has been stuck in delayed-mode along with most of the rest of Hollywood, the show's sets and props will be broken down and restructured so that they can be used on another comedy-friendly sci-fi series, Hulu's upcoming Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy reboot. (For what it's worth, the same outlet reported that Hitchhiker's Guide was already granted a Season 2 renewal, though that hasn't been confirmed by Hulu.)
Obviously, that initial report had some fans worried about The Orville's future beyond Season 3, especially since little-to-no details have been revealed so far about any upcoming episodes. Soon, though, a potential saving grace was revealed through The Orville's producer Tom Costantino, who shared the below tweet in response to coverage of Hulu's cancellation rumor.
For those completely out of the loop, the Chicago Daily Tribune (which later dropped the "Daily") offered up one of the biggest journalistic snafus in history by reporting on November 3, 1948 that Thomas Dewey had won the presidential election over incumbent Harry S. Truman, which the winning Truman was tickled by when showing off the erroneous headline. So by sharing this particular imagery, Tom Costantino cast major doubt on the original cancellation report, implying that Hulu hasn't pulled the plug on The Orville at all.
While that kind of seeming confirmation from an actual Orville producer should create a warm and snuggly feeling within fans, Tom Costantino's denial of the cancellation rumor does not ipso facto mean that Hulu will definitively be moving forward with Season 4 or any other plans of that nature. Considering the show still can't finish filming its third season, no matter how much Seth MacFarlane wants to, it's very likely that the streaming service's execs won't be finalizing any decisions for The Orville until there's a better understanding of what the future will look like across the board.
It is perhaps telling, however, that Orville producer Tom Costantino expects it might be years from now before a follow-up to Season 3 happens. In his words:
We can barely figure out how to get back to work. Wouldn’t worry about 2021. Or 22.
Another potentially major factor in this argument (so to speak) is the fact that Seth MacFarlane no longer has an overall deal with the Disney-owned Fox, as he'd signed on for a lucrative agreement with NBCUniversal in early 2020. He's likely keeping himself busy formulating plans for projects under the NBCU banner, whether they'd be for the flagship broadcast network, its cable channels (such as Syfy or USA) or the recently launched Peacock streaming service. Who knows? Maybe The Orville will end up being a Peacock Original down the line.
So in summary, it looks like fans are kind of in the same boat they were a week ago before any of these rumors too flight. The Orville is still set to deliver Season 3 on Hulu at some point in the future after the production gets underway again. Nothing official has been announced for Season 4 yet, but whether it does or doesn't happen, the streaming service likely won't confirm anything for a while. But if nothing else, at least we can be hopeful that Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy will last longer than a single season.
For now, The Orville Season 3 is still in the somewhat distant future, but hopefully we'll have news soon. While waiting, remember the first two seasons are still available to stream on Hulu, and check out our rundown of all the good content coming to the streaming service in August, as well as our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule.