Known for its unique blend of humor, adventure, and science fiction, fans are eagerly awaiting the next chapter of The Orville. The series has had three successful seasons to date, which leaves fans asking the question, is The Orville Season 4 going to happen?
Here’s what we know so far, including a potential renewal and how it’s affected by the ongoing strike.
Is The Orville Season 4 Happening?
At the moment, It’s hard to say what the future holds for the series. The ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike (and WGA strike, which has now been resolved) has disrupted network schedules and halted productions. Season 3 was successful, and even if there’s no official confirmation about The Orville Season 4, renewal remains likely. There might even be a chance that a potential fourth season is already being planned.
Earlier this year, Chad L. Coleman, who plays Klyden on The Orville, told Cinemablend that showrunner Seth MacFarlane was talking with Disney about The Orville Season 4. However, Coleman also noted that things were still “up in the air.” But other cast members have also expressed the hopes of The Orville getting renewed.
“We’re all in the loop and out of the loop. We think it’s gonna happen, but it’s still up in the air,” said Coleman. “There’s so much going on with all of these studios that it’s just like, ‘Well, we gotta settle this thing first, then we can really decide on that thing.’”
“A bunch of that is going on,” Coleman continued. “We hope so. Seth has an amazing relationship with Dana Walden and with Disney, who’s running it now. And they said they’ve had promising meetings, so we’ll see.”
Separately, MacFarlane said he was being cautiously optimistic about the show’s renewal. Being a member of the WGA, MacFarlane joined the strike when it began in May 2023. After the Season 3 finale. MacFarlane suggested the possibility of The Orville Season 4 would depend on how well it does on both Hulu and Disney+.
The Orville is set 400 years into the future, following an exploratory spaceship and its crew.
What Might Be Expected for Season 4
Should The Orville get renewed for a fourth season, MacFarlane could adapt the “Sympathy for the Devil” novella. This was originally supposed to be an episode for Season 3 until the pandemic happened.
Following the events of Season 3, we can expect the Borg-like Kaylon to become allies with the Union. This would also make the Krill and Moclan alliance the main threat – The Orville’s version of Star Trek’s Cardassians and Klingons. With the Kaylon becoming allies with the Union, this might not sit with Krill Supreme Chancellor Teleya, who is on Earth getting tried for her war crimes.
Ed’s half-Krill daughter along with the Moclan origins of Bortus, Klyden, and Topa could also be explored in a potential season 4.
Another thing we know is that MacFarlane and the team are ready to start filming once The Orville gets renewed. MacFarlane told The Hollywood Reporter that he’d love for the show to get a fourth season.
“I know the entire cast is hoping for it. It’s a big question mark for a lot of reasons. It’s not an inexpensive show to produce. It requires an ambitious budget. But the flip side of that is, it’s no more ambitious than half the other streaming shows on television,” said MacFarlane.
“It really is going to depend on audience response, on whether the show gets discovered,” MacFarlane continued. “I still think there are a lot of people who just don’t know that we’re out there and don’t really quite know what we are and when people sit down and watch the show, they’re almost always surprised, and it almost always upends their expectations. Probably because it’s me.”
The Orville Cast
In case of a renewal, then we can expect MacFarlane to return as Captain Edward Mercer. MacFarlane also serves as the showrunner and creator aside from being the star.
Other cast members expected to return include Adrianne Palicki as Commander Kelly Grayson, and Penny Johnson Jerald as Doctor Claire Finn. Scott Grimes as Lieutenant Gordon Malloy, Peter Macon as Lieutenant Commander Bortus, Mark Jackson as Isaac, and J. Lee as Lieutenant John LaMarr are also expected to come back. We can also expect Coleman to return as Klyden, along with Jessica Szohr as Lieutenant Commander Talla Keyali and Giorgia Whigham as Lysella.
One cast member who is unlikely to return for a potential Season 4 is Anne Winters as Ensign Charly Burke.
MacFarlane, Brannon Braga, David A. Goodman, Jon Cassar, Jason Clark, and Howard Griffith serve as executive producers of The Orville.
What Happened in Season 3
In The Orville Season 3, also known as The Orville: New Horizons the crew of the titular spaceship continues their voyage to discover the mysteries of the universe. Along the way, they also navigate their own interpersonal relationships. In the season’s penultimate episode, the characters make peace with Kaylon.
At the same time, the Krill and Moclan form an alliance, posing as a major threat to the Union. Negotiations with the Krill fell through following the election of an extremist candidate. All of this while the Moclan were expelled from the Union because of their bigotry. Both formed an alliance to try and destroy the Kaylons.
This led to Mercer leading an attack against the Krill, ending with Ensign Charly Burke sacrificing herself to save the Kaylons.
Season 3 also looked into the personal and emotional impact the Kaylon war had on Isaac and the Moclan bigotry of Bortus’s family.
The Orville Season 4 Release Date Speculation
Because there’s no official renewal for The Orville yet, there’s no release date for The Orville Season 4. But that seems to be the least of the fans’ concerns.
The concern seems to lie in the production time. The Orville Season 3 premiered three years after Season 2, due to the pandemic causing delays. Should we get The Orville Season 4, then production should be a lot quicker this time around. However, this would mean we’ll get a fourth season by the fall of 2024. But again, this depends on the ongoing strike.
Previously, MacFarlane told TVLine that the chances of a renewal were 50-50.
“My hope is that when the show drops on Disney+, the people who haven’t yet discovered it will suddenly give it a chance,” said MacFarlane. “That’s a game-changer for us.”
There was also a disappointing update given by Disney Television Group President Craig Erwich about The Orville’s future. Separately, in January 2023, Erwich told TVLine that there weren’t any updates on the show and whether or not it would be renewed.
“It’s a great show and I know that the fans loved having it back on in their lives…But we don’t have anything to share right now,” said Erwich at the time. Unfortunately, there’s still no update to this day.
For now, fans can rewatch the first three seasons of The Orville on Hulu or Disney+ for international subscribers.