Seth MacFarlane Is Making a Wonderfully Generic-Sounding Science Fiction 'Dramedy' for Fox

Image: A Million Ways to Die in the West, Universal Pictures
Image: A Million Ways to Die in the West, Universal Pictures

Yeah. Fox ordered 13 episodes of Seth MacFarlane’s show without even seeing a pilot first. Is MacFarlane also starring in the show? Of course he is.


The most mysterious part of the new show is actually what makes it distinctive. It has no title and the description is just kind of vague. Here it is via Deadline:

Set 300 years in the future, the show follows the adventures of the Orville, a not-so-top-of-the-line exploratory ship in Earth’s interstellar Fleet. Facing cosmic challenges from without and within, this motley crew of space explorers will boldly go where no comedic drama has gone before.


So it’s a show about the not-flagship, not-best-of-the-best crew. It’s like if an entire series was based on the premise of characters from the TNG episode “Lower Decks” having their own, slightly crappy ship. And then they have comedic and dramatic adventures, I guess.

The only thing that makes it stand out is that MacFarlane executive produced Cosmos out of his passion for space. So we hope that kind of love transfers to the show and imbues it with a life greater than that of the bland description.


Katharine is the former managing editor of io9.

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Given McFarlane’s proclivities for appropriating material, I’m going to hazard a guess that it was or will be inspired by this: