Why Fox Supported Moving 'The Orville' To Hulu [TCA 2019]

Seth MacFarlane announced at Comic-Con that the third season of his Fox sci-fi series The Orville would premiere on Hulu. The first season premiered on Fox in the 2017 season. The second season premiered December 30, quite late in the fall schedule. MacFarlane realized he could not deliver a third season until 2020, making it difficult to air linearly on broadcast. The Orville stars MacFarlane and includes many visual and makeup effects with its aliens and other planets. Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier confirmed it was simply not feasible to continue on a broadcast schedule."First of all, Seth is awesome," Collier said. "It's his passion project and we've talked about it from the day I walked in the door because I'm such a fan of the show itself. You're right, at the heart of the network's schedule issue was that he is so prolific in front of and behind the camera and in the writers room that this is a show he really manages every detail."Fox previously had a stake in Hulu, but that share belongs to Disney after the acquisition. 20th Century Fox produces The Orville, but they too are part of Disney now. So it probably doesn't benefit the Fox Network in any way. The only benefit, it seems, is keeping MacFarlane happy. Collier is happy to support MacFarlane and confident his network will have a look at future MacFarlane shows."Look, I talked a lot about supporting the artist and creating a home where we nurture the artist and this is the epitome of it in the sense that we really worked with Seth to make sure he could still do the show he loves on a platform that can handle it on the schedule that's appropriate for it," Collier said. "So it's been great and actually Seth in his remarks, certainly to me and I saw some of the press on it, has been nothing but generous about how much Fox is a home of his on the right project at the right time. Certainly Family Guy, I couldn't be prouder of that in the middle of our Sunday lineup."It's certainly better for The Orville not to rush it and make it look like a cheap Star Trek knock-off. Launching the initial seasons on network probably earned it a larger base audience than a Hulu premiere might have, although MacFarlane's name brings attention to any new show. Right now, it just makes Collier look magnanimous.