Seth MacFarlane is giving Fox some space.
The Family Guy mastermind will create, executive produce, and star in a space-set comedic drama series for the 2017-18 season, the network announced on Wednesday.
Fox has ordered 13 episodes of the untitled live-action series, which is set 300 years from now and centers on the explorations and exploits of the Orville, a “not-so-top-of-the-line” ship in Earth’s interstellar Fleet that “will boldly go where no comedic drama has gone before.”
“I’ve wanted to do something like this show ever since I was a kid, and the timing finally feels right,” said MacFarlane in a statement. “20th [Century Fox TV, which is producing the show] and FOX have been good to me for many years, and of course, Dana and Gary [Walden and Newman, Chairmen of Fox Television Group] have been fantastic bosses and true pals, so it was a no-brainer to come to them with the project. I think this is gonna be something special.”
While McFarlane starred on the big-screen in A Million Ways to Die in the West — and, of course, as a bear in the Ted movies, which he directed — this series represents the first time that he has starred on the small screen. And it enhances his ever-expanding TV empire: In addition to the animated shows Fox’s Family Guy, TBS’ American Dad, and Fox’s Bordertown (which is unlikely to earn a renewal), he executive-produces Starz’s Blunt Talk. Speaking of MacFarlane TV projects and space, he also served as executive producer of Fox’s 2014 docuseries Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. If that weren’t enough, MacFarlane’s 2015 album, No One Ever Tells You, debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes jazz charts. MacFarlane will also lend his voice to the animated musical film Sing, which will hit theaters in December.