The Orville is once again following Star Trek‘s lead.
A week after the CBS All Access streaming service gave a very early season 2 renewal to Star Trek: Discovery, the Fox dramedy inspired by Trek becomes the first broadcast series of the fall to get a second season pickup.
So far this season, Fox’s sci-fi series has been averaging 6.7 million viewers and a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 on Thursday nights. That might not sound like very much, but in a fall where so many new shows have struggled, it’s enough to rank Orville as the second highest-rated new hour-long show of the fall behind ABC’s The Good Doctor. Plus, Orville is keeping Fox alive in what’s long been a very tough timeslot for the network.
Still, renewing a broadcast show for a second season in November is a highly unusual move. Normally freshman shows with a 13 episode order (like Orville has) seek a “back 9” order of additional episodes in the fall and then hope for a renewal in the spring. But Orville will end its first season in December with its 13th episode.
The move continues creator Seth MacFarlane’s legacy of generating successful content for the network, from Family Guy to American Dad to his Cosmos reboot.