Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville — an unexpected Thursday night hit— will continue its mission for at least another year. Fox Thursday announced an early season-two renewal for the space drama written by and starring the Family Guy creator. Critics were savage in their evaluations of the show’s pilot: Metacritic tallied zero positive notices, while its Rotten Tomatoes score stands at a lowly 18 percent. Audiences, however, have been much more enthusiastic about Orville. After a couple of post-NFL Sunday airings generated strong sampling, the show has become a quite force Fox on Thursday nights. Recent episodes have scored close to 7 million viewers (including DVR replays), with its rating among adults under 50 above a 2.0. (The show’s overall average in the key demo, including those inflated Sunday airings, stands at 2.5, making it Fox’s biggest drama launch since Empire in 2015.) The combination of Gotham and Orville on Thursdays has also made Fox mildly competitive on a night where it’s struggled mightily since the heyday of American Idol. Season one of the 20th Century Fox TV-produced Orville will conclude after 13 episodes. No word yet on whether season two will expand to include additional episodes.
Photo: Michael Becker/Fox Broadcasting Co