FOX is standing by Seth MacFarlane for another year.
Announced this afternoon, the network has officially renewed MacFarlane’s “The Orville” for a third season. It is the eighth scripted show to be renewed by FOX for the 2019-20 season, joining the previously-renewed “9-1-1,” “The Resident,” “The Simpsons,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Family Guy,” “Empire,” and “Last Man Standing.”
“The Orville” averaged a 0.7 live + same day rating in the adults 18-49 demo in its second season, making it FOX’s lowest-rated scripted show to be renewed this year. But despite its lower ratings performance, “The Orville” had started to look more and more like a likely renewal in the weeks leading up to the announcement today.
On one hand, FOX has maintained a strong working relationship with MacFarlane over the years, and has thrown its support behind “The Orville” as a result. Even more importantly though, prior to its season 2 premiere, the series received a notable California tax credit for a third season, which made it a much more viable renewal option for the network.
FOX has already decided the fates for the rest of its 2018-19 scripted shows, with about half renewed for next season and the other half canceled. “Proven Innocent,” “The Gifted,” “REL,” “Lethal Weapon,” “The Passage,” “Star,” and “The Cool Kids” have all been axed by the network, while “The Orville” and 7 other shows are set to return.