Why the Disney layoffs spell trouble for The Orville

The Orville: New Horizons -- “Mortality Paradox” - Episode 303 (Photo by: Hulu)
The Orville: New Horizons -- “Mortality Paradox” - Episode 303 (Photo by: Hulu) /

Fans of The Orville have been awaiting news of a Season 4 renewal since season three ended on August 4, 2022

The Orville originally debuted on Fox in September 2017 where it stayed for two season. The third season saw it move to Hulu rebranded as The Orville: New Horizons where it debuted in 2022. After ten episodes, it wrapped in August. Not long after that, all ten episodes of the third season as well as the first and second season were made available on Disney+, which resulted in a major boost for the series. But since then, fans have been constantly checking to see if any news has been announced regarding a potential fourth season. Unfortunately, the news we’re all waiting for might not be good.

In April, Disney began massive layoffs of employees involved in film and television. Deadline quoted an industry source who said “There is a sense of foreboding that the cuts are going to be wide, large-scale and very meaningful.” And that could spell bad news for not only the employees of Disney but the fans of The Orville as Disney owns 75% of Hulu.

Disney’s CEO is considering what to do with Hulu, which means The Orville could be on the chopping block.

Back in March, thestreet.com reported that Disney’s CEO Bob Iger said they would have to take a hard look at the cost of everything after Disney+ lost 2.4 million subscribers in the final quarter of 2022. And while Iger called Hulu a strong platform, he also said the “environment is very, very tricky right now and before we make any big decisions about our level of investment, our commitment to that business, we want to understand where it could go,”

With layoffs happening and Disney’s CEO uncertain of exactly where things are going with Hulu, will there be a renewal for The Orville when even creator Seth MacFarlane says the series has “an ambitious budget?” Would season four of The Orville bring in enough viewers to offset the cost of each episode? And even so, it doesn’t sound like Disney has the money to spend on projects that require multitudes of special effects along with movie-sized budgets.

Hopefully, I’m wrong, but with people losing their jobs, can Disney afford to renew any series that don’t have a more flexible budget? It seems like, right now, the focus would be on promoting the series that don’t cost as much per episode and enticing more viewers to try out the platform.

dark. Next. The Orville producers clarify that the series isn’t cancelled