If you hear the name Seth MacFarlane, then you usually think animation. The man did create the long-running Family Guy, American Dad, and the less-than-successful The Cleveland Show. He has also made full-length live action comedies like 8 Million Ways to Die in the West, Ted, and Ted 2. Now, he is embarking on a science fiction series for Fox, and this is what is known about it.
According to Deadline, Fox has apparently given an order of 13 episodes of a science fiction show that is currently untitled. The show takes place 300 years in the future, following the adventures of the Orville, an exploratory ship in Earth's interstellar flight. Apparently, the ship is not exactly top of the line like the Enterprise, and most likely encounter similar Star Trek scenarios.
MacFarlane says that "I've wanted to do something like this show ever since I was a kid, and the timing finally feels right. 20th and Fox have been good to me for many years, and of course, Dana and Gary [Dana Walden and Gary Newman, longtime supporters of MacFarlane] 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."
Granted, a comedy with a Star Trek premise has been done before. There was a British comedy show known as Hyperdrive with Nick Frost that attempted this, and the most recent attempt was a Yahoo series by Paul Feig called Other Space. None of these shows are considered to be a real success except for the British sci-fi Red Dwarf, about a crew of characters lost in space with a very devoted fanbase.
Seth MacFarlane is known for his bawdy humor, which really has pushed the envelope for Family Guy and American Dad. His films are always R-Rated, and it seems like a Netflix deal for an NR TV series would be a good match for him. At this present time, Family Guy and American Dad have been on for so long that they resemble another hit prime-time animated show The Simpsons. Those that still watch these animated shows know that they were past their prime years ago, but they will always have an audience for those that enjoy the characters and their antics.
So perhaps MacFarlane needs to go where no comedy has gone before, even though it has been established that many shows have already gone there. Either way, the live action series will bring a challenge to the creator whose works have got a little old over time, but has a lot of love for science fiction. Some of his best work have involved direct Star Wars parodies on Family Guy, so what MacFarlane comes up for a science fiction show should be quite interesting.