FOX’s new sci-fi series “The Orville” is off to a strong start. Seth MacFarlane’s space adventure series, which he created and is starring in, had the network’s largest drama debut in over two years, since “Empire” first debuted back in January 2015.
In Live+3 ratings, “The Orville” delivered a 3.5/12 rating, making the show television’s highest-rated drama premiere in nearly a year, since the September premiere of Designated Survivor in 2016 which scored 3.7/13 L3 according to Nielsen. The episode posted a +30% gain from its same day viewership last Sunday, September 10, immediately following the NFL ON FOX doubleheader.
The show was strongest with men 18-34, which is usually Seth MacFarlane’s centered demographic with previous shows like “Family Guy” and “American Dad”. In the demographic “The Orville” delivered a 2.8/13 L3. Overall the numbers were pretty good, the show averaged 11.3 million multi-platform viewers (+31% from same day), the debut was the most-watched telecast since “Empire’s” mid-season premiere in March. If you include the Tuesday encore, “The Orville” delivered 13.0 million viewers across all platforms.
Adding in FOX NOW and Hulu, the show’s three-day streaming average audience amounted to 650K viewers, making it the most-streamed new FOX drama premiere in three years, sinceSince the September 2014 premiere of “Gotham” which had 865K, and new FOX premiere in two years since the September 2015 premiere of “Scream Queens” with 812K.
In the next all-new episode of called “Command Performance,” airing this Sunday, September 17th following the NFL doubleheader, Ed (MacFarlane) and Kelly (Adrianne Palicki) are tricked by a hologram of a ship in distress and find themselves prisoners in a replica of their former home. Alara (Halston Sage) then must step up in her first command of the Orville and attempt a heroic rescue. Meanwhile, Bortus (Peter Macon) and Klyden (Chad L. Coleman) receive some happy, yet unexpected news. Jeffrey Tambor and Holland Taylor guest-star.
The show is a live-action, one-hour space adventure series set 400 years in the future that follows the exploits of The U.S.S. Orville, a mid-level exploratory spaceship. Its crew, both human and alien, face the wonders and dangers of outer space, while also dealing with the problems of everyday life.
The series stars MacFarlane as ED MERCER, the ship’s Captain, and Adrianne Palicki (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Friday Night Lights”) as his ex-wife, KELLY GRAYSON, who’s assigned as his First Officer. The series also stars Penny Johnson Jerald (“24,” “The Larry Sanders Show”) as DR. CLAIRE FINN, Scott Grimes (“American Dad!,” “Justified”) as GORDON MALLOY, Peter Macon (“Shameless,” “Bosch”) as BORTUS, Halston Sage (“Neighbors,” “Goosebumps”) as ALARA KITAN, J Lee (“American Dad!”, “The Cleveland Show”) as JOHN LAMARR, Mark Jackson (“That Royal Today” ) as ISAAC, Chad L. Coleman (“The Wire”) as KLYDEN and Norm Macdonald (“The Middle,” “Saturday Night Live”) as YAPHIT. Seth MacFarlane, David A. Goodman, Brannon Braga, Jason Clark and Liz Heldens are executive producers. Jon Favreau directed the series premiere episode, “Old Wounds.”