As we get closer to the premiere of The Orville season 2 in the new year, there’s one question that’s worth pondering: What should the ratings expectations be? Should we be anticipating the science-fiction show being a massive hit, or unfortunately one that will remain on the bubble for most of the year? That’s something we’ll do our best to figure out here.
One thing that we should say, first and foremost, is that it’s not exactly fair to compare the ratings for season 2 to what the show got the first time around. After all, season 1 had a really inflated premiere thanks to A) viewer curiosity and B) an NFL lead-in. While the premiere this time around will also have a great football lead-in, there’s a little less curiosity around what the show is at this point.
We know that there are some things working against The Orville this time around, whether it be the show airing after a super-long hiatus, it not exactly having a great lead-in for most of the season in Gotham, and it being relatively expensive to make. It is aided somewhat by the fact that it’s got a big tax credit for season 3, if it ends up getting renewed.
At the moment, our expectation here is that season 2 needs to average around a 0.8 rating in order to have a strong consideration for renewal. That’s a slightly better average than two of Fox’s lowest-rated shows in Lethal Weapon and The Gifted, and this puts it in territory that is at least somewhat-close to the performance of The Resident, which is a moderate hit for them leading into one of their larger shows in 911. As for whether or not we think this is possible, we certainly think there is a good chance. This isn’t going to be a super-competitive timeslot heading into the new year and we definitely do think that there is a lot of fun stuff that The Orville will bring to the table. It’s a lighthearted bit of science fiction, for starters, and it is going to be offering something that we think a lot of viewers are going to crave — a chance to really get away from the world for a little while.
While we’d love to get a season 3 renewal sooner rather than later, there’s no real guarantee that Fox will announce one early in the season. We just hope that they do, given that this show has a lengthy production cycle and it’s beneficial that news comes out sooner rather than later.
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