No one quite knew what to expect when Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane announced plans for The Orville, but the show’s surprisingly earnest homage to Star Trek and other sci-fi series — mixed with MacFarlane’s signature humor, of course — proved to be a hit with audiences. Now officially renewed for season 2 on the Fox network, show has added a new crew member to the U.S.S. Orville for the show’s sophomore story arc.
Created by MacFarlane, The Orville chronicles the cosmic adventures of the crew of the U.S.S. Orville, an exploratory vessel in the 25th century. MacFarlane himself leads the cast as Ed Mercer, the ship’s captain. His eccentric crew includes his ex-wife Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki), helmsman Gordon Malloy (Scott Grimes), security officer Alara Kitan (Halston Sage), chief medical officer Claire Finn (Penny Johnson Jerald), second officer Bortus (Peter Macon), navigator John LaMarr (J. Lee), and science officer Isaac (Mark Jackson).
According to Deadline, Shameless and Gossip Girl actress Jessica Szohr (pictured below) will officially join the cast for the show’s second season. She’ll play an unidentified crew member.
The Orville was renewed for a second season in November 2017, just seven episodes into its first season. The series was the first new series of the 2017 season to earn a renewal from Fox, and although it wasn’t received well by critics, it was a bona fide hit with audiences and quickly became the network’s highest-rated show in the 9 p.m. Thursday time slot. Its debut gave it the most-viewed drama premiere for Fox since the debut of Empire in 2015.
“Once again Seth has struck a powerful chord with viewers,” said Michael Thorn, Fox Broadcasting Company’s president of entertainment, in a statement accompanying the renewal announcement (via Variety). “He has delivered a series full of optimism, drama, and his trademark humor. We want to thank him and the rest of the talented cast, as well as the producers and crew, for an incredible first season. We can’t wait to see where The Orville travels in the second season.”
During a panel for The Orville held at New York Comic Con in October 2017, MacFarlane offered a hint of where he’d like to see the series go in its second season.
“I think next season we’re going to deal with Isaac,” he said. “There are character arcs that are introduced in [the first] season that I think are going to go a long way.”
Updated February 12, 2018: Added casting news for season 2.