Fox Shows No Concerns About “Orville’ ‘Star Trek’ Lawsuit


Is Fox treading a hazardous legal ground with a new series called The Orville by Seth MacFarlane?

The Orville takes inspiration from the Star Trek franchise but has a more comedic tone. CBS is reviving the Star Trek franchise with the Discovery series, and they may make an exception to Orville borrowing their ideas.

Were not really concerned, said the Fox Television Group chairman, Dana Walden. This was during Orville’s panel at Television Critics Association’s summer tour. We obviously have a big legal team. We vet things, so its not like were just flying by the seat of our pants out here. Seths intention is to do something that clearly pays homage to Star Trek, that clearly was inspired a lot by Star Trek. He talks about The Twilight Zone, a show that examines the human condition in the future and looks at the human condition through little morality plays, but I cant imagine, especially when you see the direction that the Star Trek franchise is moving, that anyone involved would consider it anything other than a compliment. Most shows have some DNA of previous shows, she said.

She then added, There are very few shows that Ive worked on that werent slight reinventions of something thats come before it. It is a certain format of storytelling, its a particular act structure, there are some restrictions to what we all do in this storytelling form, so I find it to be flattering and I know Seth holds the Star Trek franchise in the highest regard.

CBS issued a few regulations on derivative Star Trek fans’ creations and was even pursuing legal action.

Seth MacFarlane is the creator of “Family Guy”, “Ted,” “Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey” and Orville is a live-action space adventure series which is set 400 years into the future. It has both human and alien crews that deal with the wonders and dangers of space.

The Orville premieres on Sept. 10.