The latest network to firm up fall premiere plans, Fox is putting plenty of proverbial eggs in The Orville‘s basket. The Seth MacFarlane space soap is getting two special screenings before the official start of the season to lure as many NFL eyeballs as possible.
The first two hours of The Orville will air ahead of its official Thursday-night debut, with part one airing Sunday, Sept. 10, and part two airing Sunday, Sept. 17. Both of those episodes will get the loftiest possible lead-in from NFL doubleheaders, though it does mean that both will have to contend with Sunday Night Football on NBC. The second episode will also run against the Emmys, though the TV kudos (airing on CBS this year) have proven to be less and less of a draw in recent years — at least compared to other award shows.
After those two special episodes, The Orville will debut on Thursday, Sept. 28, during the official Fox premiere week. Starting Tuesday, Sept. 26, the network will roll out the bulk of its fall schedule. Monday night is the only exception, as the block of Lucifer and Marvel drama The Gifted will bow the following week on Oct. 2.
See below for the complete rundown of premiere dates (all times ET/PT), including the 8 p.m. time slot debut for Empire.
Sunday, Sept. 10 (immediately following NFL on Fox doubleheader)
8 p.m. — The Orville (special series premiere, part 1)
Sunday, Sept. 17 (immediately following NFL on Fox doubleheader)
8 p.m. — The Orville (special series premiere, part 2)
Tuesday, Sept. 26
8 p.m. — Lethal Weapon
9 p.m. — The Mick
9:30 p.m. — Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Wednesday, Sept. 27
8 p.m. — Empire
9 p.m. — Star
Thursday, Sept. 28
8 p.m. — Gotham
9 p.m. — The Orville (time slot debut)
Friday, Sept. 29
8 p.m. — Hell’s Kitchen
9 p.m. — The Exorcist
Sunday, Oct. 1
7:30 p.m. — Bob’s Burgers
8 p.m. — The Simpsons
8:30 p.m. — Ghosted
9 p.m. — Family Guy
9:30 p.m. — The Last Man on Earth