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Family Guy creator’s new Star Trek parody series is more Spaceballs than anything else

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Star Trek will go up against a Star Trek parody this fall

Seth MacFarlane and Fox have released the first trailer for their new series The Orville, a Star Trek parody series, and based on the few minutes glimpsed, it has more in common with Spaceballs than Family Guy.

MacFarlane plays Captain Ed, an awkward, unskilled captain who barely manages to graduate from the academy. When it comes time to assign him to a ship, his director, played by Victor Garber, reiterates the only reason he’s getting the job is because there’s literally no one else available. An uncaring Ed accepts the position regardless and sets off to try and increase diplomatic relationships between various species around the galaxy, but all of that comes to a hilt when his ex-wife, Kelly Grayson, is named co-captain of the ship.

Like Star Trek, The Orville will follow the personal dynamics of the team aboard the U.S.S. Orville. Ed will have to try and work with his ex-wife and his best friend, Gordon Malloy, while getting to know the rest of the crew. Much like Captain James T. Kirk in the original series, Ed will also have to overcome his faults to try and command a ship, earning the respect of his crew along the way.

The trailer makes is painstakingly clear that The Orville is a parody of the long running sci-fi franchise, but doesn’t insult what made the series great. Much like “Blue Harvest,” the Family Guy episode dedicated to parodying Star Wars: Episode IV, The Orville looks like it’ll pay homage to the series its borrowing its basis from, but adding in goofs to ensure audiences realize it’s a comedy.

The Orville also comes at a time when CBS is gearing up to debut its new Star Trek series, Star Trek: Discovery. The show has been in production for quite some time, but the release date has been pushed back repeatedly. Both CBS executives and producers involved with the show have blamed the magnitude of the series and needing more time to figure out filming. Bryan Fuller, who is currently working on American Gods, was originally supposed to executive produce Discovery but severed ties with CBS following scheduling conflicts.

The Orville will air Thursday nights on Fox this fall. The pilot will be directed by Iron Man’s Jon Favreau, who will also serve as an executive producer on the series. There is no specific premiere date at this time.