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'The Orville' Star Says J. Lee Ate 'Saltines and Gatorade' Due to Pay Issues



Adrianne Palicki J. Lee. Michael Desmond/Hulu

Adrianne Palicki offered a surprising glimpse into how The Orville‘s delayed filming schedule took a toll on the cast.

During the Tuesday, November 28, episode of Michael Rosenbaum’s “Inside of You” podcast, Palicki, 40, hinted that the space saga won’t be returning for a fourth season.

“No, no longer doing that,” she said in response to a question about The Orville, which hasn’t released new episodes on Hulu since August 2022. “I don’t know, truly, the answer to [if it was canceled].”

The science fiction series, which was created by Seth MacFarlane, follows the crew of starship USS Orville as they face adventures while exploring various parts of the galaxy. MacFarlane, 50, stars in the show alongside Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Halston Sage, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, J. Lee, Mark Jackson, Jessica Szohr and Anne Winters.

According to Palicki, the show has become “really difficult” to shoot. She pointed to the fact that The Orville filmed 33 episodes over the course of six years, which doesn’t allow the cast to have a steady income stream since that amounts to around 5 episodes each year.

The Orville s J. Lee Survived on Saltines and Gatorade Because the Show Didn t Provide Steady Income 805
Greg Gayne/Hulu

“It became an actual, real issue because there would be so much time in between seasons because Seth wanted to write everything himself,” Palicki continued. “At one point, we were like, ‘We have to fight the studio to give us a holding fee or something.’”

The actress, who portrayed Commander Kelly Grayson, used Lee’s experience off screen as an example, adding, “J. Lee was eating saltines and gatorade at one point because we just couldn’t afford anything. It was horrible.”


MacFarlane has previously noted that his busy schedule has created lengthy hiatuses between seasons.

“How do I work it into everything else that’s now going on?” he told TVLine in August 2022, referring to his commitment to projects such as Family Guy and Peacock’s upcoming Ted series. “I will say that I get as emotionally invested in the show as any of the fans, so I will find a way to do it if there is a season 4.”

Earlier this year, the outlet received an update on The Orville‘s future from the president of Disney Television Group. “It’s a great show and I know that the fans loved having it back in their lives. And Seth did a great job, uniquely as he can, in front of and behind the camera,” Craig Erwich said in January. “But we don’t have anything to share right now.”

The Orville s J. Lee Survived on Saltines and Gatorade Because the Show Didn t Provide Steady Income 803
Seth MacFarlane, Adrianne Palicki. Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

MacFarlane also told Us Weekly in the past about the pressure that comes with returning to a project.

“It’s scary going into a brand-new season because you’ve just written an entire batch of episodes, presumably that you are proud of and that you feel good about, and then you have to do it all over again,” he shared in 2018 ahead of The Orville‘s second season premiere. “In the back of your head, there’s always the scary thought, ‘Oh, s—t. We used up all the stories, and there are no more.’”

He continued: “You always want each season to grow and to be bigger and better, and this one absolutely fits that bill. I think it’s really gonna surprise people how the show has expanded and really come into its own.”

Us Weekly has reached out to Hulu and Lee’s reps for comment.

Source: US Magazine


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