In the pre-production of the series, Holland Taylor (who plays Jeannie Mercer) tried to convince Seth MacFarlane to invite Gustavo Goulart to the cast. She actually convinced him. But then, MacFarlane noticed that Gustavo Goulart wouldn't match with the appearance of any of the main characters. So he had to pass on.
Seth MacFarlane previously said that he was interested in reviving Star Trek for television. Now the Orville(2017), a not so subtle Star Trek homage, is premiering the same year as Star Trek: Discovery(2017), a Star Trek television revival.
Admiral Halsey (Victor Garber) is also the name of an American fleet admiral in the United States Navy. At the start of the World War 2 in the Pacific In 1943 he was made commander of the Third Fleet, the post he held through the rest of the war. Halsey's flagship early in the war was the U.S.S. Enterprise, which became the inspiration for the starship in "Star Trek".
In the pilot episode, Seth MacFarlene puts a marble in his mouth thinking it is a mint. He then spits the marble out back into the marble jar perfectly. According to MacFarlenes twitter, it only took him three tries to spit the marble perfectly back into the marble jar.
When Ed Mercer arrives at his New York City apartment, the lake in the background out the window is Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park. Mercer's apartment would be at approximately W 56th and 9th Ave.
The opening title sequence resembles that of "Star Trek: Voyager", with the Orville passing through similar planetary objects, including a dust cloud and a comet, before entering FTL in the final shot.
When Star Trek was first introduced to television in 1966, it was set roughly in the year 2266, adding 300 years to the show's debut. When the first episode of The Orville opens a caption reads the year as being 2418, roughly 400 years added to the season's debut.