To quote Nicolas Meyer, “art thrives on limitations.”
I think a lot of what I love about TV came from great writers, producers, directors and actors knowing that they had to produce 22 or more episodes per year, and what they came up with as a result of having the operate under those guidelines. I think a lot, not all, but a lot of TV was improved by the showrunners having to hit the ground running and adjusting on the fly.
And then I look, for comparison, to Star Trek Discovery, where the showrunners were allowed to delay and delay nearly two years before they went to air, where they got to write all the scripts before shooting any of them, and where the whole thing was basically in the can before it went out to the public. That show had a lot of issues that could have been resolved if it was being made as a conventional show, where the showrunners could have had the opportunity to see what was and wasn’t working, and adjust along the way. But because it was all done before anyone even saw the first episode, there was nothing to be done about it.
TNG, which is obviously the biggest inspiration for The Orville, succeeded because there was room for trial, error, adjustment and growth. With these short runs all filmed in advance before they even go to air, that opportunity just isn’t there. And to my mind, that makes new TV much more like feature films rather than an evolution of the TV art form. TV as it existed since its creation is being replaced by longer movies doled out in installments, rather than evolving as its own separate format. And I think that’s a shame.