As Apple TV+ prepped to roll out the blue carpet in Westwood this week for the Season 3 premiere of its Emmy Award-winning comedy juggernaut Ted Lasso, one question lingered in the air: Is this the end?
Ahead of the Tuesday night event, Ted Lasso himself, co-creator, star and executive producer Jason Sudeikis, got ahead of the inevitable press line interrogation to make it clear that the time on the Richmond scoreboard is, indeed, running out. “This is the end of this story that we wanted to tell,” Sudeikis told Deadline.
The 12-episode season debuts March 15 and continues through May 31, and while options remain on the field for spin-offs and future iterations (Richmond Till We Die, anyone?), Sudeikis made it clear that this is his final bow as the beloved aw shucks Midwesterner turned English Premier League soccer coach but he believes there is more life left.
During a junket interview with The Hollywood Reporter seen above, Sudeikis tells THR’s Neha Joy that while this is the end of the story they wanted to tell, there is “absolutely” more life left in the series. “One of the neat things for me about being a part of this show is watching everybody shine, and the relationships between the various characters,” he says.
Brett Goldstein, who plays Roy Kent, had a cheekier response for future storylines. “Season 3 ends with the death of some major characters. I have said to Jason, Season 4 could be Ghost Lasso, where we carry on with Ted Lasso now haunting the locker rooms and trying to inspire the players from the other side.”
Ted Lasso, which was among the original slate of scripted offerings when Apple TV+ launched and entered the streaming landscape, was bought in a bidding war off of Sudeikis and showrunner Bill Lawrence’s three-season pitch. Sudeikis has consistently been open about envisioning only a three-season run for the series, but THR has previously reported that Lawrence, Warner Bros. and Apple would all love for Ted Lasso to continue well beyond a third season, and that the new deals that were struck by the actors in 2021 also included options for subsequent seasons.
“I will say that season three ends in a way that feels very satisfying. So, if that ends up being the end, the audience will feel satisfied. But is there a door that’s potentially open if we could do more? Yes,” WBTV Boss Channing Dungey recently confirmed to THR.
So, while everyone waits to see just how “satisfying” that ending will be, THR polled the Ted Lasso cast and creative team on Tuesday night about what Sudeikis has been like as a boss, and below are their answers.
Toheeb Jimoh (Sam Obisanya): “The Jason that you see in the press, making jokes and being silly, that’s the Jason we get at work, so sometimes Ted Lasso doesn’t feel like a job. It feels like I’m just with my friends on set, telling jokes, kicking the ball around, getting paid and feeling like I’m stealing money. [Laughs] He’s awesome. He’s also very wise and has an almost encyclopedic level of knowledge about all things film, so I sometimes get the chance to pick his brain and learn from him.”
MJ Delaney (Emmy Award-winning director): “This show has come from the inside of his head to an extent, and I think he’s too modest for people to fully realize. In terms of our experience of making the show, it has been very consistent through all three seasons. He is across everything [and every department], and if he’s not in a scene, he’s usually there for part of it. He’s everybody’s touchpoint for how it’s working and what the right call is.”
Kola Bokinni (Isaac McAdoo): “Oh, he’s amazing. He’s professional but also caring. He’s like a mate but also so professional and amazing at what he does. He’s a genius in my eyes.”
Jeremy Swift (Leslie Higgins): “He’s a great, considerate and kind leader. He’s funny but also has gravitas. Sometimes he’ll give a low down about certain scenes, like in the locker scenes, about where the story is at any given moment just as a reminder to people so that everyone is on the same page. That, really, is a gift.”
Keeley Hazell (writer, Rebecca): “He’s really, really great. I mean, he’s a visionary. He paid me to say that so I’m happy I got it in.” [On his skill as a collaborator in the writers’ room] It all really comes down to Jason. He’s the final decision. As the visionary, we offer up options that he picks and it always reminds me of building a house. We say, ‘Here are some tiles and we’ve got these options for you.’ Then he kind of picks and chooses. The new characters this season are such a wonderful addition to the show it brings balance with the characters you know and love, the core characters, who we follow on their storylines while also bringing in new, fresh beats. It just adds some fun to the show.”
Billy Harris (Colin Hughes): “In [Season 3], I had a little bit more too, so now I’ve been able to see how he works in a one-on-one situation while going through character development and it’s priceless. He really, really takes his time with every single character and with every actor when it’s their moment. It’s amazing to watch especially because he has so much else to do.”
Charlie Hiscock (Will the kit man): “He’s literally a dream. He’s what you strive to be when you become a showrunner. He humanizes everyone, which should be normal and should be how it is anyway, and he just makes it look so effortless.”
Tom Howe (composer): “He’s totally unique. I’ve never met anyone who’s so across everything, and in a good way. I’ve met lots of people who are across everything, but not in a good way. He knows a lot about music and editing and everything, and he’s interested in all of it. He’s also quite trusting. We do a lot of back and forth and it’s very collaborative.”
Ellie Taylor (Sassy): “Jason is amazing. I don’t know how on earth he deals with everything that he has to do from acting to writing and overseeing everything. That’s a lot of pressure, right? But he manages to be amazing and funny and warm. He’s just a pleasure to be around.
Maximilian Osinski (Zava): “He’s incredible. He is like everyone else on the show in that they are all exactly what the show preaches — kind, welcoming, positive. They all want to make you better and they won’t let you fail. He’s fantastic. I’ve never worked with anyone like that who is just really interested in the work. No one is resting on their laurels and they work hard to find the comedy or the drama in every scene. I did a big trust fall with them and the character [of Zava].”
Ambreen Razia (Shandy): “Amazing. Very, very collaborative and very hands-on. He’s the captain of the ship and is responsible for everything getting done but there’s such a level of collaboration with him. As an actor, you can ask, “Can I change the way I say this?” He will respond, “Yeah, give it a go.” That’s amazing and very rare. Sometimes you turn up to jobs and you feel like you’re not being directed at all but when you turn up to Ted Lasso, everything is hands on. There’s a genius behind this incredible formula and that’s why the audience gets such a joyful feeling from it. There’s a system and a structure behind that genius and it’s really well orchestrated.”
Stephen Manas (Richard Montlaur): “As somebody who doesn’t always understand English, he really tried to make me feel comfortable. It’s so polite. As you can imagine, he’s someone who has a billion things going on every day on set to take care of and he was always there to say, ‘Stephan, are you doing good?’ If I didn’t understand something, he would be right there to explain it to me or to say, ‘Try it more like this.’ It really helped and he always made me feel not only comfortable but more confident.”