What to Believe About the Future – Variety

Here’s how important “Ted Lasso” is to Apple: CEO Tim Cook was among the hundreds gathered in Westwood last week for the show’s Season 3 premiere. Such events are normally a bit more low-key by the time a series reaches its third season. But not “Ted Lasso,” which filled the 1,400-person-capacity Regency Village Theatre, followed by a party that drew 700 RSVPs — and yes, Cook was there too, holding court at Brentwood’s tony Baltaire eatery. 

“Ted Lasso” is a show that is still at its pop culture peak. That’s why, as the Emmy-winning comedy returns to Apple TV+ on March 15, its fate is on everyone’s minds — including star Jason Sudeikis. 

For months, almost all involved have hinted that “Lasso” would wind down after these episodes. In a Variety podcast last July, star Brett Goldstein parsed his words carefully. “It’s written as, in the story we have been telling will reach a conclusion,” he said at the time. “And that’s how it was always planned. That doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t continue. But it’s a kind of three-act conclusion to this story.”

Furthering speculation were reports that production was more challenging this time around, with Season 3 scripts undergoing hefty rewrites given the expectations surrounding it. Sudeikis also bore more responsibility, taking on full showrunner duties. Speaking to Variety, Sudeikis downplayed those concerns. 

“The rewrites were the same as we’ve always done,” he says. “If anything, the endeavor took as long as it did because of just how dense the stories are. … And so while we’re flattered by the curiosity of ‘Is this the final season,’ the fact is that content-wise, if you just go by running time, this season has a Season 4 within itself.” 

Now that the bulk of that work is over, insiders at Apple TV+ and Warner Bros. TV (which produces) are more optimistic that Sudeikis might bring the show back in some form, even if that means a quasi-spinoff where Sudeikis, as Ted, only briefly appears. “Lasso” is too valuableto the streamer and the studio — and continues to be an awards juggernaut — to let it go just yet.

“It’s come to that place where if you made a poster of everyone in ‘Ted Lasso’ it would be fucking huge,” writer and star Goldstein (a.k.a. “Roy Kent”) says. “You could do a spin-off of every character.”

Sudeikis has been careful with his words, teasing that this may be the end without outright saying so. When Variety asked some of the other “Ted Lasso” cast members to give their take on the future of the show or spinoffs, some planted their tongue firmly in cheek.

Goldstein says he’d happily play Roy Kent forever. “I love playing Roy Kent. I have pitched a Season 4 idea to Jason that he is considering,” he says with a deadpan expression. “The problem is that in Season 3, five of the main characters die, so my plan for Season 4 is Ted comes back as a ghost, and it’s called ‘Ghost Ted.’ He’s haunting the corridors, but he’s just trying to inspire. Some people don’t believe in ghosts, and that’s the journey the team goes on is eventually believing in ghosts… Jason says he’s only thinking about it.”

When asked if he sees spin-off potential for any other characters in the series, writer and star Brendan Hunt (“Coach Beard”) also cracks wise. “Tina Feyhound – like an animated crimefighting series where Tina Feyhound protects all the hedgehogs of London from all the evil woodpigeons.

“My main plan is to not see any of their faces in person for at least a year,” Hunt adds of his fellow “Ted Lasso” cast and crew, about plans to continue collaborating after Season 3. “They’re all very attractive people who are very fun to hang out with. They’re all very good at ordering meals at restaurants.”

Toheeb Jimoh, who plays Sam, says he’s interested in continuing to tell his character’s story. 

“Whether that happens or not though, I think wherever I go next in my career, there will always be a little bit of Sam Obisanya with me, and it’s going to be a really tough character to say goodbye to,” he says.

Juno Temple, who plays Keeley, says she still doesn’t know if the show is ending — “I think nobody knows yet.” But if it is, she believes the perfect ending for her character (who broke up with Roy at the end of Season 2) is to “be happy on her own, doing what she’s doing before she could be the best partner to anybody.”

And then there’s Nick Mohammed, whose character Nate has gone from being the underdog that viewers rooted for to the villain aiming to steal Ted Lasso’s thunder. Mohammed hints that a happy ending might not necessarily be in the cards just yet for his role.

“The cute answer would be, Nate realizes that he’s been a bit of a prick, and that his actions towards Ted and AFC Richmond were unfounded and uncalled for and that he profusely apologizes,” he says. “He is welcomed back to the club with open arms. He decides to address the toxic relationship he has with his dad, which explains a lot of his deep insecurities. And actually, his dad’s really receptive to that and they kind of hit it off again, and then he’s happy. And I don’t know, finds a partner and gets married, has kids, everything’s great and Ted’s like the best man, something like that. That would be my fairy tale.

“Suffice to say, that’s not how it turns out,” he adds,

At the “Ted Lasso” premiere, press was instructed not to ask about a Season 4, as publicists stressed that no decision has been made. “It will always be dictated by the stories,” Sudeikis says of whether fans hoping for another season should, in Ted’s words, “believe.” 

2023-03-15 18:00:00