11:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Ted Lasso' Scores Early Season 3 Renewal at Apple
Ted Lasso is adding to its winning ways.
Apple has handed out an early season three renewal for the Jason Sudeikis soccer comedy from showrunner Bill Lawrence. The pickup arrives as the series is gearing up to return to production in January in London on its second season.
Sources note that the comedy featuring Sudeikis reprising his 2013 role as the beleaguered American soccer coach from a series of NBC Sports promotional videos has continued to grow since its Aug. 14 debut. The show has broken audience records for Apple (which, like other streamers, does not release traditional viewership data) and has drawn 25 percent new viewers to the platform. The series has grown more than 600 percent and set new records for competition and engagement worldwide.
Further helping its case, Ted Lasso has ranks as Apple's top comedy in 50 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Canada, Russia and Japan. The well-reviewed show — it has an impressive 98 percent among critics and 86 percent among viewers on RottenTomatos.com — is a co-production between Warner Bros. TV and Universal TV.
Lawrence, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter podcast TV's Top 5, said Ted Lasso will not be among the programs that write the novel coronavirus pandemic into its scripts. "When we shot it the first time, this wasn't on our radar," he said. "If [COVID-19] is still a day-to-day issue when a second season would come out … people are going to want escapist entertainment. … Half-empty stadiums with Zoom crowds? It's too weird to even be writing."
Ted Lasso joins a roster of renewed originals at Apple including Dickinson (also picked up for season three ahead of its sophomore debut), Little America, Home Before Dark, Mythic Quest, Truth Be Told, See, Servant and The Morning Show. Apple's originals also include animated comedy Central Park, Little Voice (currently awaiting word on season two), Foundation, Pachinko and many more.