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UNDRAFTED

Ted Lasso: The Unlikely Origin Story of a Goofy Football Coach

But getting the show made was not an easy task. Sudeikis and his co-creators pitched the show to every streaming service they could imagine, and it took years before Apple TV+ finally took a chance on it in 2019.

Ted Lasso is a comedy series that premiered on Apple TV+ in August 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Created by Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, and Joe Kelly, the show has since become a cultural phenomenon, garnering critical acclaim, massive viewership numbers, and a slew of awards.


The show’s plot is simple yet charming. Ted Lasso, an American football coach, is hired to manage a fictional English Premier League soccer team, AFC Richmond, despite having no experience coaching soccer. The team’s owner, Rebecca Welton, wants the team to fail so that she can get revenge on her unfaithful ex-husband, the team’s previous owner. But the coach’s charm, personality, and humor eventually win everyone over, and he becomes a beloved figure in the team and the community.


The character of Ted Lasso was initially created by Sudeikis, Hunt, and Kelly in the early 2000s while they were performing improv comedy in Amsterdam. The idea of an American football coach coaching an English football team while knowing nothing about the sport was born during backstage video game sessions playing the FIFA soccer game. The trio then used the Ted Lasso character to create an NBC promo called “An American Coach in London” in 2013, which was a massive success and led to the creation of the Ted Lasso series.


But getting the show made was not an easy task. Sudeikis and his co-creators pitched the show to every streaming service they could imagine, and it took years before Apple TV+ finally took a chance on it in 2019. Even then, no one was sure if the show would work.


But work it did. The first season of Ted Lasso was an immediate hit, becoming Apple TV+’s most-watched premiere episode ever. The show’s success has only continued to grow, with the second season’s premiere episode being six times bigger than the first season’s premiere. The show has also been nominated for a record 20 Emmy nominations in back-to-back years in 2021 and 2022, winning 11 of them, including Outstanding Comedy Series in 2022.


The success of Ted Lasso is due in large part to its heartwarming and optimistic tone, its talented cast, and its relatable themes. The show deals with issues such as grief, forgiveness, teamwork, and the power of positivity, all while delivering hilarious and memorable moments. The show’s creators have also been praised for their commitment to diversity and representation, with characters of different ethnicities, sexual orientations, and genders.


But perhaps what makes Ted Lasso truly special is its origins as a passion project between three best friends. Sudeikis, Hunt, and Kelly have been friends for over 20 years, and their love for comedy and soccer is evident in every episode. The show’s characters and themes are rooted in their personal experiences and beliefs, making it a truly authentic and genuine work of art.


In conclusion, Ted Lasso is a shining example of the power of creativity, passion, and friendship. The show’s creators have managed to turn a goofy character born from video game sessions into a multi-million-dollar brand that has captured the hearts of millions of viewers around the world. Ted Lasso is more than just a TV show; it’s a cultural phenomenon that celebrates the human spirit and the beauty of the beautiful game.

Austyn McFadden

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

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