Ted Lasso is an American sports comedy-drama television series developed by Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt and Joe Kelly, based on a character Sudeikis first portrayed in a series of promos for NBC Sports’ coverage of England’s Premier League. The show follows Ted Lasso, an American college football coach who is hired to coach an English soccer team with the secret intention that his inexperience will lead it to failure, but whose folksy, optimistic leadership proves unexpectedly successful.
The first season of ten episodes premiered on Apple TV+ on August 14, 2020, with three episodes followed by weekly installments. A second season of 12 episodes premiered on July 23, 2021. In October 2020, the series was renewed for a third season, which premiered on March 15, 2023.
The series has received critical acclaim, with particular praise for its performances (particularly Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, and Brett Goldstein), humor, writing, themes, and uplifting tone. Among other accolades, its first season was nominated for 20 Primetime Emmy Awards, becoming the most nominated first-season comedy in Emmy Award history. Sudeikis, Waddingham and Goldstein won for their performances, and the series won the 2021 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series. Sudeikis also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series.
- Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso, an American college football coach who is hired to coach AFC Richmond, an English soccer team. He is frequently ridiculed for his folksy optimism and inexperience with the sport, but gradually wins people over through his kind, hopeful, and compassionate approach to coaching.
- Hannah Waddingham as Rebecca Welton, the new owner of AFC Richmond. Kind yet vindictive, she initially hires Lasso as a ploy to sabotage the team, but eventually comes to appreciate him.
- Jeremy Swift as Leslie Higgins, the timid but playful Director of Football Operations. He has a large family with five sons.
- Phil Dunster as Jamie Tartt, a talented but egotistical young up-and-coming striker. Tartt is based on current Manchester City F.C. player Jack Grealish.
- Brett Goldstein as Roy Kent, a veteran box-to-box midfielder, captain and later assistant coach of AFC Richmond. Kent is primarily based on hot-headed Irish former footballer Roy Keane.
- Brendan Hunt as Coach Beard, Lasso’s grounded, laconic longtime assistant and friend.
- Nick Mohammed as Nathan “Nate” Shelley, the team’s former kit man turned assistant coach who is now head coach at West Ham United.
- Juno Temple as Keeley Jones, an ambitious model who becomes the club’s manager of marketing and public relations, before starting her own firm.
- Sarah Niles as Dr. Sharon Fieldstone (season 2; recurring season 3), a sports psychologist.
- Anthony Head as Rupert Mannion (season 3; recurring season 1; guest season 2), Rebecca’s philandering ex-husband, the former owner of AFC Richmond, and the current owner of West Ham United.
- Toheeb Jimoh as Sam Obisanya (season 3; recurring seasons 1–2), a young Nigerian right back, later converted to a right winger.
- Cristo Fernández as Dani Rojas (season 3; recurring seasons 1–2), an enthusiastic young forward from Mexico who joins midway through the first season, after recovering from an injury.
- Kola Bokinni as Isaac McAdoo (season 3; recurring seasons 1–2), a center-back who is the vice-captain, later promoted to captain.
- Billy Harris as Colin Hughes (season 3; recurring seasons 1–2), a young Welsh left winger.
- James Lance as Trent Crimm (season 3; recurring seasons 1–2), a skeptical reporter formerly working for The Independent before being fired in Season 2 after revealing Nate was the anonymous source who leaked Ted’s panic attack; in season 3 he is writing a book about the club.
The series was commissioned in October 2019 by Apple TV+, with Jason Sudeikis reprising his role as Lasso. Sudeikis originally portrayed the title character in 2013 as part of a series of television commercials for NBC Sports promoting their coverage of the Premier League, in which Lasso is depicted as the new head coach of Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Television producer and Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence was brought in to work on a television series based around the character in 2017. The series is co-owned by Warner Bros. Television, where Lawrence’s production company Doozer is based, and which controls linear distribution rights to the series, and NBC subsidiary Universal Television, which is a “passive partner”.
On August 19, 2020, Apple TV+ renewed the series for a 10-episode second season. It was later confirmed that the second season had been expanded to 12 episodes. On October 28, 2020, the series was renewed for a third season. On an episode of the Scrubs rewatch podcast Fake Doctors, Real Friends with Zach + Donald, Lawrence indicated that Ted Lasso would likely be a “three-season show” due to Sudeikis’ limited availability beyond the third season, and that the story had a planned resolution within those three seasons. In June 2022, Brett Goldstein also commented that the series would end after three seasons—”We are writing it like that.” In March 2023, Sudeikis said that the third season “is the end of this story that we wanted to tell”, and that there are possibilities for spin-offs.
In October 2021, Apple TV+ reached a licensing deal with the Premier League worth as much as £500,000 (around $682,000) for the series to feature the league’s logos, kits, and trophy starting from the third season. On March 6, 2022, a day before filming for season 3 began, Nike, Inc. posted on its official Twitter account a photo of its trademark Swoosh logo incorporated onto an AFC Richmond kit, implying that the show’s production had reached a deal with the company to act as the fictional club’s “official” kit manufacturer on future episodes.
Some sources have noted the many similarities between the character of Ted Lasso and Terry Smith, an American football head coach who became the first American to be the manager/head coach of a professional English soccer club. AppleMagazine.com (which is not affiliated with Apple Inc.) writes that the series “was actually inspired by the story of Terry Smith, an American gridiron football coach who took over the English association football team Chester City and subsequently installed himself as the first-team coach”.
July 23, 2021
- E01 – “Goodbye Earl”
- E02 – “Lavender”
- E03 – “Do the Right-est Thing”
- E04 – “Carol of the Bells”
- E05 – “Rainbow”
- E06 – “The Signal”
- E07 – “Headspace”
- E08 – “Man City”
- E09 – “Beard After Hours”
- E10 – “No Weddings and a Funeral”
- E11 – “Midnight Train to Royston”
- E12 – “Inverting the Pyramid of Success”
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