What to believe about the future – variety

Here’s how important “Ted Lasso” is to Apple: CEO Tim Cook was among the hundreds who gathered in Westwood last week for the series’ Season 3 premiere. Such events are usually a little more subdued when a series reaches its third season. But not “Ted Lasso,” which packed the 1,400-capacity Regency Village Theater, 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 when the Emmy-winning comedy returns to Apple TV+ on March 15, its fate is on everyone’s mind — including star Jason Sudeikis.

For months, almost everyone involved has hinted that “Lasso” would wind down after these episodes. In a Variety podcast last July, star Brett Goldstein analyzed his words carefully. “It’s written as, in the story we’ve told, 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 kind of a three-act conclusion to this story.”

Further speculating were reports that production was more challenging this time around, with season 3 scripts undergoing heavy rewrites given the expectations surrounding it. Sudeikis also carried more responsibility, taking on full showrunner duties. Talking to VarietySudeikis 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 how close the stories are. … And so while we’re flattered by the curiosity of ‘Is this the last season,’ the fact is that content-wise , if you just go by running time, this season has a season 4 in itself.”

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

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

Sudeikis has been careful with his words, teasing that this could be the end without actually saying so. When Variety asked some of the other “Ted Lasso” cast members to give their take on the future of the show or spin-offs, some got tongues wagging.

Goldstein says he would happily play Roy Kent forever. “I love playing Roy Kent. I’ve pitched a Season 4 idea to Jason that he’s considering,” he says with a deadpan expression. “The problem is, in Season 3, five of the main characters die, so my plan for Season 4 is for Ted to come 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, eventually believing in ghosts… Jason says that’s all he thinks about.”

When asked if he sees spin-off potential for other characters in the series, writer and star Brendan Hunt (“Coach Beard”) also chimes in. “Tina Feyhound – as an animated crime-fighting series where Tina Feyhound protects all the hedgehogs of London from all the evil wood pigeons.

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

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

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

Juno Temple, who plays Keeley, says she still doesn’t know if the show is ending — “I don’t think anyone 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 for anyone.”

And then there’s Nick Mohammed, whose character Nate has gone from being the underdog that viewers rooted for to the villain who aims 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 sweet answer would be that Nate realizes that he’s been a bit of a dick and that his actions towards Ted and AFC Richmond were unwarranted and uncalled for and that he’s very apologetic,” he says. – He will be welcomed back to the club with open arms. He decides to address the toxic relationship he has with his father, which explains much of his deep insecurity. And actually his dad is really receptive to it and they kind of hit it off again and then he’s happy. And I don’t know, find a partner and get married, have kids, everything is great and Ted is like the best man, stuff like that. That would be my adventure.

“Suffice it to say, it won’t be,” he adds,

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

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