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Ted Lasso is the sports comedy drama series on Apple TV+ developed by Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt, and Joe Kelly. The series is based on a character played by Jason Sudeikis in a series of promotional videos for the NBC coverage of England’s top soccer league, the Premier League.
Ted Lasso is an American College football coach who is hired to coach the English soccer team AFC Richmond with the secret intention of completely ruining their chances. Club owner Rebecca Welton, played by Hannah Waddingham, is looking to ruin the reputation of the Greyhounds to hurt the club’s previous owner, her ex-husband Rupert (Anthony Stewart Head).
The character of Ted Lasso is very small town and optimistic which is in complete contrast with the stiff upper lip Britishness of characters such as Rupert, Roy, and Rebecca. However he manages to win them over and his influence on the team allows the players and the club's management to feel at one with themselves and learn the value in teamwork.
The first season of Ted Lasso premiered on Apple TV+ on the 14th of August 2020. Season two premiered on the 23rd of July 2021 and the third season of Ted Lasso began on the 15th of March 2023
Our Ted Lasso facts include which real life footballers were the inspiration for Jamie Tartt, how Ted and Rupert were going to duel instead of darts and what Rebecca’s shortbread really tasted like.
1. Ted Lasso Is More Popular In The USA Than The UK
Despite the show being set in Richmond-upon-Thames and being about the very British institution of football, Ted Lasso has received unprecedented popularity in the United States compared to Great Britain. The main reason Ted Lasso hasn’t been embraced by the British public on the same level is that it is only available to watch by Apple TV+ subscribers.
With many multimedia streaming platforms and television packages available in the UK including Sky, NowTV, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+, UK audience members are experiencing decision fatigue in the middle of a “Cost of Living Crisis” and are prioritising other expenses and subscriptions. Apple TV+ does not have the volume of programming in the UK to warrant yet another subscription therefore viewing figures are less for Ted Lasso than in the USA.
2. Ted Lasso Has High Critical Acclaim
As well as the high praise shared by audiences on social media, Ted Lasso has received critical acclaim particularly for Brett Goldstein, Jason Sudeikis and Hannah Waddingham’s performances. Many critics have also described the show as a masterclass in writing meaningful humour making both the storyline and character arcs the heart of the series but also being funny while doing so.
3. Season 1 Was Nominated For 20 Primetime Emmy Awards
In its first season, Ted Lasso was nominated for 20 Primetime Emmy awards becoming the most nominated Season One of any comedy show in Emmy Awards history. It won the 2021 Primetime Emmy award for Outstanding Comedy Series and Brett Goldstein, Hannah Waddingham and Jason Sudeikis won for their performances. Jason Sudeikis also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor Television Series Musical Or Comedy and the Screen Actors Guild award for Outstanding Performance For A Male Actor In A Comedy Series.
4. Ted Lasso The Character Has Appeared Before
Ted Lasso was commissioned by Apple TV+ in October 2019. In 2013 Jason Sudeikis originally played the role of Ted Lasso as part of a series of TV commercials promoting the coverage of the British Premier League on NBC Sports. Ted Lasso is depicted as the new head coach of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club in the advertisements.
5. Ted Lasso Was Created By Bill Lawrence Of Scrubs
Scrubs creator and television producer Bill Lawrence was brought into work on a TV adaptation of Ted Lasso in 2017. The series is co-owned by Warner Bros Television and by Bill Lawrence‘s production company Doozer and an NBC subsidiary, Universal Television.
6. Ted Lasso Could End At Season 3
Ted Lasso producer Bill Lawrence is best known for creating the TV show Scrubs starring Zach Braff and Donald Faison. While appearing on their Scrubs rewatch podcast named “Fake Doctors, Real Friends”, Bill Lawrence indicated that Ted Lasso would probably just be a three season show due to the availability of Jason Sudeikis beyond a third season and the fact that the story had a planned resolution that could be wrapped up within three seasons.
In June 2022, Brett Goldstein had also commented in an interview that the series would end after three seasons as the writing team were writing to that deadline.
In March 2023, Jason Sudeikis repeated claims that Ted Lasso would only last for three seasons stating that this is the end of the story as the team wanted to tell it. However he did hint at the possibility for spin offs as the other characters have become big names in themselves.
7. Apple TV+ Has A Licensing Deal With The Premier League
Interestingly, Apple TV+ secured a licensing deal with the real English Premier League worth around £500,000 for the series to feature the logos, kit and trophy starting from the third season.
On the 6th of March 2022, which was a day before filming for season three began, Nike posted on Twitter a photo of its swoosh logo incorporated onto an AFC Richmond kit implying that the show had reached a deal with the company as the fictional kit manufacturer on episodes going forward.
8. Ted Lasso Is Similar To Terry Smith
Some critics have suggested that there are many similarities between American Football Head Coach Terry Smith who became the first American to be the Head Coach of a professional English football team, Chester City.
9. Brett Goldstein Was Hired As A Writer But Later Auditioned To Be Roy
Brett Goldstein was hired by the Ted Lasso production team to purely be a writer and story editor. However he realised that he could play a perfect Roy Kent and it was only after sending a video audition of himself using some of the pre-written Roy Kent scenes to Bill Lawrence that Goldstein was cast in the role.
10. Nick Mohammed First Read For Higgins
Nick Mohammed, who plays rival coach Nathan Shelley, originally auditioned for the role of Leslie Higgins before it went to Jeremy Swift
11. Jamie Tartt Was Supposed To Be Latin American
Casting director Theo Park pushed to have Phil Dunster play Jamie Tartt even though the character was originally supposed to be of Latin American descent and was set to be played by Cristo Fernandez.
12. Sam Obisanya Was Meant To Be Ghanaian
The character of Sam Obisanya was originally meant to be of Ghanaian heritage however this was changed to being from Nigeria when Toheeb Jimoh was cast.
13. Ted Lasso Is Filmed On Location In Various Professional Football Stadiums
Most of the street scenes and pub scenes are actually shot in the London Borough of Richmond.
The AFC Richmond training ground and Rebecca‘s office is filmed at the SkyEx Community Stadium which is the home ground for Hayes and Yeading United FC, a semi-professional club playing in the seventh division of England’s competitive football league.
Nelson Road, which is the home stadium of Richmond, is actually Selhurst Park which is a real-life Premier League stadium used by the London club Crystal Palace FC.
Exterior shots of Craven Cottage, which is the home stadium of Fulham FC, were used in Season One to pass off as fellow Premier League ground Goodison Park where AFC Richmond played away at Everton.
In season three of Ted Lasso, we see more of Nathan Shelley‘s involvement with West Ham United. The real West Ham United football stadium, London Stadium, was actually used for filming.
Wembley Stadium was used in Season 2 for the semi-final with Manchester City FC in the FA Cup.
In the episode “Sunflowers”, the Eredivisie side AFC Ajax’s stadium, the Johan Cruyff Arena was used for on and off field scenes.
More Premier League football stadiums including Manchester United’s Old Trafford and Burnley's Turf Moor were used for on field action during season three of Ted Lasso.
14. Many Real-Life Sports Pundits And Personalities Are Used In Ted Lasso
Ted Lasso incorporates many real life members of the British football and TV community including using a number of genuine TV shows and actual presenters, sets, and theme music including Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday.
15. Kasali Casal Choreographs The Football Scenes
During the second season of Ted Lasso, Assistant Director Sophie Worger hired former professional football player Kasali Casal to work on the football choreography. Casal hired a team of former professional players to play an opposition facing AFC Richmond during game scenes including Premier League and England international Lee Hendrie, Jay Bothroyd and former Liverpool player Jermaine Pennant as well as Wolverhampton Wanderers defender George Elokobi.
16. Chelsea Fans Were Were Angry With Apple TV+ And Ted Lasso
The home of Chelsea Football Club Stamford Bridge was used for filming in the third season episode “4 – 5–1”. It’s appearance sparked some controversy among supporters of Chelsea after the show‘s editing team modified a memorial banner for the late Chelsea player Ray Wilkins that was paid for by club supporters.
The commemorative banner which read “They don’t make them like Ray anymore” was actually changed to read “Roy” to tie in with a storyline featuring Roy Kent returning to his old club.
Chelsea football club's owner, Todd Boehly, profusely apologised to fans and to Ray Wilkins’ family in a statement claiming that the deal with AppleTV+ had been agreed before he purchased the club.
17. Nike Provides Official AFC Richmond Merchandise
Ahead of season three of Ted Lasso, Bill Lawrence revealed that Nike would be providing official merchandise for sale including football jerseys, hoodies, tracksuits and practice shirts.
18. The Ted Lasso Cast Were Invited By Joe Biden To The White House
After the third season debuted, the cast of Ted Lasso were invited by the US president Joe Biden to the White House to promote mental health and well-being. Both of these were themes that were featured in storylines during the second and third season of the show.
James Lance, who plays reporter Trent Crimm in Ted Lasso, actually sat in the crowd of press and pretended to be a character asking a question.
19. It Is The Most Watched Series Ever On AppleTV+
Ted Lasso is the most watched TV series to ever premiere on Apple TV+ and the first season premiere episode became Apple TV’s most watched premiere and ranked 89th overall among other TV series and shows measured across streaming platforms from the 1st of November 2019 to the 18th of July 2021.
Apple announced that the second season of Ted Lasso increased its viewership by six times over season one and the final episode of season two ranked ninth place among all SVOD programs and fifth place in the SVOD originals category with 507 million minutes viewed.
20. Claymation Ted Lasso Exists!
In December 2021 a special 4 minute claymation video was released on AppleTV+ named Ted Lasso: The Missing Christmas Moustache.
21. AFC Richmond Appears In Video Game FIFA 23
In September 2022, AFC Richmond and Nelson Road were confirmed to be appearing in the video game FIFA 2023. The AFC Richmond team would be available in multiple online and off-line modes with players also being able to choose Ted Lasso to manage any team in the game as well as have anyone else manage Richmond. Coach Beard, Roy Kent, Jamie Tartt, Sam Obisanya, Dani Rojas, and Isaac McAdoo are also featured in the game.
22. Ted Lasso Isn’t The Only USA/UK Football Crossover Show
Ted Lasso isn’t the only American/British football crossover show. Creators of the Inbetweeners, Damon Beesley and Iain Morris, created a series named The First Team that began on BBC Two in May 2020 featuring Will Arnett, Gary Lineker, Jürgen Klopp, Phil Wang and Jake Short.
In 2001 a mockumentary comedy film directed by Steve Baron starred Ricky Tomlinson as Norwich City manager Mike Bassett who is hired from the lower leagues to manage England in the World Cup. Later a follow up series named Mike Bassett: Manager was created for ITV.
23. Ted Lasso Follows The Trend Of USA Audiences Getting In To UK Football
The release of Ted Lasso came at a good time where US audiences were becoming more interested in the English football league and lower league teams specifically making their way up the ranks. This in part could be down to the renewed interest by wealthy US celebrities in funding lower league football teams across the UK.
Writer and YouTuber John Green has worked with and helped fund AFC Wimbledon with his online community of Nerdfighters and brother Hank Green.
Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, French businessmen and cousin to Seinfeld actor Julia Louis-Dreyfus, is the chairman of Sunderland Football Club. In 2018 Sunderland Football Club became the star of a Netflix Documentary named “Sunderland ‘Til I Die” showing the club in its first season in the Championship after relegation from the Premier League.
This documentary sparked interest in UK football for actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney who went on to buy Welsh side Wrexham A.F.C and created their own sports documentary series on FX called “Welcome to Wrexham”.
24. Rebecca’s Shortbread Tasted Horrible
Hannah Waddingham, who plays Rebecca Welton, has said in interviews that the shortbread biscuits that Ted Lasso brings her character every morning before work were “absolutely horrific”! She went on to say that the prop department admitted that they hadn’t put much work into making them taste delicious but instead just made them look the part as they didn’t realise that Waddingham was meant to eat them with enthusiasm in her scenes. She also joked about the scenes where she eats a shortbread biscuit are some of the greatest acting that she has ever done in her life.
25. Ted Lasso And Jason Sudeikis Have Relationship Parallels
Fans of Jason Sudeikis may be able to see parallels between Ted's situation with his ex partner and son Henry to that of Sudeikis’ own marriage breakdown with Olivia Wilde. The pair split up after being married and having children together when she was filming her feature film Don’t Worry Darling. Wilde then went on to have a short relationship with star of the film Harry Styles. The character of Ted Lasso moved to the UK and begins to grieve his relationship and start to move on. Fans have noted how Jason Sudeikis filming in the UK while his relationship was over seemed very similar to the storyline in the show.
26. Jason Sudeikis Actually Hit His Head On Rebecca’s Door
In one memorable scene we see Ted Lasso rushing out of Rebecca’s office hitting his head on the door frame. This great moment of slapstick comedy was not actually scripted but instead a take gone wrong where Jason Sudeikis hurt his head on the door and it was left in the final cut!
27. Roy Kent Is Modelled On Roy Keane
Football fans may have noticed that the name Roy Kent is remarkably similar to the name of professional footballer Roy Keane who played in the Premier League from 1992 to 2006 for both Nottingham Forest and Manchester United. Roy Keane was also team captain famous for his temper and aggression both on and off the field much like the character of Roy Kent. Coach beer describes Roy Kent as a “box-to-box Midfielder” which was a description often used to describe Roy Keane‘s style of play.
28. Mr and Mrs Higgins Are Married In Real Life
Jeremy Swift and Mary Roscoe who play both Leslie Higgins and his wife Julie are actually married in real life!
29. Marcus Mumford Sings The Ted Lasso Theme Song
The Ted Lasso theme song is performed by Marcus Mumford from the band Mumford & Sons. Marcus is friends with Jason Sudeikis and Sudeikis has featured in the Mumford & Sons music video for the track, Hopeless Wanderer.
30. There Is An Allen Iverson Reference
Ted Lasso gives a speech to Jamie Tartt about practising that is nearly identical to a response given by Allen Iverson (Former American Basketball Player) during a press conference.
31. There Is An Johan Cruyff Reference
In Season One Episode Ten, Rebecca says the line “every disadvantage has its advantage” which is an aphorism famously linked to the Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff.
32. Hannah Waddingham Is An Accomplished Stage Actor And Singer
The character of Rebecca Welton has a hidden talent of being a great singer which we have seen a few times in Ted Lasso episodes. Hannah Waddingham is a very accomplished singer who reached 41 in the UK charts with a single entitled “Our Kind Of Love” from the production, The Beautiful Game by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton. Waddingham has also starred in many theatre roles including Lady of the Lake in Spamalot in both London and on Broadway for which she received an Olivier Award nomination. She has also starred in Into The Woods and The Wizard of Oz.
33. Richmond Green Is Really Very Small
Many of the scenes in Ted Lasso are filmed in Richmond Green which is shown to be much bigger than its real size of 4.8 hectares.
34. The Ted Lasso Creators Play FIFA Together
During the pandemic in 2020 Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, and Joe Kelly along with other actors from the show played a lot of FIFA online together. Before the show had been released they had created an AFC Richmond club and were playing as their characters.
35. Zach Braff Directs The Second Ever Episode
Ted Lasso producer Bill Lawrence is also well known for creating the sitcom Scrubs starring Zach Braff. Zach Braff actually directed the second ever episode of Ted Lasso, “Biscuits”, as he happened to be in the UK while the series was being filmed.
36. AFC Richmond Have A Latin Motto
While Ted Lasso bought the word “Believe” to AFC Richmond as their motto, the Latin motto seen in the locker room is "Gradarius Firmus Victoria", which translates to "Slow and Steady Wins the Race."
37. There Is A Kansas City Barbeque Reference
In Season One Episode One we see Ted Lasso wearing a “Joe Arthur Gate Stack” T-shirt which is a mash up of several popular Kansas City barbecue restaurants including Joe‘s, Arthur Bryants, Gates and Jack Stack. Much like Ted Lasso‘s character Jason Sudeikis grew up in Kansas in a suburb called Overland Park.
38. The Ted Lasso Pub Is Really Called The Princes Head
The pub which Ted Lasso routinely has a drink in with Coach Beard and the AFC Richmond fans is named The Crown and Anchor in the show but is The Princes Head in real life and is owned by the pub chain Fullers in Richmond Green.
39. The Show’s Creators Were In The Same Improv Group
Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt (who plays Coach Beard) and Joe Kelly (writer) all attended the Amsterdam-based improvisational comedy group Boom Chicago. Brendan Hunt also wrote a comedy show based on his experience as an American in Amsterdam.
40. What Does The Graffiti Say In The Ted Lasso Opening Credits?
During the opening credits of Ted Lasso, we see several graffitied messages written on stadium chairs. Some of the graffiti includes:
Get On Your Knees Ref
Ted Lasso Followed By A Strangled Emoji Instead Of The O
Nate The Great
Bobby Relegate Rebecca
Roy Kent Will Kill Your Ground!
Greyhound Til I Die
Ref Get Off Your Knees
In Kent We Trust
41. It Was Originally Cricket, Not Darts
The memorable darts scene with Ted Lasso and Rupert in Season One Episode Eight was originally planned to be a cricket game.
42. Richmond Green Used To Hold Jousting Matches
In mediaeval times, Richmond Green, which is the main area used to film Ted Lasso, was used for jousting tournaments. Most of the properties in Richmond Green are Grade II listed buildings including one of the lamp posts and two telephone boxes. This listing denotes historical preservation and that they are important landmarks in the area.
43. Babies Named After The Characters Have Increased In The USA
According to statistics, Jamie, Roy, Richmond and Keeley were used as popular baby names across America In 2021.
44. There Is A Caddyshack Reference
In Season Two Episode One, Ted Lasso is trying to help Dani Rojas overcome his fear and he says “Be the ball Danny” which is a direct quote from Chevy Chase‘s Caddyshack.
45. Bumbercatch Is Cumberbatch
Many fans of Ted Lasso have noticed that the football player Moe Bumbercatch is a parody and play on words of the actor Benedict Cumberbatch.
46. Anthony Stewart Head Is Used To Playing A “Rupert”
Anthony Head plays the character Rupert Mannion, the horrible ex-husband of AFC Richmond owner Rebecca Welton. This is the second time Anthony Stewart Head has played a character with the name Rupert as he is famously known for playing the role of Rupert Giles the Watcher in Buffy the Vampire Slayer from 1997 to 2003.
47. Jamie Tartt Is A Mix Of 3 Real Footballers
Many Ted Lasso fans have speculated as to whether Phil Dunster‘s character Jamie Tartt is modelled on the English football player Jack Grealish, mainly because of his hairstyle. In interviews Phil Dunster has confirmed that his character is a mix of Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Jimmy Bullard (ex-footballer turned presenter) and Mason Mount (Chelsea FC).
48. Ted Lasso’s Wichita State Programme Doesn’t Exist
Ted Lasso was an American College Football coach before he came to lead AFC Richmond. He is said to have led the Wichita State Shockers to a Division 2 NCAA championship but in real life Wichita State University discontinued its football program after 1986.
Thanks for reading "48 Ted Lasso Facts Every Greyhounds Fan Needs To Know - Go AFC Richmond!" on January Media.