‘Ted Lasso’ Co-Creator Bill Lawrence On Apple TV+ Comedy’s Golden Globes Breakthrough & His ‘Head Of The Class’ Reboot

Matt Grobar
·3 min read

It’s been quite a morning for Ted Lasso’s Bill Lawrence.

While at work on the Warner Bros. lot, he found out that his Apple TV+ comedy—co-created by Joe Kelly, Brendan Hunt and Jason Sudeikis—had received a pair of Golden Globe nominations. Sudeikis was recognized for his lead performance, while the show itself landed a coveted slot in the category of Best TV Series – Musical or Comedy.

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Around the same time, the show was met with three Writers Guild Award nominations, for Best Comedy Series, New Series and Episodic Comedy.

In conversation with Deadline today, Lawrence said that it has been “a really cool experience” to see the show receive so much love. At the same time, though, he feels that “caring about awards” is antithetical to the very nature of Ted Lasso. “So, it feels disingenuous to make too big a deal out of all this,” he added, “except to say that we’re grateful, and it’s always cool to be lumped together with a bunch of other good shows.”

A pop culture phenomenon that has struck a chord globally, Ted Lasso centers on an American football coach who heads to the UK to manage an elite British football team, with no prior exposure to the latter sport. Emphasizing kindness, optimism and forgiveness—even amid widespread cynicism in the world—the show has been “therapeutic to work on,” Lawrence says.

Debuting in August, the comedy was renewed for a second season days after its premiere—and in October, it was picked up for a third. And while the EP can’t share any details, in terms of plot, he notes that he and his collaborators have known from the get-go how they’d like the show to end. “We have no idea how long the show is going to last now, except I bet much like Ted himself, we’ll keep doing it as long as it’s fun,” he said. “I said jokingly to somebody else, ‘You’ll know the show’s over if Ted ever suddenly enjoys a glass of British tea.’”

While Ted Lasso Season 2 is currently about a third of the way through production overseas, Lawrence is back in LA, producing the pilot for a reboot of ’80s comedy Head of the Class. When it comes to this HBO Max series, spearheaded by writers Seth Cohen and Amy Pocha, he again can’t share many details, noting only his gratitude to be able to work at this time, and the bizarre nature of filming amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It is a little bit like being in a science fiction show, because understandably, the second you get there, everybody’s in PPE,” Lawrence said. “[That’s] kind of surreal when it comes to TV production, when you’re trying to sell connection, friendship, and closeness. But it’s a really good group, and I think it’s going pretty well.”

At this year’s Golden Globe Awards, Ted Lasso’s competition in the Musical or Comedy category includes Emily in Paris (Netflix), The Great (Hulu), Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV) and The Flight Attendant (HBO Max). A release date for its second season has not yet been disclosed.

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