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Kristen Baldwin Thinks the Deeper-Than-Expected Characters of ’Ted Lasso’ Will Hook Viewers More Than Its Soccer Scenes
EW TV Critic, Kristen Baldwin, explains the origins of the new series 'Ted Lasso,' and explains why you don't need to be a sports fan to enjoy this show!
The year of Ted Lasso continues!
On Wednesday, the Apple TV+ comedy, a.k.a the feel-good series of 2020, lassoed Golden Globe nominations for Best Comedy Series and Best Actor in a Comedy Series for star, writer, and co-creator Jason Sudeikis.
To celebrate these big goals, EW chatted with Ted Lasso co-creator Bill Lawrence (Scrubs) about the continued outpouring of love for the series and what to expect in season 2, which is currently in production.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Congrats on a good morning.
BILL LAWRENCE: Yeah, this kind of stuff is always fun. I'm just so happy for Jason, because he's kind of a voice and leader of the show. And I'm sure those guys can all use a pick me up. They're over in London shooting as we speak.
I was gonna ask if you were in the U.K. as well, but, no, sounds like you're in Los Angeles and having to get up at a crazy hour.
I'm in L.A., but I got three kids, so I woke up and it was my normal hour.
You've been doing this for such a long time, and you've had your shows recognized going back to Spin City and Scrubs. Does getting those early nods and then going a bit of time between them make it any sweeter when it happens again?
I don't want to sound cavalier, it's always fun to get nominated, but, honestly, everybody working on this show is grateful for the gig. And to be able to be out working right now, not everybody gets to do that. It's such a super cool work environment, everybody is so gracious and kind and a good hang. So, for me, it's fun to watch all the people on this show get to enjoy that stuff.
Do you think the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was just waiting for a football show to finally come along?
All I know is the writing staff and Jason, a lot of us are Americans, and we've finally graduated to calling it football instead of soccer, so that's a huge victory for us. The freaky thing for people who haven't witnessed it firsthand is when you're over there, there's nothing akin to Premier League fandom, except maybe the crazy big-time football programs here, where it's a whole community based around supporting a team. It's a little overwhelming but it's pretty neat.
A couple years ago, when you come aboard this prospective project that was attempting to take a character from an NBC Sports promo and make a show out of it, could you have ever imagined this kind of overwhelming reaction? It seems like every week there's a new group of people discovering it and bowing at the alter that is Ted Lasso.
Man, Jason and I, and Brendan [Hunt] and Joe [Kelly], the two other creators who work on the show, and the cast, writers, none of us really knew how people would react to the show. And this has nothing to do with awards. One of the coolest things now is you can kind of watch the trajectory of this stuff, like you said, on social media, from when it comes out and having people respond in real time. So I think all of us were psyched to do a show that was about hopefulness and optimism and forgiveness. I didn't know people were really going to dig on that comedy-wise. It's super fun right now to watch people still finding it and we're all crazy grateful. And the awards stuff is just gravy. I mean, it's certainly not anything any of us were upset about.
You mentioned Jason, and you have such an amazing cast around him, but obviously he is the titular Ted Lasso and really put himself out there and created such a unique character that so many people have gravitated towards. What's it been like seeing everything he's put into this continue to be celebrated?
Well, look, I'm shying away from doing these calls because I guarantee that doing any interviews is not something that Jason is focused on. For me, when I see him nominated for Best Actor, that's super cool. The dude deserves it, and certainly isn't angling for it. But it does takeaway for me the fact that he is a writer, producer, and voice of the show. He's not just acting in it, he's doing the types of stuff that Larry David does on Curb Your Enthusiasm. So it's really cool watching him and even getting to help him a little put his voice out there.
Apple TV +
You mentioned at the top that the team is over in London working on season 2. How is that going? I assume you wrote all of the episodes ahead of them heading over.
Yeah, the writing staff worked in Zoom rooms and wrote the season and Jason being the head writer there with us, and then he and the gang are all over in the U.K. shooting it now. They're about a third of the way done.
What would be your super, super, super early tease of what to expect in season 2?
Oh, that's now how Apple rolls, man! [Laughs] I think that we're telling a story that we know the beginning, middle, and end of, but I certainly think Ted will remain Ted but as flawed and as complicated and inherently as kind of a character as ever. But it's going to be fun to watch. There's always some surprises but I can't give you specifics. I have to give you a lame answer.
Ted Lasso, which was already renewed for a third season, is expected to return this year to Apple TV+.