Ted Lasso, Jason Sudeikis Drama, Production Delays: Report

Jason Sudeikis at this year’s Emmys, where his show Ted Lasso was showered with honours.
Photo: Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Ted Lasso isn’t so perfect either. New reports from Puck suggest that the series’ star writer and creator, Jason Sudeikis, is delaying production. The inspirational sitcom has been in the works for almost a year – an extended period given that season three will consist of around 12 episodes – and sources say they haven’t seen the light at the end of the tunnel yet. Apparently, Sudeikis’ perfectionism and inability to sign scripts left the production in a cycle of rewrites (what would Ted Lasso say about that behavior, Sudeikis?). Although the writers room began operating in September 2021, major script changes have delayed filming until March of this year, with changing character arcs and other changes bleeding into April. To complicate matters, filming added weeks to the schedule, including a scene at the Chelsea Football Club stadium which was frozen for a time after the club’s Russian oligarch owner was forced to sell the team. following the invasion of Ukraine by his country. It gets worse and worse: the sitcom requires additional post-production to digitally render the stages, so editing takes a while. The third season is 20-30% over budget and counting, a source estimates. Vulture has contacted Sudeikis & Co. for comment.

Although rewrites were not uncommon, there would also be money issues and people issues. As for the former: A streaming-focused “cost plus” model has led Apple TV+ and Warner Bros. arguing over who pays for budget overruns. Essentially, Apple TV+ distributes the Warner-produced and managed show, paying the studio the production costs up front plus a premium that’s the percentage of the budget. With an over-budgeted show under this model, the two companies have to negotiate who will foot the bill once the season is over. Aside from the complicated financial language, the cast members would also suffer from the delays and cannot work on other projects until they are completed. Lasso. Plus, some of them could be paid more, even after a Season 2 contract renegotiation with Warner. Currently, the salary floor for Ted Lasso is $150,000 per episode, sources say (leading some to share their gripes with Apple). Amid ongoing production struggles, the feel-good comedy won a total of four Primetime Emmys on Sept. 12, including the night’s top honors: Best Comedy and Best Lead Actor for Sudeikis. Still, it looks like the on-set drama is really making its rounds this year.