The hilarious and fun fish-out-of-water comedy has become an international hit, thanks to the irrepressible positivity of its main character.
But with Ted Lasso returning for his third – and likely last – series on Apple TV+ last week, there was only one question on fans’ minds: What’s wrong with Ted?
The exploits of the charmingly optimistic but inexperienced American struggling to coach London’s fictional football club, AFC Richmond, usually delight viewers, but many of the downbeat tunes are unexpectedly turned off in the opening episode. One fan called him “Dreary”.
And that might be a good reason for that, as the private life of its star, writer and executive producer Jason Sudeikis was in turmoil during the series’ production. At the time he was in a bitter dispute with his ex-wife, Olivia Wilde, who left him for former One Direction co-star Harry Styles.
Shortly after filming the new series from Ted Lasso began in London last year, lawyers representing former stand-up comic Sudeikis filed custody papers on Wilde while she was onstage in Las Vegas.
Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde attend the Don’t Worry Darling red carpet at the 79th Venice International Film Festival
Pictured: Jason Sudeikis. The exploits of the charmingly optimistic but inexperienced American struggling to coach London’s fictional football club, AFC Richmond, usually delight viewers, but many of the downbeat tunes are unexpectedly turned off in the opening episode. A fan called him “Dreary”
She criticized the “outrageous legal tactics” which she said were “clearly intended to threaten me…he chose to serve me in the most aggressive way possible”.
The pair’s acrimonious split came in late 2020, around which time the third series of the comedy was being done by Apple executives who realized they had a blow on their hands. Sudeikis, now 47, and Wilde, 39, have been together for nearly a decade and share a son Otis, now eight, and daughter Daisy, six.
Just weeks after they announced their supposed ‘amicable’ split, Wilde was photographed holding hands with Styles – who is a decade her junior – after they met on the set of her movie Don’t Worry Baby.
Sudeikis—who was said at the time to be heartbroken—apparently used his anguish to inspire a Ted lasso, as his character goes through a divorce, straining the relationship with his son. At the end of last week’s episode, he learns his ex is seeing a new guy.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that the drama in his private life could spill over to the page,” a source who knows both Sudeikis and Wilde said last night. The full novel in the new series deals with the pain of a broken marriage.
However, “pain” isn’t what fans are chiming in with. At the Prince’s Head pub in Richmond, southwest London – which doubles as The Crown and Anchor in the show – a viewer lamented Friday: “I’ve never been so depressed watching a comedy.”
The change of tone didn’t go unnoticed by television critics, who got to preview the first four episodes of the new series. The Washington Post noted that “the main character is in a rut” and said the show was treading water. ‘Ted actually did cash out, whether he realized it or not,’ writes reviewer Lili Loofbourow. Los Angeles-based writer Valerie Eitenhofer said the show is “more likely to make viewers cry than laugh”.
Pictured: Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis. The private lives of star Ted Lasso, writer and executive producer Jason Sudeikis were in turmoil during the production of the series. At the time he was in a bitter feud with his ex-wife, actress Olivia Wilde, who left him for former One Direction star Harry Styles.
After his split from Wilde, Sudeikis began dating Ted Lasso co-star Keeley Hazell, the former model who plays Bex on the series. However, they also reportedly broke up shortly after filming began last year, and at the launch of the new series in Los Angeles last month, they were seen keeping their distance.
But his separation from Wilde seems to have cast a long shadow. A studio executive called their breakup “the biggest sex show since Brangelina” — a reference to the scandal that engulfed Brad Pitt when he dumped his wife, Jennifer Aniston, for Angelina Jolie in 2005.
“Jason is a darling in Hollywood,” the source added. He’s someone who worked his way up through the ranks before hitting it big with Ted Lasso. The show has become so important that Tim Cook [Apple’s chief executive] He came to the launch party. Everyone felt sorry for Jason when his private life became tabloid fodder.
Another source described how the split was a “tough time for Olivia and Jason,” but insisted that the reality wasn’t as toxic as many might think.
“There was a lot of drama,” they said, “but a lot of it was triggered by social media.” It was just one negative headline after another. But they always put their children’s needs first.
Sudeikis’ friend says he has now moved on emotionally after his split from Wilde.
The pair were recently photographed together in Los Angeles, prompting speculation that they may have reunited – although they told The Mail on Sunday: ‘That’s not the case. Olivia and Jason remain good friends and are committed to their children’s well-being.
Reps for Sudeikis, who is worth £25m, declined to comment but a source said: ‘He’s been busy promoting the programme. The hype and drama were a distraction, but Jason is in a great place. He is happy and looking forward to the future.
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