What started out as a funny promo for NBC Sports a decade ago has become a bona fide worldwide hit, with Ted Lasso winning the hearts of soccer diehards and non-sports fans alike. The story of an optimistic American college football coach who’s put in charge of a British soccer team was like chicken soup for the COVID-bruised soul when it debuted during the pandemic in 2020. Even more fans became believers when Season 2 debuted in July 2021, but it’s been a long time between pints, and now fans are wondering when we’ll actually get to see the long-awaited, much-delayed Season 3. Here’s everything we know about the new (and possibly final) season of the Apple TV+ series.
When Will Season 3 Air?
The eagerly anticipated return of Ted Lasso doesn’t have a premiere date. The 12-episode season was originally slated to start filming in September 2021, but production was delayed until March 2022. At the Emmys in September 2022, when the Apple TV+ series won the award for Outstanding Comedy Series, Jason Sudeikis, who plays the titular soccer coach, said in his acceptance speech, “We’ll see you for Season 3, at some point.”
What’s the Hold Up?
The Saturday Night Live alum, who has won back-to-back Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his portrayal of the mustachioed Kansas native, took over as the series’ showrunner for Season 3. According to a report by Puck News, Sudeikis decided the 12 new scripts needed a significant rewrite, which led to changes in character arcs and a location shoot in Amsterdam in April 2022 that further delayed the schedule and blew out production costs. Puck reported that “the Season 3 budget has ballooned between 20% and 30% (and counting).”
Additional delays were caused by the show’s plan to film several scenes at Stamford Bridge stadium, the home of the Chelsea Football Club. That was put on pause when the team’s owner, Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, was forced to sell the club after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Possibly adding to the issues is Sudeikis’ tendency to do what co-star Nick Mohammed (Nate) calls “his kind of overnight pass.”
“We’ll get the scripts for the scenes that were coming the next day, but there’s sort of no point in learning them because Jason will rewrite a little bit in the morning, first thing. But that’s fine because it keeps it all fresh,” he told Us Weekly in July 2022. “It takes such a long time to film a season there. There are definitely times when a spontaneous idea might happen on set and then inform a latest script, and so on. It’s quite rewarding, actually, to be part of that process as an actor. Things do constantly evolve, but I think the broad sort of story ideas and backstory and overall season arcs, they’re pretty set in terms of what they’re going to be.”
Where Did Things End for the Characters Last Year?
Season 2 ended in October 2021 with AFC Richmond battling back from relegation and being promoted to the Premier League. But former star player Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein) joining the club’s coaching team left “wonder kid” Nate feeling neglected, which turned to bitterness and anger that saw him betray Ted. In the final episode, he defected to West Ham United, now owned by Rupert Mannion (Anthony Head), Rebecca Welton’s (Hannah Waddingham) douchebag of an ex-husband. Keeley Jones (Juno Temple) also left Richmond to start her own PR film and turned down her boyfriend Roy’s offer to go on a luxury vacation together.
Sudeikis has compared this season to The Empire Strikes Back, the middle instalment in the original Star Wars trilogy: think of Dr. Sharon Fieldstone (Sarah Niles) as Yoda, Nate kissing Keeley as Luke and Leia’s sibling smooch, and some Darkside Dads in the form of Nate and Jamie Tartt’s fathers (Phil Dunster).
How Many Episodes Will There Be in Ted Lasso Season 3?
Twelve—the same as Season 2, and you can expect each character to have their chance to shine. “Jason is so very generous as a producer and creator. He gives all of the characters a storyline. I think that’s why the episodes are so full. There are so many storylines—he wants every character to have an arc,” Ted Lasso editor A.J. Catoline told The Hollywood Reporter.
Ted, Rebecca, Nate, Roy, Keeley, Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt) and Higgins (Jeremy Swift) are back, along with Jamie, Sam Obisanya (Toheeb Jimoh), Dani Rojas (Cristo Fernández), Isaac (Kola Bokinni) and Colin (Billy Harris). The show’s executive producer Bill Lawrence told Deadline in October 2021 that Dr. Sharon and former Independent reporter Trent Crimm (James Lance) “have significant roles” in Season 3.
Any New Cast Members?
Jodi Balfour, who stars in the Apple TV+ space drama For All Mankind, has joined in a recurring role. The South African native, who also played Jackie Kennedy in The Crown, is portraying a “charming venture capitalist” named Jack, according to Deadline. Balfour was spotted filming with Temple in London in April 2022. She’s not the only fresh face; Ted Lasso editor Melissa McCoy told The Hollywood Reporter that new players will “invigorate” the locker room next season.
What Will Happen to Nate?
Nate the Great’s turn to the dark side will be a key plot point in Season 3, with Mohammed telling ScreenRant in June 2022 that “it was clear with the way Season 2 ended that we’re very much in the middle of Nate’s story. I think a lot of people would like to see him redeemed because that feels like the nature of the show. But equally, there are people who think that—and possibly rightly so—he’s overstepped the mark. His behavior with Keeley, his betrayal of Ted, and his leaving Richmond is just generally one thing too many.” Mohammed then added, “Maybe he’s a character who won’t get that redemption arc. I won’t give anything away, but all I’ll say is it’s another absolute roller coaster.”
Will Rebecca and Sam Reunite, or Will She End Up With Ted?
The romance between club owner Rebecca and idealistic but much younger Richmond defender Sam was surprising to some fans, who expected her to hook up with Ted. But Waddingham has dismissed speculation about the coach and his boss being in a slow-burn romance. “It’s social conditioning says a lead woman and a lead man are going to end up together,” she told People in July 2022. “Far deeper is the beauty of sometimes a platonic relationship, where you will be the last one at the person’s bedside, even if you haven’t slept with them. There may be more longevity in that.”
As for Rebecca and Sam, Waddingham told Entertainment Weekly in August 2022 that her character ended Season 2 “on a confused note about Sam because there is an electricity and an ease between them—but is she perturbed enough by the age gap to leave it behind or reignite it. Who knows? We shall see!” Jimoh, meanwhile, told Deadline, “It will be really interesting no matter what side of the fence you’re on, whether you’re a TedBecca fan or SamBecca fan. There’s going to be a really interesting resolution for all the characters.”
Does a Beloved Character Die in Ted Lasso Season 3?
Goldstein, who is also one of the show’s writers, joked with Entertainment Weekly about how Season 3 will end. “I told Toheeb [Jimoh, who plays Sam] a long time ago how his character dies,” he said with a laugh. “Basically, I was like, ‘You die by a helicopter.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, I’m in a helicopter crash?’ And I said, ‘No, you run into a still helicopter. It’s not even on, you just run into it. And that’s how you die.’”
Will There Be a Season 4?
Sudeikis has always insisted that Ted Lasso would only be a three-season show, but its massive success—and multiple award wins—have ramped up speculation that the series won’t end with Season 3. Producer Lawrence hasn’t ruled out the show continuing, telling Deadline, “When we first pitched this particular story, we said this series was only going to be three seasons. And I would probably stay clean and say that even if Ted Lasso goes on, the story the writing staff has been telling had a beginning, middle and end for the first three seasons. And then it might veer off from that.”
After winning an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in September 2022, Goldstein told reporters that the decision is entirely up to Sudeikis. “Truly, the plan is entirely in Jason’s hands,” he said. “I know all of us would happily do this for 20 years, and maybe then say we need to wrap it up. In theory, we’ve been writing this like it’s the end. But it might not be. Who knows? I’ll probably get killed if I say anything else. But the truth is, I also don’t know.”