The foul-mouthed bear from the hit movies is back in a scabrously funny new TV series from creator Seth MacFarlane. Here’s everything you need to know
By Chris Miller, Feature Writer
He’s just as cute as Paddington – but he’s a whole lot less cuddly. He’s Ted, and he’s the sentient, sweary teddy bear who starred in two giant hit movies in the 2010s. And now he’s got his own TV show, starting this Friday 9 February at 9pm on Sky Max HD (CH 111).
In the movies that had audiences everywhere screaming with laughter to the tune of over $750 million worldwide, a kid called John Bennett who was desperate for a best friend brought his beloved teddy to life in 1985. We saw the adult John (played by Mark Wahlberg) having his love life disrupted by the tetchy toy in two movies – but what would life be like for a teenager in high school whose best bud was a talking teddy?
That’s what we’re about to find out in Ted the TV show. Creator Seth MacFarlane – who is also the brains behind the long-running, hugely popular Family Guy and the spoofish sci-fi series The Orville – has written, produced and directed a sitcom set in the early 1990s, in which he once again provides the voice of Ted. The 16-year-old John is seriously popularity-bereft, especially now that Ted’s 80s fame has faded. So he’s reliant on his polyester pal to help him navigate the challenges of high school.
But while Ted usually has John’s best interests at heart, his bad temper and anarchic nature mean his advice isn’t always the best. Have a look at the trailer for the show…
What’s the premise of the show?
Sick of Ted hanging around the house, occasionally destroying things and being generally obnoxious, John’s parents decide that it’s time Ted got an education. Yep, he’s joining John in high school. As soon as he enrols, the unruly ursine finds that he’s surprisingly focused – on getting kicked out.
As well as some spicy comedy, Ted gives viewers a big hit of nostalgia, whether that’s for classic 90s teen movies or actually attending school in the 90s. “It was fun to be able to play in a world where you don’t have to worry about cellphones, or the internet,” says MacFarlane. “It’s always interesting to see how film-makers get around the fact of showing a person texting, which is the most boring thing in the world to look at. Because the show takes place in ’93, it’s something that feels comfortable and familiar to people, but at the same time, it’ll feel very new.”
Who’s in the series?
MacFarlane has assembled a great cast for the show, consisting largely of actors he’s worked with before. Scott Grimes, who plays John’s dad Matty, and Penny Johnson Jerald, the school principal, were both regulars on The Orville, on which Giorgia Whigham – John’s opinionated and politically correct cousin Blaire, who frequently clashes with Ted – was a guest star.
Max Burkholder, who plays John, has been supplying voices for Family Guy since season 4 in 2005, and MacFarlane says he was perfect for this key role – especially with MacFarlane’s somewhat loose approach to performing his scripts.
“When you can trust an actor, it’s fantastic. All I have to do is point the camera,” MacFarlane says. “Max was so great at just letting go and letting the comedy flow. And his sense of humour is very similar to mine, so it wasn’t really that hard to improvise with him. It’s nice to have that comedy tool to work with.”
And while movie narrator Patrick Stewart may not have returned, fellow Shakespearean thesp Ian McKellen pops up to add a little gravitas…
Scroll down to find out more about the cast of this sitcom that’s delightfully nostalgic and a whole lot more besides. Ted promises that rare kind of comedy: outrageous, raucous laughs while hitting us in the feels as well – the best kind of comedy, if you ask us.
When is Ted on Sky Max?
Ted starts with a double bill of episodes on Friday 9 February at 9pm on Sky Max HD (CH 111) and continues weekly at the same time. Here’s our guide to the cast of this hilarious new show – click the character names read more…
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