So the last time we checked in with how things were looking with Peacock's upcoming live-action comedy series based on the blockbuster Ted film franchise, Seth MacFarlane (The Orville, Ted & Ted 2, Family Guy) was offering some additional details on the project as well as sharing his feelings on how it's been working in television. Returning to voice the lead, MacFarlane is joined by Giorgia Whigham (The Punisher, 13 Reasons Why), Max Burkholder (Parenthood), Scott Grimes (Oppenheimer, The Orville), and Alanna Ubach (Euphoria, Bombshell). But as excited as folks are for the prequel series, there's still that question of how just how close in tone (translation, R-rated humor & adult themes) the series will be to the films. Well, that's a question MacFarlane didn't hesitate to give an answer to during a recent interview with Collider. Here's a look at some of the highlights:
So How Are Things Going So Far? "It's going great. Look, it's unprecedented to do a television series where your main character is fully generated CGI. I think for movies, we're so used to it, but you don't think about the fact that this hasn't really been done to this extent for television. So that's new. It's going great. It's a prequel that takes place in 1993 and embraces that era, embraces the nineties, and tracks what is essentially Ted's adolescence, I guess. Ted and John's adolescence. And, growing up in a Boston suburb. Look, as somebody who grew up in that part of the country, it's a fun thing to try and recreate. The sets themselves are oddly nostalgic. But it's going great."
"Ted" Prequel Series Will Reflect First Film's Tone: "Tonally we're sticking pretty close to the first movie. I think people who've enjoyed the first movie and enjoyed that tone are going to be pretty happy with what we're doing here. We're going with what worked. But we're at the same time, exploring some new ground and kind of building up a past for John and Ted that we hadn't really delved into in the film. But I think fans of 'Ted' are going to be very happy with this show."
… And Yes, That Means the "'R' Rated Comedy" Remains: "Oh yeah. It's like a movie. There's no broadcast standards there. It's an R rated comedy. So our guidelines are the same as they were for the movie. It's no different. You can say 'fuck', you can say whatever you want. The challenges for something like 'Ted' are more external. You're dealing with a climate that is maybe a little less friendly to comedy than it has been in the past. That's certainly something that we're mindful of because we do want to keep Ted Ted. We do want to make sure that it's not altered. So, but as far as Peacock itself, no, Peacock's been great. They acknowledge that this was an R rated comedy and the show is going to be an R rated comedy too. So it's that none of that's changed."
It's 1993 and Ted the bear's moment of fame has passed, leaving him living with his best friend, 16-year-old John Bennett, who lives in a working-class Boston home with his parents and cousin. Ted may not be the best influence on John, but when it comes right down to it, Ted's willing to go out on a limb to help his friend and his family.
MacFarlane returns to voice Ted, a foul-mouthed, pot-smoking teddy bear brought to life by the magic of a little boy's wish. Burkholder's John Bennett is a good guy and likable teen who is, however, still in his awkward phase. With Ted's help, John is doing his best to navigate adolescence. Whigham's Blaire Bennett is a smart and politically correct college student who's living with her Uncle Matty, Aunt Susan, and younger cousin John. She is not afraid to be outspoken and frequently clashes with her more traditionalist family. Grimes' Matty Bennett is a blustering, blue-collar Bostonian who thinks he is the unequivocal boss in the family and doesn't like anyone challenging him- particularly his liberal-minded niece, Blaire. Ubach's Susan Bennett is kind, selfless, and almost pathologically sweet when it comes to caring for her family, and sees the world through naive, rose-colored glasses.
MacFarlane will direct, write, co-showrun & executive produce all episodes alongside co-showrunners, writers & executive producers Paul Corrigan and Brad Walsh (Modern Family). The series stems from MacFarlane's Fuzzy Door and will be executive produced by President Erica Huggins. Alana Kleiman & Jason Clark will also serve as executive producers, with UCP (a division of Universal Studio Group) and MRC Television producing.