Ted: Seth MacFarlane Talks Peacock Series, Working in Television

Earlier this month, we learned that Alanna Ubach (Euphoria, Bombshell) was joining Seth MacFarlane (The Orville, Ted & Ted 2, Family Guy), Giorgia Whigham (The Punisher, 13 Reasons Why), Max Burkholder (Parenthood), and Scott Grimes (Oppenheimer, The Orville) for Peacock's upcoming live-action comedy series based on the blockbuster Ted film franchise. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter to promote the premiere of the third season of Hulu's The Orville, MacFarlane dropped some intel on what fans can expect along with why he finds working in television so inviting.

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Image: NBCUniversal

What MacFarlane Can Tell Us About "Ted": "'Ted,' which is taking up a lot of my time right now, is a prequel, taking place in 1993. It centers around the period pretty shortly after Ted became kind of washed up, and he's now living outside Boston with John and his family, and he's forced to kind of make his way through high school. So it's a piece of Ted's life in between what you saw in the opening titles of the movie and in the opening montage, and where we find him with Mark Wahlberg that's a part of that story we haven't told yet. It turns out that it's a pretty ripe area to draw from. Whether people still have an appetite for 'Ted' remains to be seen. It's a very specific kind of comedy, but we are allowing it to be what it is."

What MacFarlane Appreciates About Working in Television: "I find television particularly fulfilling because you don't have to tell one big make-or-break, live-or-die, world-ending story. If that story doesn't work, you're screwed. With television, you can experiment, you can try things and if it doesn't work that week, there's next week. You screw up enough times, then you're off, but it gives you the canvas to experiment.

"Certainly, television has become more cinematic all across the board as the medium has changed. We're absolutely in a peak era of television. You're playing in a pretty intimidating field these days. I just watched Severance, and when I was a kid, you wouldn't have been able to find this on TV. You'd find a great movie with a great sci-fi premise, but for something like this to be on television — I can watch it in my own home, first-run — the medium has 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.

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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