Industry News

Why Ted Lasso became the hit that put AppleTV+ on the map

23 February, 2021

When AppleTV+ launched to tepid reviews and audience indifference in late 2019, the streaming service attempted to put its best foot forward. Its flagship series The Morning Show starred Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and even a seemingly low-priority title like (the wonderful) Dickinson boasted the well-known name Hailee Steinfeld at the top of the cast list. The one show without big stars — the space exploration drama For All Mankind — at least boasted a cool, grabby premise.

But none of that launch programming has done as well for the service as an unassuming comedy that launched in August 2020, nearly a year after AppleTV+’s debut. Ted Lasso, based on a series of NBC Sports commercials that featured Jason Sudeikis (who also co-created the series) as an American football coach hired to coach an English football team, grew from a warmly reviewed curio to a cult comedy with great buzz to what sure looks like AppleTV+’s biggest hit.

Streaming viewership is notoriously difficult to measure, but Parrot Analytics has tracked interest in Ted Lasso growing over time and eventually topping other AppleTV+ titles. Apple’s quick renewal of the show for a second and third season would suggest this data is closer to accurate than not.

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