Peacock has reportedly ordered ten episodes of a TV adaptation of Ted. Seth MacFarlane is in final negotiations to return as the voice of the mischievous stuffed bear from his 2012 film franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter. From the sound of it, the show will serve as a prequel to the movies themselves.
Sources say that NBCUniversal Entertainment Content chairman Susan Rovner was the one to pitch a Ted revival to MacFarlane himself. MacFarlane then devised the idea of a prequel during an introductory phone call arranged between the two. Rovner gave a statement to THR saying: "Seth has a superpower of creating fandoms and Ted is a shining example of his ability to create beloved characters that we can't get enough of. We are so lucky to bring this project to Peacock viewers who will have an opportunity to see their favorite foul-mouthed teddy bear once again."
MacFarlane is expected to write on the Ted prequel and executive produce the series, assuming negotiations go well. Rumors indicated that the show might take the form of a multi-cam sitcom, although that has not been confirmed. If so, that would be a major departure from the movies fans know and love.
Ted debuted in 2012 as a blockbuster comedy directed and co-written by MacFarlane. While he provided the voice of the eponymous bear, the movie also starred Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Joel McHale and Giovanni Ribisi. The following year, MacFarlane, Ribisi and Wahlberg reprised their role for a sequel, though the other main cast members were absent. Instead, the movie starred Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Barth and Morgan Freeman, among others.
Both movies were certainly financial successes — the first one more so with a total box office gross of $549.4 against a $50 million budget. However, they got mixed reviews as MacFarlane's "sophomoric, scatological humor" began to fall out of fashion.
That has hardly slowed MacFarlane, of course, since both Family Guy and American Dad are still on the air. He also created, stars in and showruns The Orville on Hulu, which is reportedly returning for a long-delayed third season soon. Universal Content Productions' head Beatrice Springborn told THR that she believes this extensive resume will serve to buoy the show.
"Over the years, Seth has captured audiences with his comedic genius and this reimagination of Ted continues that legacy," she said. "The Peacock series will have the same wish-fulfillment and fun of the classic movies, while delving more into the adventures and backstory of the beloved foul-mouthed teddy bear and his family."
Ted is streaming now on HBO Max and on Hulu, with a free trial for new users available here. There is no word on when the TV spinoff may premiere.