Ahead of the series’ release, fans already know quite a bit about Ted, the upcoming prequel series to the movie of the same name from Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane. In a panel discussion over the weekend, the showrunner and star shared more, discussing the inherent challenge of making a prequel, when so much of the original movie’s creative energy came from star Mark Wahlberg, who will not be returning for the Peacock series. Set in the 1990s, Ted will introduce a younger version of John Bennett to a Ted who is much fresher and less jaded about his fame.
Besides Wahlberg, MacFarlane talked about some other challenges, including one that played into the long delays plaguing his Hulu series The Orville, the third season of which finally just debuted.
“For me, the challenge was really how does this character exist in a world without Mark Wahlberg?” MacFarlane said at Sunday’s PGA Produced By conference (via TheWrap). “That was really a two-hander. The movie was a real feat of visual effects work for the artists who did it. But also, if you look at the raw footage before the bear was placed into it, a lot of it was Mark.”
And in terms of raw footage? Well, the post-production process is going to be a big part of Ted, too.
“You can move as fast as you want in production, and you’re still sort of at the mercy of the six, eight months, however long it takes for the CGI to be completed,” he explained. “So you know, in many ways, it’s what we just went through with ‘The Orville,’ [it] was just a massive undertaking of post-production. The show was just now airing, and I feel like we we finished shooting a long time ago.”
Ted earned nearly $600 million worldwide on a budget of $65 million and was Universal’s highest-grossing blockbuster movie of 2012 – something no one expected. That made it easy for the studio to greenlight a sequel. Ted 2 didn’t fare quite as well: the sequel failed to earn over $100 million in the US, and only drummed up $216.7 million worldwide, on a budget of almost $70 million. That drop-off in interest proved to be steep enough for Universal to put the franchise on ice.
Here’s the official synopsis for Ted:
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 will also direct, write, co-showrun and executive produce all episodes alongside co-showrunners, writers and executive producers Paul Corrigan and Brad Walsh (Modern Family). The series comes from MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door and will be executive produced by President Erica Huggins. Alana Kleiman and Jason Clark will also serve as executive producers. Clark is returning after producing the Ted film franchise.
Ted is the second series order since MacFarlane and Fuzzy Door signed a multi-year television deal with UCP in 2020. Also coming to Peacock this year from Fuzzy Door is the disaster science series The End is Nye, hosted by Emmy Award-winner and renowned science educator Bill Nye. Fuzzy Door will produce alongside Universal Television Alternative Studio and UCP, divisions of Universal Studio Group. The Orville: New Horizons debuts on Hulu on June 2.