Pictured above (l. to r.): Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt and Nick Mohammed in “Ted Lasso” Courtesy of Apple TV Plus
The soccer comedy series, headlined by Jason Sudeikis as the fish-out-of-water American coach, tallied more Apple TV Plus accounts that streamed the S2 premiere on Friday, July 23, and over its opening weekend (July 23-25), than any previous launch, the tech giant claims.
That sounds impressive — but how many people actually tuned in is unclear.
Apple is still not releasing any actual numbers of viewers. (Neither has the company disclosed how many Apple TV Plus subscribers it has accumulated.) Streaming services have been reluctant to release hard figures for competitive reasons; when they have those a typically cherry-picked to tout successes. Netflix, for one, has released the number of households that “chose” to stream a given title (counting the number of accounts that streamed a title for at least two minutes).
“Ted Lasso” may be the biggest show to date on Apple TV Plus, but that may not mean much in the context of the SVOD service’s total user base. According to third-party data analyzed last week by Variety Intelligence Platform, the “Ted Lasso” S1 premiere episode — previously Apple TV Plus’ most-watched premiere — ranked 89th overall among other titles measured across streaming platforms from Nov. 1, 2019-July 18, 2021.
While Apple isn’t releasing any specific numbers for “Ted Lasso” Season 2, the company said the show “increased its viewership by 6x over season one” — for whatever that is worth. Over the “Ted Lasso” Season 2 premiere weekend, Apple TV Plus expanded its number of new viewers by a record-breaking 50% week over week; again, though, the company isn’t offering any context for what that means in terms of audience size.
As you would expect, “Ted Lasso” Season 2 continues to “lift viewership and engagement” for the series’ first season, according to Apple. The S2 debut also boosted viewership for comedies on Apple TV Plus like “Schmigadoon,” “Physical” and “Mythic Quest” from July 23-25, but the company didn’t quantify what that lift might have been.
In the series, Sudeikis plays Ted Lasso, an American football coach hired to manage a British soccer team— despite having no experience. But what he lacks in knowledge, he makes up for with optimism, underdog determination and biscuits (which means “cookies” over here in the States).
Alongside Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso” stars Hannah Waddingham, Brendan Hunt, Jeremy Swift, Juno Temple, Brett Goldstein, Phil Dunster and Nick Mohammed. Sarah Niles is set to join the cast this season as Sharon, a sports psychologist who has been brought in to work with AFC Richmond.
In addition to starring, Sudeikis serves as executive producer, alongside Bill Lawrence via his Doozer Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group. Doozer’s Jeff Ingold also serves as an executive producer with Liza Katzer as co-executive producer. The series was developed by Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt and Joe Kelly, and is based on the pre-existing format and characters from NBC Sports.
Earlier this month, “Ted Lasso” earned 20 Primetime Emmy nominations, making history as the most-nominated freshman comedy series ever. The haul included a nod for comedy series, lead actor in a comedy series for Sudeikis, two nominations for supporting actress in a comedy series for Hannah Waddingham and Juno Temple, and four nominations for supporting actor in a comedy series for Brendan Hunt, Brett Goldstein, Jeremy Swift and Nick Mohammed. In addition, the show picked up three nominations for directing for a comedy series; two nominations for writing for a comedy series; and two nominations for single-picture editing in a comedy series.
Sudeikis won a Golden Globe this year for “Ted Lasso,” which also was nominated for best television series – musical or comedy.
Variety's Todd Spangler contributed to this post.