Ted is heading to the small screen. Seth MacFarlane, who wrote and directed both Ted movies in addition to voicing the vulgar teddy bear, has finalizing a deal with NBCUniversal's Peacock for a live-action prequel TV series. The 10-episode, straight-to-series order would bring back MacFarlane in a similar capacity by heading the creative direction and providing the unique voice of the animated character.
Per THR, the Ted series came about after NBCUniversal Entertainment Content chairman Susan Rovner pitched the concept during an introductory call with MacFarlane. For his part, MacFarlane suggested the prequel concept, perhaps feeling there was a lot of unexplored territory in the origins of the character. It's not clear how far back in time the series will go, but the change in the time period makes it seem less likely Mark Wahlberg will be involved.
"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," Rovner said in a statement. "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."
Universal Cable Productions' Beatrice Springborn added: "Over the years, Seth has captured audiences with his comedic genius and this reimagination of Ted continues that legacy. 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."
Seth MacFarlane will write the script for the Ted series. He is also attached to serve as an executive producer alongside Fuzzy Door topper Erica Huggins. The project is a co-production between Universal Pictures and MRC Television. Universal distributed the original Ted in 2012, which became the highest-grossing original comedy of all time that wasn't a sequel or adaptation of an established IP. Together with the sequel, 2015's Ted 2, the movies have pulled in more than $750 million worldwide.
"MRC is excited to partner with UCP and Peacock as we expand the world of Ted, which originated in our film group, into the television space. We have a long relationship with Seth and cannot wait to bring his vision to the many fans around the globe as well as new audiences," said MRC Television president Elise Henderson.
Ted was MacFarlane's directorial debut. It follows Boston man John Bennett (Mark Wahlberg) and his best friend Ted (MacFarlane), a teddy bear brought to life by a childhood wish. Because Ted grows to become possessive of John, he has a hard time giving his blessings to John's blossoming relationship with his girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis). In the sequel, Ted fights for civil rights in order to be recognized as a person. Wahlberg and MacFarlane returned, and the movie also starred Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, and Morgan Freeman.
It's unclear when Ted: The Series will go into production, as MacFarlane is currently focused on the third season of the sci-fi comedy series The Orville. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.