Ted Lasso: Stars, Writers Score Big Pay for Season 3

‘Ted Lasso’ Stars, Writers Score Big Paydays for Season 3

Producers Warner Bros. TV and Apple TV+ are also negotiating over the show’s licensing fees, with the studio’s linear rights to the Emmy-nominated comedy at the center of the battle.

The cast, producers and writers of Ted Lasso have scored their own big promotions.

The stars — from Ted Lasso himself, Jason Sudeikis, down to the last player on Richmond’s roster — of Apple TV+’s Emmy-nominated comedy recently engaged in contract renegotiations with producers Warner TV that gave them sizable pay increases.

Showrunner Bill Lawrence is also seeking an increase from the five-year, eight-figure overall deal he signed with Warners in  2018, before Ted Lasso become a Peabody-winning cultural sensation for the studio.

Ted Lasso garnered 20 Emmy nominations including outstanding comedy series and pair of writing mentions en route to tying Glee as the most-nominated freshman show.

Ted Lasso is the latest breakout show to renegotiate deals after season two. While Apple handed out third season renewal last October, the renegotiations with writers briefly delayed the opening of the season three room.

Sources say the writers room officially began work Sept. 13 on season three. Further delays could have jeopardized Apple’s intention bring Ted Lasso back in summer 2022 after the sophomore season returned July 23 with six times the viewership of its series debut a year ago. Apple, like other streamers, does not release traditional viewership data.

Sudeikis has already closed a deal for season 3 that will pay him around $1 million an episode. The sum also includes creator fees and compensation for his role as the show’s head writer and exec producer.

The deal, which also covers the two extra episodes of the current sophomore season, is up from the $250,000-$300,000 per-episode sum he earned for seasons one and two. That deal was negotiated before Ted Lasso premiered to rave reviews.

The series — based on an NBC Sports short from 2013 starring Sudeikis — was developed by the star alongside Lawrence, Hunt and writer Joe Kelly.

Ted Lasso currently has 95 percent and 91 percent rating among critics and viewers, respectively, on RottenTomatoes.com and is a co-production between Warners and Universal TV.

Negotiations have been ongoing for the past month or so with central cast members including Emmy nominees Hannah Waddingham (Rebecca), Goldstein, Juno Temple (Keeley) and Hunt, who scored raises from the $50,000-$75,000 range they earned per episode for seasons 1 and 2 to  $125,000-$150,000 territory.

Lawrence, the prolific writer-producer (Scrubs, Cougar Town, Spin City), is seeking a rich new deal that could admit him into the club other prolific showrunners like Shonda Rhimes, Greg Berlanti and Alex Kurtzman.

As the Ted Lasso cast and writers negotiated with the studio, Warners also finds looks to talent-friendly Apple to cover the rapidly rising costs of producing the comedy.

Linear rights to Ted Lasso — which Warners retained as part of its initial deal with Apple for Ted Lasso — are at the center of the negotiations. Warners wants Apple to cover the rising expenses of producing Ted Lasso as part of its cost-plus deal while retaining those linear rights.

Apple is interested in keeping Ted Lasso exclusively and possibly buying out the linear rights that could see the studio air repeats of the “football is life” favorite on linear networks like TNT, TBS and The CW. Sources say the current deal allows Warners to air the comedy within a few years after the conclusion of season three. Those linear rights would be boon for Warners and help drive revenue for a show that many say has not been very profitable for the studio despite its status as a cultural phenomenon.

Apple doesn’t want to see its crown jewel on any other platform besides its own as the streamer, like others, looks to retain its original content on an exclusive basis to help draw and maintain paying subscribers as it builds up impressive roster of original titles (The Morning Show, For All Mankind, Dickinson, Mythic Quest).

The future of Ted Lasso beyond season three is uncertain.  Sudeikis, who is the front-runner to score an Emmy win this week for his role as the optimistic head coach, has been open about envisioning only a three-season run for Ted Lasso.