Seth MacFarlane Chats About The Ted Prequel Series

One of Rotten Tomatoes’ Most Anticipated TV and Streaming Shows of 2024, Ted is now streaming first on Showmax

Ted (Oscar nominee Seth MacFarlane) is back in an all-new prequel series in which the foul-mouthed bear is forced to navigate high school alongside his best friend John (Max Burkholder, aka Max Braverman in Parenthood).  

It’s 1993, and Ted the bear’s moment of fame has passed. He’s now living back home in Framingham, Massachusetts with his best friend, 16-year-old John Bennet, along with John’s parents, Matty and Susan and cousin Blaire. Ted may be a lousy influence on John, but at the end of the day, he’s a loyal pal who’s always willing to go out on a limb for friendship.

Ted has an 8/10 rating on IMDb, where it cracked their list of the 10 most popular shows globally. As The Daily Beast says, “The new Ted Series Is as filthy, offensive, and – God help us – funny as ever.”

We caught up with Seth, who also created and directed the series, to find out more: 

When you knew that you were developing Ted into a series, what kind of stories did you want to talk about for this character?

There’s a whole part of Ted’s life that we haven’t explored. Even though it’s the same character that you know from the movies, we’re playing in an earlier part of his life. That, by its very nature, makes it a completely new environment. So hopefully it will evoke the tone and the personality of the bear that you remember from the movies, but it’ll feel like something very new.

Was it difficult to find your teenage John Bennett: Max Burkholder?

It was very easy, actually. It was one of those situations where we looked at a bunch of auditions and it was so clear that one of them was miles ahead of the rest. There was no contest; it’s always nice when that happens. I’ve had that happen before where somebody comes in, and you just know you’re not going to have to do any work as a director on set, because they’ve already got a real handle on the character. When you can trust an actor, it’s fantastic. All I have to do is point the camera.

And that’s what Max did. We all bought him as a young Wahlberg. Because we all know that he grows up to become Mark Wahlberg, who is the farthest thing from a beta male, you have to believe that he was this person at one point in time. Max walks that line nicely. There’s just a little bit of the hint of confidence that is to come. But right now, he’s still somebody who’s finding himself.

Placing Ted and John Bennett in high school must have been ripe for coming-of-age experiences that you wanted them to go through.

Yeah. Most comedy writers are beta males, so it was pretty easy for us to put ourselves into the shoes of John Bennett. We had already established that he was kind of a loser and that Ted was his only friend in the first movie. All the writers on the show, including myself, Brad Walsh, or Paul Corrigan (executive producers and co-writers), had different versions of awfulness that they experienced growing up, punching their way through the hellscape of adolescence. So digging into that on a deeper level was pretty easy for all of us in the room; it was nice to get some laughs out of it. 

What was it like to visit Ted’s younger years during the 90s?

It was fun to be able to play in a world where you don’t have to worry about cell phones, or the internet, and pay lip service to writing something that takes place in the present day. It’s always interesting to see how filmmakers get around the fact of showing a person texting, which is the most boring thing in the world to look at.

Because the show takes place in 93, it’s something that feels comfortable and familiar to people, but at the same time, it’ll feel very new. 

At the end of the day, the whole goal of the show, like Family Guy, is to just make you laugh.

Binge all eight episodes of Ted on Showmax now:

You can also watch the two original films on Showmax from 22 February 2024. 

By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB | Actor | Armourer | Tech Enthusiast With over two decades in the film industry, I'm a seasoned actor and skilled armourer. I hold numerous certifications in acting and filmmaking, complemented by degrees and diplomas in IT and technology, giving me a unique blend of creative and technical expertise. When I'm not on set or in the workshop, you'll find me immersed in the world of gaming and VR, fuelling my passion for cutting-edge technology. Connect with me: X / Twitter Facebook Instagram Mastodon Threads Explore my work on SAMDB IMDb