Apple+ might be one of the newer streaming services in comparison to streaming giants like Netflix, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have series that are vying for awards attention. The Morning Show, the streamer’s first foray into drama, picked up several Emmy nominations and even a win for supporting actor Billy Crudup at last year’s Emmys ceremony. The series also snagged a few Golden Globe nominations as well as nominations and a win for lead actress Jennifer Aniston at the SAG Awards last year. That being said, the streaming service hasn’t quite found a comedy that could put them in major awards consideration… until now.
Ted Lasso, a ten-episode comedy series that finished its run in October of last year, could be Apple+’s ticket into the comedy categories at major award ceremonies this year. Though the streaming service already has Dickinson and Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet on its comedy roster, this newest addition has a better shot at being an awards contender. Set in England, the series follows American football coach Ted Lasso as he navigates his new coaching job for English football, a sport he admittedly knows little about. Jason Sudeikis plays the titular role and does a phenomenal job being one of the most genuinely charming characters on television of the past decade. The show allows Ted to just be goofy and fun throughout and Sudeikis revels in this performance, eating up every line of dialogue in Lasso’s accent. Sudeikis is surely a threat when it comes to Leading Actor in a Comedy Series at the Golden Globes, where Apple’s newest series is sure to earn some nominations. It would be surprising if Sudeikis didn’t earn a nomination at the Globes, but the rest of the cast might have a tougher time. Since the Globes only have one category for all supporting performances for actors and actresses no matter the genre of the series, it will prove more difficult for the supporting cast to grab nominations. Brendan Hunt as Coach Beard would be the one to watch on the men’s side of things, as he has the most prominent supporting role in the show. Juno Temple is truly delightful in her role as Keeley, especially in the softer scenes with Rebecca where she shows her heart. Both of these actors could find their way into nominations, but it would be an uphill battle. Apple would have to campaign hard to get these actors into the same conversation as the bigger supporting performances of the past year, such as Dan Levy for Schitts Creek.
When it comes to the show itself, it has a good chance of being nominated at the Globes. Not only is the series itself new, but it just came on. Having just finished its first season run in the beginning of October, it’s still fresh on the minds of a lot of members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. It also has the benefit of having come out in a year where a lot of people stayed at home and consumed more television than usual, allowing the show to gain an audience and cementing the show for two additional seasons on Apple+. Another first season show that benefitted from a close-to-voting release was The Kominsky Method, which premiered in November of 2018 and went on to win the award for best comedy series two months later at the Globes. Similarly, the year before, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel might have debuted its premiere in March of 2017, but the rest of its episodes came out in late November of that year, two months before it won in the same category. To add precedent, the Golden Globes have given the award to a first season show seven times in the past decade, every year from the 2013 ceremony until the 2019 ceremony. What’s even more promising for Ted Lasso is that four of those wins were for streaming services, three from Amazon (Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and one from Netflix (The Kominsky Method). This would be Apple’s first show to even be nominated in the category, but history would appear to favor it.
The SAG Awards could prove to be similar. Jason Sudeikis certainly has a chance at being Apple’s first nomination in the comedy categories, but will he be able to beat the current holder of lead actor in a comedy series, four time winner Tony Shalhoub? There are also two extra spots in the category since the two actors from The Kominsky Method, Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin, aren’t eligible this year since there wasn’t an eligible season in the past year. One of these spots could easily go to Sudeikis, someone respected amongst his peers and delivers a great lead performance in Ted Lasso. The rest of the cast, though, face a challenge as the SAG awards put the lead and supporting categories into one for both comedy and drama series. There is a chance the cast could propel itself into the ensemble category for comedy if Apple pushes hard enough for them. With great performances coming from Hannah Waddington, Brendan Hunt, Juno Temple and Brett Goldstein, the series could find itself competing for the top prize. With only one returning show being eligible for this category (Schitts Creek), there will definitely be some open spaces for the taking when it comes to nomination and it seems like the cast of Ted Lasso could find themselves in one. The series will likely find the most chances at awards attention when it comes to the Emmys later this year, as the show is sure to resonate with Television Academy voters.