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Peacock's 'Ted' series sets cast, including Seth MacFarlane back to voice foul-mouthed bear

MacFarlane will also serve as co-showrunner alongside Paul Corrigan & Brad Walsh.

By Josh Weiss
(L-R) Mark Wahlberg as John Bennett and Ted, voiced by Seth McFarlane, in Ted 2 (2015).

Good news, fellow Thunder Buddies! That Ted series coming to Peacock just got a major update with Seth MacFarlane officially returning to voice the foul-mouthed CGI teddy bear. Three regular cast members were also announced: Giorgia Whigham (The Punisher), Max Burkholder (Parenthood) and Scott Grimes (The Orville).

No word on if we'll get a Sam Jones cameo, though.

The two feature Ted films brought in over $770 million at the global box office. MacFarlane, who directed and co-wrote both movies and is known for creating animation hits like Family Guy and American Dad, is also on board to write, direct, and executive produce the new series. He'll serve as co-showrunner alongside Modern Family vets, Paul Corrigan & Brad Walsh. 

Erica Huggins (president of MacFarlane's Fuzzy Door banner), Alana Kleiman, and Jason Clark are executive producers. The project represents another co-production between UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, and MRC Television.

In terms of story, the show serves as a prequel to the films, picking up in 1993 after Ted's moment of fame as a living toy has begun to fade. He lives with his best friend (and the boy whose wish magically brought him to life), 16-year-old John Bennett, in a working-class suburb of Boston. "Ted may not be the best influence on John, but when it comes right down to it, Ted's willing to go out on a limb to help his friend and his family," reads the official synopsis.

Mark Wahlberg played the adult John across the two movies, the first of which is the highest-grossing R-rated comedy in history that's not a sequel or based on an existing franchise. 

"Because we're dealing with a talking teddy bear, and because we're asking the audience to believe that this very unreal situation has taken place, the rest of the story had to be pretty traditional," MacFarlane explained to The Guardian in 2012. "You're allowed one piece of crazy and the rest has to be pretty grounded."

Speaking with Collider around the same time, he described Ted as "as the physical manifestation — in a symbolic or literal way — of John’s inability to grow up and get on with his life." He went on to reveal that the Boston setting was a deliberate choice to help ground the whole piece in a recognizable location in the same way that Ghostbusters used Manhattan.

"There were ghosts running around and these exterminators who had to eliminate them, but New York is the very familiar and very real New York, with all of its warts, that we know," MacFarlane said. "It grounded everything and earned you the rest of the stuff. That was kind of what I wanted this movie to feel like. You have a talking bear, so the rest of the movie should be as real and grounded as possible to earn that. One of the things that you can accomplish that with is by setting it in an actual city with an actual regional flavor."

MacFarlane currently enjoys a multi-year creative deal with UCP, which has been in effect since early 2020. Another Fuzzy Door effort at Peacock is The End Is Nye, a science show hosted by — who else? — Bill Nye.