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Seth MacFarlane teases R-rated 'Ted' series on Peacock: 'You can say whatever you want'

The foul-mouthed teddy bear will not be toned down for the small screen.

By Josh Weiss
Ted (2012)

The iconic teddy bear with the vocabulary of a sailor won't lose any of his abrasive edges for the small screen. Recently chatting with Collider, writer/director Seth MacFarlane promised that Peacock's upcoming Ted series will very much be "an R-rated comedy" that is not beholden to the "broadcast standards" of regular network television. In other words, prepare yourself for plenty of cursing, adult situations, and general mature debauchery aimed through the bizarre lens of a stuffed animal magically come to life.

"Our guidelines are the same as they were for the movie. It's no different. You can say ‘f***’, you can say whatever you want," explained MacFarlane, who is not only back to voice the titular teddy, but also occupies the roles of writer, director, executive producer, and co-showrunner. "The challenges for something like Ted are more external," he continued. "You're dealing with a climate that is maybe a little less friendly to comedy than it has been in the past. That's certainly something that we're mindful of because we do want to keep Ted Ted. We do want to make sure that it's not altered. So, but as far as Peacock itself, no, Peacock's been great. They acknowledge that this was an R-rated comedy and the show is going to be an R-rated comedy, too. So it's that none of that's changed.”

The show will turn back the clock to 1993 and explore how Ted grappled with his waning cultural notoriety while living with the Bennett family in a working class suburb of Boston. "[It] embraces that era, embraces the nineties and tracks what is essentially Ted's adolescence. Ted and John's adolescence," MacFarlane said, also discussing the challenge of working with a central protagonist who will be brought to life by VFX wizards in post-production. "It's unprecedented to do a television series where your main character is fully-generated CGI. I think for movies, we're so used to it, but you don't think about the fact that this hasn't really been done to this extent for television. So that's new."

While Ted is a wholly digital creation, he'll be surrounded by a host of flesh-and-blood characters portrayed by Max Burkholder (teenage John), Giorgia Whigham (John's politically correct cousin, Blaire), Scott Grimes (John's hard-headed father, Matty), and Alanna Ubach (John's naive mother, Susan).

"Tonally we're sticking pretty close to the first movie," MacFarlane added. "I think people who've enjoyed the first movie and enjoyed that tone are going to be pretty happy with what we're doing here. We're going with what worked. But we're at the same time, exploring some new ground and kind of building up a past for John and Ted that we hadn't really delved into in the film. But I think fans of Ted are going to be very happy with this show."

Erica Huggins, Alana Kleiman, and Jason Clark will executive produce Peacock's small screen prequel alongside MacFarlane's fellow co-showrunners, Paul Corrigan and Brad Walsh. Fuzzy Door, UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, and MRC Television are co-producers.

Peacock has yet to announce a premiere date for the series.

Ted 2 is currently streaming on Peacock. The first movie, which still holds the mantle of highest-grossing R-rated comedy that's not a sequel or based on an existing property, can be found on the Universal Pictures Home Entertainment websiteTed and Ted 2 bought in a combined $773 million at the worldwide box office between 2012 and 2015.