The runaway American comedy hit Ted Lasso which follows the fortunes of a small-time American football coach who moves to England to manage a professional soccer team just happens to be set at Crystal Palace football club.
The Eagles Selhurst Park stadium is the backdrop for the hit show which has won an array of awards including a Golden Globe. Filming on the second series of Ted Lasso has been taking place over the last few weeks.
The club’s stadium is being used in the sitcom as the home ground of the fictional English Club AFC Richmond who Ted, a college football coach from Kansas – aka Jason Sudeikis – is hired to manage.
Ted, is based on a character created by Sudeikis, of Horrible Bosses and We’re the Millers fame, for an NBC sketch to promote Premier League coverage in the states which went viral.
Sudeikis who joined forces with writer Bill Lawrence sold the idea to Apple, and began searching for a football club to become their show’s backdrop.
Lawrence, who is the creative force behind award-winning shows such as Scrubs, Cougar Town and Spin City said: “One of the main stipulations was we had to shoot it in London so it was authentic and we had to find a Premier League team that would let us use their facilities and what we would base our team on: a local, community team as opposed to any of the big juggernauts.
“What’s a team stadium that still feels like it’s part of the community and localised? Not only did Crystal Palace fit the bill, but Bill Wrubel, who’s one of the executive producers and writers on the show… his uncle is one of the ownership partners of Crystal Palace, so we had a connection to go in and talk to their management group.
“We told those folk what we were looking to do and said: ‘Look, our team will be an imaginary team and if we shoot in your stadium Crystal Palace will kick our butts in the first game.”
When episode two of Ted Lasso launched in August last year a fictional Crystal Palace side beat their Selhurst hosts 4-1 in front of a sea of red and blue. As the show ends, Glad All Over rings out over rolling credits. The whole show feels inherently related to Palace, with its colour scheme, setting and closing track being familiar tropes for any Eagle.
Lawrence continued: “We kept the colours and stuff because ….it was one of the things Apple wanted us to do…..We wanted a place with personality that we knew actually meant something.
“For me – I’ve got to shoot a couple of times in big stadiums, where I’ve seen iconic teams play – this [Selhurst] is definitely one of the top three. “