‘The Next Ted Lasso’: After Year in Pandemic, Hollywood Dumps Edgy for ‘Uplifting’ Projects

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“The buyers are getting data from the audience and it’s saying: ‘We want more aspirational content,'” one agent says

Photo taken in Buriram, Thailand

After a year and a half of COVID-19, those in the Hollywood content business seem to have adopted a new set of requirements to work in today’s entertainment industry: Test negative, but think positive.

“Are you ready to hear the latest mandates from studios, streamers, and financiers? They are all looking for ‘blue sky,’ ‘aspirational,’ ‘uplifting,’ and ‘wholesome entertainment,’ ” read a promotional email earlier this month from Stage 32, a global community of entertainment content creators and content buyers that offers seminars, workshops and one-on-one advice for those looking to sell their first big idea to Hollywood.

Stage 32 CEO Richard Botto said he’s heard it so many times it’s become a running joke: “I hear from a lot of executives, and every single person says they want the next ‘Ted Lasso,’” Botto told TheWrap.

Jason Sudeikis in "Ted Lasso"
“Ted Laso” (Apple TV+)

At the same time as the pandemic streaming boom has fueled huge demand for more content, it has also fueled a boom in demand for projects that are upbeat, romantic, heartwarming, family-oriented — anything that provides an escape from the fear, anxiety and continuous mourning of the past 18 months or so.


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