Family Guy and American Dad! creator MacFarlane found great success with his iconic big-screen comedy Ted, in which he starred as the titular foul-mouthed, binge-drinking, drug-using teddy bear.
After two popular movies featuring him alongside Mark Wahlberg's John Bennett, Ted will return in 2024 for a prequel series set in 1993, which explores the early years of their friendship in Massachusetts.
When Could Ted 3 Get Made & Release?
While there was only a three-year gap between the first two movies in Seth MacFarlane's hilarious comedy franchise, eight years have now passed since Ted 2 arrived in theaters with no signs of Ted 3 coming just yet.
But Ted is clearly still on the creator's mind as January 11, 2024, will bring the premiere of a seven-episode prequel "event series" on Peacock. The show will take place in 1993 and explore the early years of Ted and a young John Bennett.
The long wait for more raunchy antics comes as no surprise based on MacFarlane's comments on a potential Ted 3 in an interview with Today shortly after the release of Ted 2 back in October 2015.
At that time, the Ted and Family Guy creator called a threequel "possible," but said he and his team didn't know if Universal wanted to make another movie. Regardless, he was clear he "[likes] to kind of have some space between Ted [movies],” making the long wait rather unsurprising.
This came after Ted 2 brought in $216.7 million at the worldwide box office on a $68 million budget, which marked a major drop-off from the $549.4 million gross and $50 million budget of Ted.
That drop-off combined with MacFarlane's commitments to sci-fi comedy The Orville, which has released three seasons from 2017 to 2022, ought to have pushed the Ted franchise to the backburner for now.
Perhaps if the Ted series proves to be a big success in viewership and driving new subscriptions to Peacock, Universal will be more inclined to push for Ted 3 or more seasons of the prequel comedy.
The latter may, unfortunately, be more likely, as developing a third movie comes with far more costs. That would likely include bringing back the franchise's expensive star Mark Wahlberg and possibly past love interests Mila Kunis or Amanda Seyfried.
If Ted 3 were to happen, it would probably still be several years away as, with all the focus on the "event series," no development has seemingly happened yet. This would place a hypothetical release for the threequel in 2026, at the earliest.
Who Would Return for Ted 3?
Obviously, in order for Ted 3 to happen in the first place, Seth MacFarlane would likely have to be on board to resume his duties as director, writer, producer, and the voice of everybody's favorite talking bear, Ted Clubber-Lang.
Mark Wahlberg would presumably also need to be on board to reprise his role as Ted's best friend John Bennett, although securing the Hollywood star could prove to be one of the bigger obstacles for the threequel based on his busy schedule.
Ted's wife Tami-Lynn McCafferty (Jessica Barth) is another surefire character for a comeback, and the threequel may even need to cast a young actor to play the couple's adopted child, Apollo Creed Clubber-Lang.
There's also the matter of the love interest for John Bennett, of which he has had two so far in Mila Kunis' Laurie and Amanda Seyfried's Samantha.
While Seyfreid was initially brought in for her new role as Samantha to replace Kunis due to Kunis' pregnancy in 2014, either actress could realistically be brought back for a third movie, or even both of them.
If history were to repeat itself, Ted 3 may thrust Bennett into yet another romantic entanglement played by a different actress, unless things perhaps worked out with Samantha or if Kunis returns.
Both Ted films have featured Giovanni Ribisi as the Ted-obsessed villain Donny, who is desperate to get his hands on the talking bear. But as he was arrested at the climax of the last movie, with the charges actually sticking that time, a potential threequel may need to find a new threat.
What Would Happen in Ted 3?
After the last movie, Seth MacFarlane's Ted earned his human rights, remarried Tammy, and adopted a child, Apollo Creed Clubber-Lang. As such, Ted 3 could explore the couple's early days of parenthood, with Ted learning to be a father while perhaps moving past some of his older antics.
Alternatively, with likely over a decade having passed since Ted 2 by the time Ted 3 comes around, MacFarlane could opt for a time jump. This could see the franchise skip forward to Ted and Tammy having spent many years together, facing the difficulties or raising an ever-maturing Apollo Creed.
Ted's family commitments may well even find themselves taking a toll on his long-standing friendship with John, perhaps depending on whether the latter himself has found love by the time the third entry in the franchise comes around.
If John is single once again going into Ted 3, the threequel could feature the increasingly desperate middle-aged bachelor desperate to find a life-long partner in the modern age of dating apps and more.
The Ted "event series" will premiere on January 11, 2024, exclusively on Peacock.