The actor received an Emmy nomination for his performance as Coach Beard on the comedy series.

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The theme of "belief" is prominent on Apple TV+'s beloved comedy show Ted Lasso. But there was a time when Brendan Hunt, who recently received an Emmy nomination for portraying Coach Beard on the series, had stopped believing the show would ever get made.

The soccer-mad Hunt was one of the folks who helped inspire Ted Lasso, filling star Jason Sudeikis' ears with talk about the sport when they were both performing with the comedy troupe Boom Chicago in Amsterdam two decades ago. He first portrayed the character of Coach Beard alongside Sudeikis' Lasso in a 2013 commercial for NBC's screening of Premiere League soccer matches and further developed the concept in 2015 with Sudeikis and writer-producer Joe Kelly during a brainstorming session in New York.

Ted Lasso
Brendan Hunt in Ted Lasso
| Credit: Colin Hutton/Apple TV +

"We beat out a pilot and then it sat dormant for a couple of years," says Sudeikis.

The project spent so long on the back burner that Hunt became convinced it would never see the light of day until Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence finally joined the team and helped strike a deal with Apple.

"We were working on a pilot and a little six-episode arc by early 2015," says Hunt. "We felt really good about it and Jason was pretty firm that he was going to use his powers for good and try to get people at least looking at it. But then he had children instead and children take up some time when you have them. Jason's career [was] going amazingly and Joe was doing really well on How I Met Your Mother and co-creating Detroiters and all these things. Meanwhile, I'm just sitting on my ass in L.A. really wondering how it's going with the Ted Lasso thing. It got closer and further away and closer and further away. I all but literally had a conversation with myself of like, 'You have to stop thinking about Ted Lasso. It's not healthy to think about Ted Lasso, it's not going to happen, it's just not going to happen, man.' And then the next week, Jason was like, 'Hey, is all that stuff we wrote still somewhere?' 'Um, yeah. Why?' 'I'm having lunch with Bill Lawrence tomorrow.' 'Okay.' So here we are.'"

Season 2 of Ted Lasso is currently screening on Apple TV+. Watch the trailer below.

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