12 Shows Like Ted Lasso You'll Definitely Want To Watch

"Believe." That's the core tenet of "Ted Lasso," the instruction that informs both its titular character and the team who writes him into existence. If Ted Lasso believes, so too will his audience. Maybe they'll believe in themselves. Maybe they'll come to believe that football is life (and also death), or that deep grief can be lived with. Belief is what made "Ted Lasso" a word-of-mouth hit, and belief is, ironically, why the discourse turned against it — because, if you haven't heard, despite the show's many Emmy wins, there are suddenly people who don't believe in "Ted Lasso."

I sincerely wish I had time to take a deep dive into what Bill Lawrence, Jason Sudeikis, and the second season of the Apple TV+ smash hit are trying to accomplish. The good news: Whether you like the latest episodes of "Lasso" or not, other shows like it exist — and they need to. We deserve shows about the power of belief. We are worthy of riotously funny series that wrestle with human conflicts. It behooves us to have workplace comedies that show us how sports can provide transcendent, heartbreaking resolutions to both interpersonal struggles and inner turmoil. Here are 12 other shows to watch if you love "Ted Lasso."

Sports Night

It's likely that "Ted Lasso" doesn't make it to air without "Sports Night." Even though Aaron Sorkin's pre-"West Wing" dramedy scored more points with critics than the public, it's become a Twitter sensation, the sort of show that's beloved by your favorite television creator. And, to be clear, there are many of parallels between "Ted Lasso" and "Sports Night." Both examine life through the lens of athletics. Both take a wide-ranging view of the wide world of sports, telling stories about journalists, superstars, fans, and more. Most importantly, both shows will break or bolster your heart in an instant.

That said, the primary difference between "Ted Lasso" and "Sports Night" is also unmissable. "Ted Lasso" is a show about how an American sports coach helps an English football team find its soul. "Sports Night" is about a sports network that risks losing its soul in a quest to improve its ratings. Both shows arrive at the same conversations, but that they take different paths to get there make them ideal companions. If you've never let Casey McCall and Dan Rydell lead you though the night's highlights, now is the time. 

"Sports Night" is available to stream through Amazon Prime.

Slings & Arrows

Where "Ted Lasso" is a show with a global cast whose different backgrounds are visibly reflected on screen, "Slings & Arrows" is Canadian. Deeply Canadian. That said: "Slings & Arrows" belongs in Canada's cultural time capsule. If aliens were to arrive on Earth and extract a DVD copy of "Slings" from whatever case it's buried in, they'd walk away with a desire to make theater, believing that our neighbors up North are the funniest people on Earth.

If that doesn't make sense to you, then you haven't seen "Slings & Arrows." Most widely known as Rachel McAdams' breakthrough project, "Slings" does for on-stage performance what "Ted Lasso" does for soccer. The story of a theater festival haunted by their recently deceased artistic director is hysterical, sure, but it also uses magical realism as a springboard from which it tackles the questions Shakespeare's plays have wrestled with for centuries. Many of its episodes will qualify for television's Hall of Fame if such a vaulted place existed, most notably "Birnam Wood." 

"Slings & Arrows" is available to stream on AMC+ and Acorn TV.

Scrubs

The show that put "Ted Lasso" creator Bill Lawrence on the map, "Scrubs" remains a peerless both as a workplace comedy and a blend of antics and heartstring-tugging drama (barely a week goes in which I don't see someone tweet about "My Screw Up" or "My Hero," two high points of all early-'00s network television, although not every episode has aged well). 

But "Scrubs" also remains peerless as a cultural experience. "Scrubs" was a show you talked about. It created moments that reverberated through personal and professional circles. "Scrubs" made talking about health easier for many — how many comedies can do that while incorporating musical numbers set to Men at Work tunes? The answer, aside from "Scrubs," is none. 

Although "Scrubs" all but became a different show when it moved to ABC, perhaps diminishing its legacy in the process, its first seven seasons are worthy of either a first-time watch or a re-binge.  

"Scrubs" is available to stream on Hulu.

Brockmire

"Brockmire," like "Ted Lasso," fundamentally understands that sports are about people — the players, the fans, and, in this case, the broadcasters. "Brockmire" also understands that those involved in sports suffer both on and off the field. Case in point: the infamous baseball play-by-play man, Brockmire himself. The series opens with the legendary broadcaster having an on-air meltdown after learning that his wife is sleeping with another man. The moment is tragic, hysterical, and unbelievably honest. If that sounds similar to "Ted Lasso," you're beginning to see how many parallels there are between these two shows about their respective nations' favorite pastimes. 

What "Brockmire" conveys is a palpable sense of exhaustion. Day in and day out, its characters must rouse themselves into a state of relative hopefulness. On TV, that sometimes seems too easy. "Brockmire" knows that it's actually quite difficult, and the side-splitting ends that the show goes to in pursuit of revealing this truth make it one of the last decade's essential comedies. 

"Brockmire" is available to stream on Hulu.

Pitch

A show whose fandom has only blossomed since its one-season run, "Pitch" didn't just tell a positive story about women in sports — it was the playbook for how a woman could thrive in Major League Baseball. The series, which was co-created by "This Is Us" executive producer Dan Fogelman, took pains to get the details right. It featured both the San Diego Padres and Petco Park, filming scenes in the stadium when the team was away. Its plot took a deep dive into the intricacies of baseball, examining everything from the screwball pitch to interorganizational subterfuge.

More importantly, "Pitch" was a show that put both women athletes and female sports fans front and center. As Kendra James wrote in Cosmopolitan, "'Pitch' mostly reflects the baseball fandom I want to see more of: There are white, black, brown, and Asian girls and women peppering the stands. No one is wearing a baby blue or pink jersey." It was a watermark moment for sports television, and though "Ted Lasso" hasn't exactly picked up where "Pitch" left off, it hasn't dropped the ball, either. Women are an integral part of both AFC Richmond's organization and its fandom. Sports are for everyone, and both shows reflect this. But they're not the only two... 

"Pitch" is available to stream on Hulu.

Big Shot

In 2021, "Big Shot" was a minor cog in the Disney+ content machine. That's not a criticism as much as an inevitability — this year, the streaming service will air no fewer than six Marvel shows and two Star Wars series, with more from both franchises on the way. In that light, a show about Uncle Jessie coaching girls' basketball doesn't have the same mainstream shine.

But it should! Produced by no less than David E. Kelly, the man behind "Big Little Lies," "The Practice," "Ally McBeal," and so many more, "Big Shot" is a family-friendly feature extended to a season-long drama, and wastes no time diving into the obstacles young women face when pursuing a life in sports. It's remarkably frank for a Disney show. In addition, the role of Coach Marvyn Korn is as revelatory for John Stamos as Lasso was for Jason Sudeikis, filtering the actor's natural charm through layers of self-deprecation, doubt, and tenacity. It's a gentle balancing act that few could've imagined when "Full House" premiered back in 1987. 

"Big Shot" is available to stream on Disney+.

The English Game

"The English Game" is a terrific history lesson for anyone who gets chills when AFC Richmond takes the field, telling the story of how football in the 1870s planted the seeds of a cultural phenomenon. It's even more potent, however, as an examination of classism. The true story of how the well-funded Old Estonians fought working-class Darwen FC for the Football Association Cup, "The English Game," penned by the Academy Award-winning chronicler of class issues Julian Fellowes, wastes no time in asking the pivotal question of who "the beautiful game" is for. 

Though the sport was created by (and eventually run by) the wealthy, they were not its future, and "The English Game" captures that inflection point. The miniseries' inherent conflict still has resonance today, as "Ted Lasso" clearly illustrates. From the clashes between Sam and Dubai Air to Nate's ever-shifting status in the AFC Richmond organization, "Ted Lasso" knows that social hierarchy is an established haunt of sports, one that sports alone can eradicate. That makes "Ted Lasso" — and "The English Game" — essential viewing. 

"The English Game" is available to stream on Netflix.

Friday Night Lights

There is no proof, as of this article's publishing, that Ted Lasso or Coach Beard have watched "Friday Night Lights," but come on now. It's more than reasonable to assume that Lasso and Beard saw, at a bare minimum, the NBC seasons of Jason Katmis' high school football drama. You don't get to "Believe" without "Clear Eyes, full Hearts, can't lose." You don't have Marcus Mumford's stirring "Ted Lasso" theme without the delicate "Friday Night Lights" score by W. G. Snuffy Walden. If Roy Kent wouldn't both fight and enjoy a drink alongside Coach Taylor, I'm voting Jaime off of "Lust Conquers All." 

"Friday Night Lights" is the wizard behind not only the "Ted Lasso" curtain, but also Lasso himself. The show was likely a balm for his grief, the way sports so often is for ours. If you've never seen "Friday Night Lights" and are reading this article, I implore you with every bone in my body to pause and start watching it now. We all deserve clear eyes and full hearts. When we have them, we can't lose — even in defeat. 

"Friday Night Lights" is available to stream on Peacock.

GLOW

The Greyhounds are misfits; that is a compliment. The team's roster includes a wide swath of personalities and interests, and most of its players are deeply quirky. Their diversity only makes their shared love for one another more endearing, and their victories more meaningful. And it makes AFC Richmond much more than a job; for most of these men, AFC Richmond is a home.

That proves equally true for the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, who joined Sam Sylvia's upstart organization for various reasons, but who find that it bolsters their hearts in addition to their wallets. And "GLOW" — which was heartbreakingly canceled by Netflix a half-year into the COVID-19 pandemic — provided accommodation for viewers who are turned off by sports shows more often than not. 

Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch's stirring dramedy chronicled the saga of GLOW (a real-life wrestling promotion, although many of the details were a little different), but it's just as much about its characters, their sexualities, and their ethnic identities as it is about professional wrestling. If the subplots about Dubai's Air's abuse of Nigeria's people and Roy's struggles to be vulnerable resonate with you, "GLOW" is a show you should check out. 

"GLOW" is available to stream on Netflix.

Eastbound & Down

The differences between "Ted Lasso" and "Eastbound & Down" could not be starker. "Ted Lasso" is a show that spends an entire episode on the redemptive power of Christmas. The main character in "Eastbound & Down," Kenny Powers, only begins to grasp the concept after a (strangely funny) botched suicide.

Why, then, does "Eastbound & Down" make this list? Well, for one thing, it's one of the essential comedies of the 21st century, painting as strong a portrait of male ego, insecurity, and fallibility as has ever been committed to film. For another, like Coach Lasso, Kenny Powers struggles to see himself for who he is, not who tries to be. Instead of acknowledging himself, faults and all, he cracks wise and lashes out and makes poor decisions. If that isn't of kin with "Ted Lasso" episodes like "The Signal" and "Headspace," then I don't know what is. 

"Eastbound & Down is available to stream on HBO Max.

Never Have I Ever

In "Never Have I Ever," a vaunted athlete serves as our guide through one girl's grief. Davi Vishwakumar is an Indian teen who has lost her father and the temporary use of her legs. Her tale is narrated by none other than former tennis star John McEnroe, who provides narration for the series.

Thankfully, like "Ted Lasso," Mindy Kaling's highly touted dramedy never makes you wait for a fresh comic set piece. For the past two seasons, "Never Have I Ever" has deftly woven its tale of trauma and mourning into a genuinely new strain of teen comedy. This is a 2020s show, one that makes room for races and gender orientations that have been sidelined far too often; it also, thrillingly, gives its characters idiosyncratic voices. There's never been a "nice guy" quite like Ben Gross (Jaren Lewiston), or a mentor as sharply wise as Dr. Jamie Ryan (Niecy Nash). 

Also like "Ted Lasso," "Never Have I Ever" believes that each of its players, no matter how minor, are capable of revelatory change. If they have to make a few mistakes and lose a bit first, that's all right. So did John McEnroe. 

"Never Have I Ever" is available to stream on Netflix.

Mythic Quest

Let's go outside of the box for our final recommendation. If you like "Ted Lasso," you likely enjoy workplace comedies. You also appreciate, to some degree, a show that riffs on established genres, be it sports films or romantic comedies. You also like a show that has its heart in the right place, that isn't afraid to act foul from time to time, and that strains to serve its entire, talented ensemble. Lastly, you have Apple TV+.

May I interest you, then, in the gently used "Mythic Quest?" Though it has received less publicity than its football-focused companion, the Rob McElhenney vehicle is just as ambitious (hello, stand-alone episodes!) as it is funny. Made in partnership with gaming giant Ubisoft, "Mythic Quest" follows a fictional video game studio's ups and downs as its employees struggle to thrive, find love, and keep their heads above water. 

If this all sounds familiar, it is. And it's how the show subverts that familiarity — see the Zoom-set COVID episode, or the way McElhenney's performance deliberately diverges from Mac on "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" — that makes the show a magic, frequently moving watch. 

"Mythic Quest" is available to stream on Apple TV+.