Although Better Off Ted only ran for a short two seasons, the series is a repeated slot-holder on many gone-too-soon lists. Created by Victor Fresco (Andy Richter Controls the Universe) the show follows Ted Crisp, a kindhearted single dad trying to stay moral and set a good example while working as head of Research and Development for a malicious company. The corporation in question, Veridian Dynamics, is vapid and soulless, stopping at nothing to achieve its goals no matter how evil. Veridian has swayed presidential elections (#awkward), created killer robots and even weaponized pumpkins! There are only three governments in the world more powerful (was this how Skynet began!?) The company even experiments on its own employees—that’s a lot for Ted to contend with!
The show is filled with quirky characters like Ted’s supervisor Veronica Palmer (Portia de Rossi), co-worker and love interest Linda Zwordling (Andrea Anders), and laboratory scientists Phillip Myman (Jonathan Slavin) and Lem Hewitt (Malcolm Barrett). Known for its witty satire and 30 Rock-esque tone, Ted carries us with him as he narrates the plot and periodically breaks the fourth wall to talk directly with the audience. Its left of center approach won it the acclaim of critics, but its low ratings prevented it from continuing past its second season.
If you’re looking for a sharp comedy that could’ve potentially become Liz Lemon’s successor, here’s how to watch Better Off Ted streaming online.
How to Watch Better off Ted Online & Stream the Complete Series
Among all the streaming services, Hulu has exclusive rights to every episode of Better off Ted. There are a couple different options when signing up for Hulu, but either one will get you access to the show’s complete library:
If you simply want Hulu’s extensive on-demand library, you can sign up right here. It costs $7.99 per month for the limited commercials plan or $11.99 per month for the no commercials plan.
If you want to go from watching Hulu’s on-demand library to watching MLB games or other live TV without changing the app, you can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV”. This option gives you access to Hulu’s extensive on-demand library, as well as a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels. It costs $39.99 per month for the plan that includes limited commercials with the on-demand content or $43.99 per month for the plan that includes no commercials with the on-demand content.
After signing up for either of the above options, you can watch any episode of Better off Ted on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
WARNING: Spoilers ahead
How Many Better Off Ted Seasons Are There?
Fans were disappointed when ABC opted not to renew Ted for a third season, but all 26 episodes (including two that were unaired in the U.S.) are available to stream online.
Better Off Ted Season 1
13 Episodes | March 2009 – August 2009
Ted Crisp’s job at the nefarious Veridian Dynamics has him hustling. He continuously checks himself morally and ethically, hoping to not get caught up in the crossfire of Veridian’s wicked ways. He’s the lead of R&D at the company, wheeling and dealing with zany character types around him, all of whom are trying to sleep at night after working for such a greedy, manipulative company. In the first season, Veridian freezes an employee in its new cryonics chamber and heat sparks between Ted and Linda. Linda later gets dosed with an experimental drug that gives her energy and also some unwanted side effects. After a survey tells Veridian that its employees are miserable, Veronica works on improving morale and reinvents herself as a more likable boss. The team learns a secret about Veronica after an invention explodes in their faces.
Better Off Ted Season 2
13 Episodes | December 2009 – January 2010
A wave of layoffs hits Veridian. Linda is stoked to sell her first children’s book until someone points out that a lemur looks exactly like Phil. Veronica is angry when Ted gives relationship advice to her new boo. Linda and Ted face sexual harassment charges from a coworker who seems to be overreacting, and Veronica’s solution creates even more waves. Veronica exploits the death of an employee to push everyone to work harder. Phil and Lem’s new lie detector creation creates madness for Linda’s family. Ted and Veronica use their daughter and niece to gain favor with the boss upstairs. Ted and Linda try to squash rumors that they’re sleeping together, while Veronica gets stuck in an unwanted position.
What Are the Best Better Off Ted Episodes?
Though the series only has 26 episodes, most of its installments are razor sharp. Here’s a list of the best Better Off Ted episodes.
Season 1, Episode 4: “Racial Sensitivity”
Veridian is up in arms when a racial conflict disrupts the company. Ted and Linda’s emotional tie bears its head, but it’s not as simple as it seems.
Season 1, Episode 6: “Goodbye, Mr. Chips”
Ted is deleted from Veridian’s system when he tries to fix his employee ID. His peers try to help the situation but end up creating even more chaos to hilarious effect.
Season 2, Episode 13: “Swag the Dog”
Phil and Lem are on a mission to gain respect around the Veridian office, while Veronica embarks on a treasure hunt. Ted confronts rumors of favoritism. There’s also a sweet rap track by Malcolm Barrett (Lem).
Season 2, Episode 10: “Lust in Translation”
With help from a Veridian translator, Ted revs up a romance with a German executive.
Season 1, Episode 9: “Bioshuffle”
Veronica, Linda and Ted are forced to share offices creating loads of tension among the trio. Lem asks Lucy on a date. Dr. Bhamba’s biocomputer creates a dangerous leak on Linda’s desk.
Who Are the Actors in the Better Off Ted Cast?
Jay Harrington as Ted Crisp
Ted is the senior vice president of Research and Development at the hellish Veridian Dynamics. He’s a legend in his field and leads one of the smartest teams of scientists in his industry. The only problem is that Veridian is insanely unethical and at times, actually evil. Harrington has had a career well lined with film and TV roles. He can be seen in movies like American Reunion, while his TV credits include Hot in Cleveland, Benched and S.W.A.T.
Portia de Rossi as Veronica Palmer
Veronica is Ted’s boss. She’s an efficient leader who doesn’t let feelings or innocent lives stand in the way of Veridian’s success. She dislikes the Dutch for some reason. De Rossi has had many meaty roles in shows like Scandal, Nip/Tuck, Ally McBeal and the internet’s favorite TV talking point, Arrested Development.
Andrea Anders as Linda Zwordling
Linda works in Veridian’s testing department where she determines which products are safe and which ones can kill all the planet’s wildlife. She’s a creative, independent worker who views Veridian as just a job and not a career. Before Ted, Anders played Alex Garrett on the Friends spinoff Joey, in addition to roles in Modern Family, About a Boy (the series), and Daddy’s Home 2.
Jonathan Slavin as Phil Mymen
Phil is one of the team’s leading scientists. Phil can make anything from an egg. Despite his brilliance inside a lab, he’s completely incompetent in real life. Slavin also starred in Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Dr. Ken and Speechless.
Malcolm Barrett as Lem Hewitt
Lem is another lab scientist at Veridian who’s world-famous for what he does. He flirts using chemistry jokes and isn’t scared about creating a virus that could destroy the entire planet (despite his fear of social confrontation). Barrett’s credits include the Oscar-winning Hurt Locker, Larry Crowne, and TV series like Preacher and Timeless.
Isabella Acres as Rose Crisp
Rose is Ted’s daughter and moral anchor. She often asks questions about Veridian’s shady business practices. After Ted wrapped, Acres provided voices for Monsters University, Wreck-It Ralph, Adventure Time and Phineas and Ferb.
Who Are the Top Guest Stars on Better Off Ted?
The show didn’t accumulate too many guest stars in its short time on air, but here are a couple faces TV fans will recognize that showed up in the hallways of Veridian Dynamics.
Adam Devine as Josh
Devine plays Josh in an uncredited role from the episode “Win Some, Dose Some.” Devine would later go on to become one-third of the Workaholics.
Taye Diggs as Greg Marusack
Diggs appears as Greg Marusack in the Season 2 premiere “Love Blurts.” Diggs has an illustrious film career including Chicago, Rent and House on Haunted Hill, and TV credits that include Private Practice, The Good Wife and Empire.
Chris Parnell as Walter Palmer
SNL‘s Parnell appeared in an episode entitled “The Impertence of Communicationizing.” After spending 14 years appearing on the sketch comedy behemoth, Parnell went on to appear in both Anchorman films, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Drunk History, Bob’s Burgers and Comedy Bang! Bang!
Who Are the Writers & Creators Behind Better Off Ted?
Better Off Ted comes from the mind of the man who brought us Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Life on a Stick and The Trouble with Normal.
Victor Fresco: Better Off Ted Creator, Executive Producer and Writer
Fresco is an American TV writer and producer and the creator of Better Off Ted. He was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series for the second season of Mad About You and was nominated again for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for his work on Andy Richter Controls the Universe. He now serves as creator, showrunner and executive producer of Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet.
Marc Solakian: Better Off Ted Producer
Solakian is a long-time collaborator of Fresco’s having helped produce Andy Richter Controls the Universe, Life on a Stick and The Trouble with Normal.
Where Better Off Ted Ranks in the Television Pantheon
Better Off Ted was renowned for its satirical edge, with its chirpy, fast-paced flow that follows quirky, lovable characters. The ethical compromises and ridiculous experiments of Veridian Dynamics elevate the show from simple workplace comedy to something bordering black comedy and science fiction. (Housewares, chemical weapons…tomato, tomahto!) The Chicago-Sun Times compared its characters to the highly acclaimed Arrested Development , while EW‘s Ken Tucker wrote, “I love everything about this show, from star Jay Harrington’s delivery of Ted’s straight-man lines with WASP ramrod posture to the show’s up-front critiques of corporate capitalism.” Tucker also deemed the show the “most original sitcom to come along in a while.”
The show frequently landed on Best Of lists, including TV.com’s Best TV Shows of 2009, About.com’s Best TV Comedies of 2010, and EW’s nomination for the Best Comedy Series EWwy Award. Though the show was cancelled in May of 2010, critics continued raving, while its audience built up steadily until the bitter end. Fans of smart and/or dark comedy will appreciate Ted for its quick-witted comedy that mixed plot-centric jokes, sight gags and clever wordplay all within mere moments. Still not convinced? Uproxx lists “All the Reasons ‘Better Off Ted’ Should Be the Next Comedy You Binge Watch on Netflix.”