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There’s a lot to be excited for in the upcoming fourth season of The League. There’s a new baby, a new commissioner and plenty of new guest stars, including the Dallas Cowboys and their manager Jerry Jones.
Spinoff Online caught up with the cast and creators of The League Tuesday during the show’s red carpet premiere in Los Angeles, and they said the new baby (who earns one of the best nicknames we’ve heard in recent years) won’t necessarily affect the series as a whole.
“The baby’s in and out. When the baby’s in, the baby’s in. It’s something we’ve got to deal with. But there’s episodes that are like, oh, I forgot they even had the baby. That’s sort of how we work,” said star Stephen Rannazzisi, who plays former commissioner Kevin.
Kate Aselton also teased how her character Jenny will be affected after she has her new baby (which happens by the end of the premiere, by the way). She said the birth is just a sign of how much crazier Season 4 will get from there.
“We’ll just find out what you think of what Jenny has learned of having a baby and playing fantasy football,” she teased. “[The League is] just funnier and crazier every year, so God save us if we go to Season 12. I don’t know, we might explode.”
Rannazzisi also talked about how Kevin giving up the commissionership at the end of Season 3 will affect his character in the new episodes. Apparently he has enough on his plate that it won’t bother him too much that Nick Kroll’s Ruxin is in control.
“He gave up the commissionership, and it comes with a price,” he explained. “I am not commissioner any more, which is fine because I have other responsibilities like a new baby, which my wife and I — Jenny — have on the show. That comes with different responsibilities of who’s going to take care of who and when and who needs to do what, especially when it comes to the league.”
There are plenty of exciting faces that we’ll get to see this season. Timothy Olyphant will play a sushi chef, while Robert Wagner will play the grandfather of Mark Duplass’ Pete. There will be a draft episode featuring NFL players Trent Richardson, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Fitzpatrick, and even a return of Jeff Goldblum as Ruxin’s father.
“I am not in a position to confirm or deny that, but if you watch the television show I believe you’ll see a tall thin man with glasses who looks a lot like Nick Kroll,” Duplass teased with a smile.
Series creators Jeff Schaffer and Jackie Marcus Schaffer just had a child on July 9, so they said much of Season 4 will parallel their own experiences. In fact, Jenny’s draft-pick scene at the end of tonight’s season premiere is pretty much exactly how Marcus Schaffer acted when she gave birth. That draft scene that opens the episode apparently was shot six hours after she had their child.
Although The League is about a group of friends who run a fantasy football league, the Schaffers continue to reinforce that viewers don’t need to be fans of football to love the show. In fact, many people who come up to them actually don’t like football at all.
“We always say: to enjoy the show you don’t need to know anything about sports, you don’t have to know anything about fantasy football, you just have to have friends that you hate,” he said. “What people have responded to is, even if they don’t play fantasy sports at all, they all friends like this. They all have an Andre, there’s a Taco in their group, and I think one of the biggest compliments we get is when people say, ‘I don’t like sports, I don’t like football, I would never do fantasy sports, but I love your show.'”
With that being said, there are plenty of football jokes for fans who do watch the NFL.
“There’s a lot of football to be had this year on the show,” Rannazzisi said, adding about the show’s relationship with the National Football League, “The NFL likes us. I think we’re kind of growing on them like a virus or something. I think they kind of would maybe prefer us to go away, but we keep making funny shows that their players want to be on, so I think they’re accepting us.”
The League premieres tonight at 10:30 ET/PT on FX.