“Tuca and Bertie,” the acclaimed adult animated comedy starring Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong, has been canceled by Adult Swim after two seasons on the channel.
Creator Lisa Hanawalt announced the news on Wednesday via a Twitter post, stating that while she hopes to continue the series someday, it won’t be moving forward on Adult Swim.
This marks the first Adult Swim series cancellation since parent company Warner Bros. Discovery more closely merged its two animation studios, Cartoon Network Studios and Warner Bros. Animation. “Tuca and Bertie,” which is a Tornante Company production, was not a casualty of the restructuring, a source close to the matter confirmed to IndieWire.
“I still have a beautiful and weird ending to ‘T&B’ in mind, hopefully someday we’ll get the chance to finish this story,” Hanawalt said in her post. “In the meantime, I’m not done creating. I’ve witnessed so many people connecting with this show on a profound level, and intend to keep telling stories like this, no matter what.”
Hanawalt later tweeted: “Please vote in the midterms and elect progressive congresspeople who can help fight huge corporate mergers and monopolies,” which is probably a shot of blame at the mega-merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery, Inc. The April merger put new company Warner Bros. Discovery in a position where it must massively reduce costs to compete. That’s meant significant staff reductions as well as cuts to content spanning seemingly all of its brands.
This is the second time “Tuca & Bertie” has been canceled. It premiered as a Netflix original in 2019 but the streamer canceled the series two months after its debut, despite critical praise. A year later, Adult Swim picked up the series for a second season that premiered on the Cartoon Network late-night programming block in June 2021. The show’s third and final season premiered this July, with the finale airing August 29.
Set in a world where birds, other animals, and sometimes trees are anthropomorphic beings, “Tuca and Bertie” focused on the titular two best friends, voiced by Haddish and Wong. The two are polar opposites — Tuca is fun-loving and irresponsible, Bertie is career-minded and suffers from anxiety — but unconditionally support each other as they balance relationships, jobs, and hare-brained schemes. Steven Yeun also starred in the series as Speckle, Bertie’s good-natured and nerdy architect boyfriend.
The show received consistently positive reviews from critics for its humor, visual design, and tackling of serious topics like sexual harassment, anxiety, alcoholism, and abusive relationships. In his review of the third season, IndieWire TV critic Ben Travers wrote that the series “demands engagement in a way plenty of today’s television shows take for granted, and even fewer actually earn.”
Tony Maglio contributed reporting.