'Tuca and Bertie': Canceled Netflix Comedy Revived for Season 2 at Adult Swim

Tuca & Bertie S01E01 Still - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of Netflix

Tuca and Bertie is back. 

In the second deal of its kind, a linear network has revived a Netflix original series. In this case, WarnerMedia-backed Adult Swim has revived the animated comedy from creator Lisa Hanawalt for a second season nearly a year after the show was shockingly canceled by the streamer. 

Adult Swim will bring the 10-episode second season of the series from Tornante Co. in 2021 with an option for additional seasons. Tuca and Bertie was canceled after one season at Netflix despite rave reviews for the show and a voice cast featuring breakout comedians Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong. Both, along with co-star Steven Yeun, will return for season two. 

“I’ve been a fan of Adult Swim shows since my teens, so I’m thrilled to bring my beloved fowl to the party and be a new voice for a fresh decade of absurd, irreverent, yet heartwarming adult animation,” Hanawalt said Friday in a statement. BoJack Horseman creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg, Noel Bright, Steven A. Cohen, Haddish, Wong and Hanawalt executive produce the series, with animation done by Shadowmachine.

Tuca and Bertie is the second Netflix original series to find a new home after cancellation. The multicamera comedy One Day at a Time landed at Viacom-owned Pop following an extensive dealmaking process with producers Sony TV and Netflix. Sources say Netflix was also involved in the deal for Tuca and Bertie and likely had to sign off on a new pact at a linear network. 

Original programming created specifically for Netflix typically comes with limitations on where else the show might live in the event of a cancellation. As was the case with One Day at a Time, the show was unable to be sold to another streamer (i.e. a Netflix direct competitor) and landed at Pop with a first window before plans to move at some point in the future to CBS. 

Hanawalt bemoaned the cancellation last summer on Twitter with a heartfelt thread that also took a jab at Netflix's penchant for axing originals based on cryptic data from an algorithm. (Netflix, like other streamers, does not release viewership data.) "Everyone is still glowing over the reviews and articles and feedback. T&B is critically acclaimed and has repeatedly been called one of the best new shows of the year," she wrote. "None of this makes a difference to an algorithm, but it’s important to me and the way I want to continue making art in this world."

Tuca and Bertie debuted May 3, 2019, to strong reviews. The Hollywood Reporter's chief TV critic Daniel Fienberg called the series "a colorful, bold and joyful look at female (bird) friendship." The show, which was canceled a mere two and a half months after its debut, currently has a 98 percent rating among critics and 66 percent rating among viewers on aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes.