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Tuca & Bertie, an original animated series, and Designated Survivor, which Netflix picked up from ABC for a third season, have both been axed, but Netflix didn’t give a reason for either cancelation. It just offered up gushing thank-yous to the shows’ crews in a statement. The Tuca & Bertie announcement, in particular, is a real loss for Netflix.
The series, which only debuted in May, has a woman showrunner (BoJack Horseman‘s Lisa Hanawalt) and explores the lives of two bird women (played by comedians Ali Wong and Tiffany Haddish) as they deal with addiction, harassment, equality, sexuality, work, and friendship. Hanawalt posted about the cancelation on Twitter and said she hopes “we can find a home for Tuca & Bertie to continue their adventures.” She added that “I still get daily messages and tweets from viewers who connect personally to the characters and stories.”
Best of all, I still get daily messages and tweets from viewers who connect personally to the characters and stories. The birdsona & plantsona fan art is SO incredible, are you kidding me! And the show is still being discovered by new fans every day!!— Lisa Hanawalt (@lisadraws) July 24, 2019
Thank you to everyone who loves and supports T&B, and to everyone who was comforted and felt like this show gave you a voice. I’m hopeful we can find a home for Tuca & Bertie to continue their adventures. #TucaandBertie pic.twitter.com/xmrAV7Ooyq— Lisa Hanawalt (@lisadraws) July 24, 2019
Tuca & Bertie fans expressed similar frustrations but also commented on how much they loved the show and related to its fearless, honest depiction of adult women. And it wasn’t just women who loved the show.
I would have taken a second season of Tuca and Bertie over another Aziz Ansari special.— Need more manga please (@junghulee) July 24, 2019
it's so rare as a woman to be able to sit through a whole show and feel your spine relax bc ur not bracing for a fat joke at ur expense or a racist joke or a rape joke, to be able to sit and laugh w/o bracing for a hit.#RenewTucaandBertie— shivana sookdeo (@toastasaurus) July 24, 2019
TUCA AND BERTIE was critically acclaimed enough, and cheap enough, that a deep-pocketed streaming service should've renewed for the optics alone. especially one that loves to brag about representation as much as netflix!— Alison Herman (@aherman2006) July 24, 2019
"never invest in or get attached to any of our shows now" is a bold gambit from netflix and i think it'll pay off— erin, ultra r/b enthusiast (@tremolo_) July 24, 2019
how the fuck can paradise pd, big mouth, disenchantment, and f is for family get renewed for multiple seasons while tuca and bertie apparently can't— Bobby Schroeder (@ponettplus) July 24, 2019
The hashtag #RenewTucaAndBertie has started circulating but this is yet another example of Netflix’s wild contradictions: They’re throwing an alleged $70 million at Eddie Murphy for a comedy special that seems to be validated on name alone. It inexplicably keeps giving Jerry Seinfeld seasons of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, one of the most boring shows in recent memory. Limping franchises like Arrested Development continue to get life support. Last summer’s from-fat-to-hot disaster Insatiable was roundly panned by critics, but Netflix wasted no time renewing it. And yet shows like One Day at a Time, which has a massive fanbase and actually connects with people, get tossed.
It seems Netflix isn’t listening to its shows’ fans, and that’s going to be even more important when it starts losing more non-original series. It’s already started losing subscribers.
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Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.