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The real reason Adult Swim revived Tuca and Bertie for season 2

When BoJack Horseman became a surprise hit for Netflix, it helped pave the way for another offbeat animated show for adults, Tuca and Bertie. The series was created by popular indie cartoonist and BoJack production designer Lisa Hanawalt, whose distinct anthropomorphized animal style was utilized to great effect in both shows. While the two shows shared some DNA, Tuca and Bertie had a fresh off-kilter energy and a clear focus on female friendships, along with wacky humor and deeply felt explorations of issues like substance abuse and mental illness in equal measure. The strong performances by Tiffany Haddish and Ali Wong, among others in the voice cast, pushed the show to another level of greatness.

For many, the show almost felt too good to be true, and sadly, it turned out Netflix agreed. Just three months after the show premiered, it was canceled by the streaming giant in a move that shocked and angered fans and critics alike.

Now, over a year after the show originally premiered, fans have a reason to celebrate. On May 22nd, Hanawalt announced that the show has been revived for a second season at Cartoon Network's late night programming block, Adult Swim (via AV Club). After all this time, why did the animation giant decide to revive Tuca and Bertie?

A Tuca and Bertie revival has been in the works since the show's cancellation

The announcement was a pleasant surprise to many, but those who have been paying close attention know that talks of a Tuca and Bertie revival has been in the works since the cancellation was originally announced.

In 2019, comedian Tiffany Haddish, who voices Tuca, dropped some breadcrumbs for the show's fans. As reported by the AV Club, the comedian spoke about the possibility of another network picking up the show during the Television Critic Association summer press tour. "It's canceled with that other network, but who knows? It might end up somewhere else," Haddish said, adding, "I don't know what's going to happen, though. I talked to [Hanawalt], and we definitely are going to make it go somewhere. It's going to go. It's going to end up somewhere."

Haddish's confidence in the show's ability to attract another network ended up being well-founded. The comedian wasn't merely doing some wishful thinking. From the moment Netflix announced the show's cancellation, the response to their decision was intense, and the backlash helped pave the way for the show's eventual revival.

Tuca and Bertie has a devoted legion of fans and was a critical darling

Netflix never revealed the exact reason why Tuca and Bertie was canceled, but we can assume that the show wasn't doing the numbers the network expected it to. However, what the show may have lacked in total number of viewers, it more than made up for with the dedication of its fans.

When the announcement was made, thousands took to social media to decry Netflix's decision, while a Change.org petition to save the show garnered over 30,000 signatures. Twitter user doriesklein said of the show, "Tuca & Bertie addresses friendships, relationships, sobriety, and trauma in a way that brings laughs and healing." User toonyballoony added, "Livid over Netflix dropping Tuca & Bertie. It has one of the most realistic portrayals of female friendship I've seen in adult animation, let alone media."

It wasn't just fans on Twitter who called out Netflix for their decision — TV critics also jumped to the show's defense. Writing for Variety, Caroline Framke called the cancellation "a disappointing loss for TV." Joe Berkowitz at Fast Company said that the decision was a "gross miscalculation and an artistic injustice," and questioned why Netflix should exist at all if not to give shows like Tuca and Bertie a platform.

At the end of 2019, Tuca and Bertie appeared on many critics' roundups of the best TV of the year, further adding to the disappointment of fans who thought the show had nowhere to go but up. It also added fuel to the fire of one particular argument in its favor.

Netflix was accused of ditching Tuca and Bertie without giving it a chance

When fans and critics railed against Netflix for their decision to pull the plug on Tuca and Bertie, it wasn't just the loss of a well-liked show that they were angry about. Many people pointed out one frustrating aspect of the decision: in canceling the show after only three months, the streaming platform barely gave it any time to find an audience.

That issue was further compounded by the fact that Netflix didn't do much to promote the show on its own platform. When it was canceled, many fans pointed out that the show never appeared as a suggestion in any of the algorithm-generated categories on the Netflix menu. Series creator Lisa Hanawalt even said on Twitter that she had to search to find the show when it premiered because Netflix never recommended it to her. This revelation lead to many admonishing the streaming service for not giving the show a chance to succeed before cutting it from their lineup.

Given how well-loved Tuca and Bertie is, and how quick Netflix was to dump it, it's no wonder Adult Swim scooped it up for a second season.