What is going on at Adult Swim?
The Three Busy Debras of Three Busy Debras announced on Twitter today that their surreal, 12-minute comedy will not be returning to Adult Swim for a third season, only a few months after the second season aired. Their post does not explain whether it was their decision or the network’s, but graciously states:
When we started this over seven years ago we could have never imagined getting to make two seasons of a show with some of the most talented, kind, funny people we have ever met. It is impossible to overstate how lucky we feel. Thank you for watching Three Busy Debras. Please drink a glass of milk with a lemon garnish in our memory (we are being shot into space tomorrow morning).
Considering Adult Swim’s premature cancellation of Joe Pera Talks With You earlier this month, it’s highly possible that this is a network decision rather than that of co-stars and co-creators Sandy Honig (Debra), Mitra Jouhari (Debra), and Alyssa Stonoha (Debra). Paste has reached out to Adult Swim for comment.
These programming decisions make little sense considering the cult following both shows have on a network built on weird, cult followings. However, Adult Swim’s had a bit of a shake-up both before and after the Warner Bros. Discovery merger in April 2022. Both Joe Pera Talks With You and Three Busy Debras are live-action, and it’s possible that the network is pivoting to focus on animation after the merging of Adult Swim and HBO Max’s adult animation departments in April 2021. There’s also been recent executive-level change; after two years heading Adult Swim (along with Cartoon Network and Boomerang), Tom Ascheim left Warner Bros. Discovery in May 2022, with Kathleen Finch taking over, as per Deadline. While these changes are higher-up, they have the potential to ripple out and affect network direction (and, as a result, programming).
While we light a candle for the Three Busy Debras (though maybe it’ll live on in another form?), check out Brooke Knisley’s interview with Honig, Jouhari, and Sonoha here.