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Bluey cancelled: Creators speak out after insiders claimed series will ‘wrap up’

The studio behind children’s program Bluey has insisted there are ‘no plans’ to end the beloved Australian cartoon despite insiders claiming the series was set to ‘wrap up’.

The iconic show, which features a happily family of blue heeler dogs, is believed to be nearing the end, with sources close to its Brisbane production hub suggesting it may end because the voice of the young actor behind Bluey is changing.

The actor, whose identity has been kept secret to protect her privacy, is among friends and family of the production team.

But after four years and 130 episodes, the young actor’s voice has naturally matured, leaving producers with the choice to either re-cast the role or – more drastically – end the show, insiders say.

The studio behind children’s program Bluey has insisted there are ‘no plans’ to end the beloved Australian cartoon despite insiders claiming the series was set to ‘wrap up’

‘It has been one of if not the hardest and most heartbreaking decision the producers have had to make,’ said an insider at Bluey’s production Ludo Studio in Brisbane.

‘The show is obviously so profitable. But it’s legacy is also seen as more important than anything else so the idea is to ‘go out on a high’.’

Ludo, however, has denied Bluey’s third season will be its last, saying the reports were ‘inaccurate’.

‘We absolutely love Bluey, and there are no plans to end the show,’ a spokesperson for the studio told Daily Mail Australia.

‘We always finish a season before planning the next one, and right now we’re halfway through series three and really excited about the future – we can’t wait to share new episodes.’

'We absolutely love Bluey and there are no plans to end the show,' a spokesperson for the studio behind the program said

‘We absolutely love Bluey and there are no plans to end the show,’ a spokesperson for the studio behind the program said

Bluey producers are currently completing the final 26 episodes of the show’s third season.

A spokesperson for Bluey’s distributor at the BBC in the UK declined to confirm the show’s third season would be its last.

‘Right now Ludo is working hard on series 3, which we’re thrilled to bring audiences this year,’ they told Daily Mail Australia.

‘We’re very excited about the future of Bluey, which is now a huge global success, and there’s certainly much more to come.’ 

Dave McCormack, former lead singer of Custard, collecting AAACTA Award for Best Children's Programming

Dave McCormack, former lead singer of Custard, collecting AAACTA Award for Best Children’s Programming

A number of popular kids’ shows have made high profile re-casting decisions over the years, including the UK preschooler hit Bing! which switched out both leads in between seasons one and two. 

The producer of Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood discussed the challenges of casting children in voice roles back in 2019, saying the lead of Daniel was regularly changed in the popular American series.

‘The show has been airing for six years so we have had to recast,’ Chris Loggins told The Not-The-Mama Dad’ blog, confirming they had used three actors across four years.

Bluey creator and writer Joe Brumm (R) with producer Charlie Aspinwall winning Best Children's program at the 2019 Logies

Bluey creator and writer Joe Brumm (R) with producer Charlie Aspinwall winning Best Children’s program at the 2019 Logies

It’s rumoured Bluey’s series producer and creator Joe Brumm is against the idea of re-casting out of ‘respect’ to the original voice actor who has played such an integral and distinctive role of the show’s mammoth success.

Bluey’s little sister Bingo is also voiced by one of the children of the show’s production crew and also has remained anonymous.

The other prominent voices of dad Bandit and mother Chilli have been famously provided by former Custard lead singer David McCormack and actress Melanie Zanetti respectively.

Actress Melanie Zanetti voices the role of Chilli - mum to Bluey and Bingo

Actress Melanie Zanetti voices the role of Chilli – mum to Bluey and Bingo

Launched in 2018 on the ABC in Australia, Bluey was swiftly hailed for its refreshing characters, particularly Bandit as a capable and astute father as opposed to a bumbling background character common in kids programming.

It also earned rave reviews from critics and parents applauding its good-natured naturalism and riffs on modern parenting.

One of the few kids shows enjoyed by parents and kids in equal measure, the show would eventually go on to win a string of awards worldwide including a Kids Emmy in 2019 for its night-time-routine tear-jerker episode ‘Sleepytime’ and Best Animated Series at the 2021 Critics Choice Awards.

Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman lent her voice to an episode of in Bluey's third season where she narrated a whale documentary on the show

Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman lent her voice to an episode of in Bluey’s third season where she narrated a whale documentary on the show

In a list published by US Rolling Stone Magazine of the top 100 sitcoms of all time, Bluey was listed at 96, being the only Australian series to be featured.

It remains the most-downloaded show in the ABC’s history.

The show has also spawned a multi-million dollar merchandise industry via licensing deals with Target, Big W, Target, Kmart, Catch, Peter Alexander and Bonds.   

The series will also live on for years to come through lucrative re-runs and licensing deals as well as live shows, with a major US live tour planned later this year.

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