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The Surprise: secret Bluey episode drops around the world amid panic the cartoon is ending
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The Surprise: secret Bluey episode drops around the world amid panic the cartoon is ending

A secret episode of Bluey that was hidden from television listings and streaming services around the world has suddenly dropped, amid a wider panic among parents that the popular cartoon is ending.

The Emmy-winning Australian cartoon, which was the second-most watched show in the US last year, follows a puppy called Bluey and her family, the Heelers. On Sunday morning Australian time, a new episode titled The Surprise was released, in which Bluey and her sister Bingo make their dad play two different games with them at the same time.

The ABC, which broadcasts the show in Australia, falsely listed a rerun of a past Bluey episode in television guides.

Libbie Doherty, head of children and family at the ABC, told the Guardian that the episode was kept secret in order to surprise viewers.

“Bluey’s hallmark charm is that it is always surprising, and we love to do things differently to keep the fans thinking,” she said. “Our intention was for the fans to wake up to their usual ABC Kids Sunday 8am slot and be blown away by a brand-new episode.”

The Surprise was simultaneously broadcast in the UK on CBeebies, having been billed as a show called Something Special. It is now available to stream on ABC iView in Australia and Disney+ in the UK and US.

The secret episode comes a week after a 28-minute episode, four times longer than the usual Bluey, aired around the world. The episode, titled The Sign, saw the Heeler family put their house up for sale – a plot that seemed to provoke panic among both parents and journalists.

“Is this the end of Bluey? Parents alarmed by sale of cartoon house” read a headline in UK newspaper the Times, taking a marketing decision to list the Heeler home for sale in the real estate pages of the Sydney Morning Herald as a sign of the end.

But Bluey producer Sam Moor told the BBC’s Today programme that the show would definitely be returning after The Sign.

“No, it is not the end for Bluey. I’m sure we have many more surprises in store for you,” she said. “We have more in store and we are thinking what would be next.”

Asked if the 28-minute episode was paving the way for a longer Bluey movie, the show’s creator, Joe Brumm, told the Guardian: “I love the idea of doing something even longer, so we’ll see how this goes down. Maybe a movie, who knows? This is a good way to test the waters.”

Bluey is broadcast in more than 60 countries. It was streamed for more than 20bn minutes on Disney+ in the US last year, accounting for nearly one-third of all TV views on the streamer.

Source: theguardian.com