New Looney Tunes (known as Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production for Season 1) is an American animated television series from Warner Bros. Animation, based on the characters from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. The series premiered on September 21, 2015, on Cartoon Network, and later premiered on October 5, 2015, on Boomerang, though the first season was broadcast under the title of Wabbit, and focused primarily on the antics of Bugs Bunny.
On March 7, 2017, Turner and Warner Bros. announced that the unaired episodes of the show would be released on Boomerang's SVOD service, where episodes have since been broadcast on, before airing on television. New Looney Tunes was later picked up for a third season. On January 26, 2018, Matt Craig has announced that the show has not been picked up for a fourth season due to the show's already-large library being unaired, and as such, will pitch the final short on the following week.
After The Looney Tunes Show ended production in 2013, concepts for a new show featuring the Looney Tunes led to the decision for a reboot of the characters. At the time, the idea of making a reboot of all of the Looney Tunes focused mainly on Bugs Bunny, and in March 2014, it was announced that the reboot would be known as Wabbit, to coincide with other reboots of Warner Bros. classics, such as Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! and The Tom and Jerry Show. Sam Register, promoted to president of Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series a month prior, became supervising producer for the series. The animation was done by Yearim and Rough Draft Studios from South Korea, and Snipple Animation from the Philippines.
The aim of the reboot was for the cartoon to match the tone of the Looney Tunes shorts in their earlier days. This led to the character returning slapstick-comedy roots, but with producers seeking to avoid their clichés — in particular, the anvil gag. The show's production team placed their emphasis on writing original stories, as well as devising "modern heavy objects to cause pain", according to producer Erik Kuska, with each episode featuring a few shorts in which one or a number of characters became caught up in a situation that they would handle in their own personal way. However, the characters themselves saw some alterations to their appearance, with some also reverting back to personality traits they originally when they first appeared - for example, Daffy Duck was returned to his original screwball personality from his early shorts.
The first season of the show was known as Wabbit, and focused primarily on Bugs Bunny as the main character, with appearances by Yosemite Sam and Wile E. Coyote, and a minor appearance by the Tasmanian Devil. Like his early shorts, Bugs mostly finds himself outwitting opponents either because they seek to cause him trouble or have done something to wreck his peaceful life. The first season saw the introduction of a few new characters to the franchise:
Squeaks the Squirrel - Bugs' close friend and sidekick who can only squeak when talking.
Bigfoot - A childlike being who tends to annoy Bugs.
Sir Littlechin - A knight who often targets mythical animals.
Slugsworthy the First - A stuck-up elephant seal.
King Thes - A royal lion who tries to eat anyone.
Claudette Dupri - A fox spy.
Cal - A strong man who considers himself the best at whatever he is doing.
Tad Tucker - A reality television personality.
Leslie P. Lilylegs - An obnoxious, short man who tends to desire power
Carl the Grim Rabbit - A rabbit version of the Grim Reaper.
Likewise, Bugs faces new villains, but not without the help of his friends. According to Kuska, the focus on newer villains for Bugs to deal with was described as allowing him to do his "best when he's up against a really good adversary". As a result of the inclusion of new villains, Kuska felt that Elmer Fudd not be "the man", having often been a common villain that Bugs dealt with in many shorts, despite appearing later on in the series.
After the first season ended, the production team decided to focus on the other Looney Tunes stars besides Bugs. The show was renamed New Looney Tunes for the second season and featured a new intro. While Bugs and those featured in the first season returned, the second season saw the appearance of the other characters: Foghorn Leghorn; Sylvester; Tweety; Daffy Duck; Porky Pig; Speedy Gonzales; Marvin the Martian; Granny Emma Webster; Elmer Fudd; The Road-Runner; and Pepé Le Pew. Some episodes saw characters operating as a double act; this plot mechanic was mainly used for Daffy and Porky, as had been done in their early shorts made by Chuck Jones. Other obscure figures from the Looney Tunes shorts also made appearances.