Cuckoo (TV series)

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Cuckoo, BBC Comedy, Title Card 2012.jpg
Created by Robin French
Kieron Quirke
Written by Robin French
Kieron Quirke
Directed by Ben Taylor
Starring Andy Samberg
Greg Davies
Helen Baxendale
Tamla Kari
Tyger Drew-Honey
Taylor Lautner
Esther Smith
Matt Lacey
Composer(s) Oli Julian
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 20
Producer(s) Dan Hine
Running time 30 minutes*
Production company(s) Roughcut Television
Original network BBC Three
Original release 25 September 2012 (2012-09-25) – present (present)
External links

Cuckoo is a British sitcom that began airing on BBC Three on 25 September 2012, repeating on BBC One, and in 2016 began airing worldwide on Netflix.

Written by Robin French and Kieron Quirke, Cuckoo stars Andy Samberg, Taylor Lautner, Greg Davies, Tamla Kari, Esther Smith, Tyger Drew-Honey and Helen Baxendale. The series launch became BBC Three's most-watched comedy launch, beating the record set by Bad Education, which debuted the previous month. Greg Davies was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Male Performance in a Comedy Programme. At the British Comedy Awards, Cuckoo was nominated for Best New Comedy Programme and Greg Davies was nominated for Best TV Comedy Actor.


Following the success of series one, BBC ordered a second series, but it looked uncertain due to Samberg's busy schedule. In February 2014, it was announced that Samberg would not return for the second series, with Taylor Lautner replacing him as Cuckoo's long-lost lovechild Dale. The second series began on 7 August 2014. On 4 April 2016, Cuckoo was commissioned for two more series.[1] Series 4 wrapped up production on 18 March, 2018 confirmed by Lautner via social media.[2]

A pilot for America's NBC television network was under consideration in May 2015.[3]


Series 1

Cuckoo is set in Lichfield, Staffordshire, (external scenes are mostly filmed in Farnham, Surrey, Slough, Berkshire, and Amersham, Buckinghamshire), home to the Thompson family. When Ken (Davies) and Lorna (Baxendale) collect their daughter Rachel (Kari) from the airport, they learn that she has returned from her gap year before medical school having married Dale "Cuckoo" Ashbrick (Samberg), an eccentric American hippie with an exuberantly loving attitude who does not have a job and loves to take drugs.

Series 2

Two years have passed and we learn that Cuckoo (Samberg) went missing in a climbing accident in the Himalayas, Dylan (Drew-Honey) is planning to attend university, and Rachel (now played by Esther Smith) is moving in with new boyfriend Ben (Lacey). Dale (Lautner), a hirsute young American, arrives, claiming to be Cuckoo's son and searching for his father whom he has never met. Taking pity, Ken and Lorna ask him to stay.

Series 3

Six months after Dale's dramatic departure at the end of the Christmas special of Series 2, Rachel is still heartbroken and missing Dale, but she has managed to salvage a certain friendship with her jilted former fiancé Ben (Lacey). Just as life looks like it's about to return to normal in the Thompson household a transformed Dale returns to shake things up all over again after having spent some time working for a Chinese 'businessman' in Shanghai. Meanwhile, Ken and Lorna are preparing for the birth of their unplanned new baby, and their son Dylan (Drew-Honey) is getting ready to leave for university. In the first episode Lorna gives birth to baby son Sidney.[4]

Cast and characters[edit]




Official ratings (Series 1 & 2 only) from BARB.[5]

Series 1[edit]

Episode no. Title Airdate Viewers BBC Three weekly ranking Cable rank
1 The Homecoming 25 September 2012 1,278,000 1 2
2 Family Meeting 2 October 2012 853,000 2 16
3 Ken on E 9 October 2012 723,000 6 24
4 Grandfather's Cat 16 October 2012 883,000 3 15
5 Connie Sings 23 October 2012 866,000 2 16
6 The Wedding 30 October 2012 803,000 5 14

Series 2[edit]

Episode no. Title Airdate Viewers BBC Three weekly ranking Cable rank
1 (7) A New Beginning 7 August 2014 746,000 10 28
2 (8) Potato Party 14 August 2014
3 (9) Tribunal 21 August 2014 712,000 7 26
4 (10) Funeral 28 August 2014
5 (11) Ken at Work 4 September 2014
6 (12) Neighbourhood Watch 11 September 2014 573,000 6
7 (13) Christmas Special 24 December 2014

Series 3[edit]

Episode no. Title Airdate Viewers
1 (14) Birth 16 February 2016 82,000
2 (15) The Application 22 February 2016 84,000
3 (16) Mums Group 29 February 2016 65,000
4 (17) Life of Dale 7 March 2016 53,000
5 (18) University Challenged 14 March 2016 69,000
6 (19) Sid's Big Day 21 March 2016 62,000
7 (20) The Holiday 28 March 2016

Cuckoo episodes are streamed on BBC iPlayer. Viewing numbers displayed above are for the first 72 hours online, and are estimates only. Repeats are shown on TV.

Netflix premiered series 1 and 2 for streaming audiences on 7 March 2016. Series 3 was subsequently added on 16 February 2017.[6]

DVD release[edit]

The first series of Cuckoo was released on DVD on 1 September 2014.[7]

The second series of Cuckoo was released on DVD on 4 January 2016.[8]


Series 1

In the episode "Family Meeting", family and friends are dancing to "Second Hand News" by Fleetwood Mac.

In the episode "Ken on E" in which Cuckoo sits reading a book whilst listening to "Shake Break Bounce" by The Chemical Brothers. In the same episode, various songs by Dexys Midnight Runners are featured.

The song playing over the last scene and credits of the episode "The Wedding", is "Ho Hey" by The Lumineers.

Series 2

In the episode "Potato Party", "Everyone Nose (All the Girls Standing in the Line for the Bathroom)" by N.E.R.D and "Mishto" by Gogol Bordello are featured during the party.

Rachel is listening to "Silver Lining" by First Aid Kit in the episode "Tribunal".

Series 3

Episode 7 ("The Holiday") ends with Rusted Root singing "Send me on my way". On Netflix this song is replaced due to BBC licensing agreements.

U.S. version[edit]

In May 2015, NBC announced a US pilot of Cuckoo, starring Michael Chiklis, Cheryl Hines and Flula Borg, was to be produced.[3] UK writers Robin French and Kieron Quirke, who created the BBC series, wrote the adaptation with The Simpsons veteran Tim Long. As of the 2017 autumn season, it does not appear that the project has been picked up as a series.


  1. ^ "Cuckoo to return for two new seasons". Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  2. ^ "Cuckoo Series 4 wrap party". Retrieved 2 April 2018. 
  3. ^ a b Cynthia Littleton. "Michael Chiklis, Cheryl Hines Join NBC Comedy Pilot 'Cuckoo'". Variety. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "Cuckoo Series 3 confirmed". Retrieved 20 May 2015. 
  5. ^ "Top 10 Programmes - BARB". Archived from the original on 13 January 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  6. ^ Travers, Ben; Travers, Ben (1 March 2016). "7 New Netflix Shows to Binge Watch in March 2016 (And the Best Episodes of Each)". 
  7. ^ "Cuckoo Series 1 [DVD]". Retrieved 1 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "Cuckoo Series 2 [DVD]". Retrieved 1 December 2015. 

External links[edit]