Dexter's Laboratory (commonly abbreviated as Dexter's Lab) is an American comic science fiction animated television series created by Genndy Tartakovsky for Cartoon Network, and the first of the network's Cartoon Cartoons. The series follows Dexter, a boy-genius and inventor with a secret laboratory, who constantly battles his sister Dee Dee in an attempt to keep her out of the lab. He also engages in a bitter rivalry with his neighbor and fellow-genius Mandark. The first two seasons contained additional segments: Dial M for Monkey, which focuses on Dexter's pet lab-monkey/superhero, and The Justice Friends, about a trio of superheroes who share an apartment.
Tartakovsky pitched the series to Hanna-Barbera's animated shorts showcase What a Cartoon!, basing it on student films he produced while attending the California Institute of the Arts. A pilot aired on Cartoon Network in 1995; viewer approval ratings convinced the network to order a half-hour series, which premiered on April 28, 1996. In 1999, a television movie titled Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip aired as the intended series finale, and Tartakovsky left to begin work on his new series, Samurai Jack. However, in 2001, the network revived the series under a different production team at Cartoon Network Studios. It ended on November 20, 2003, with a total of four seasons and 78 episodes.
Dexter's Laboratory received high ratings and became one of Cartoon Network's most popular and successful original series. During its run, the series won 3 Annie Awards, with nominations for 4 Primetime Emmy Awards, 4 Golden Reel Awards, and 9 additional Annie Awards. The series is notable for helping launch the careers of several cartoonists, such as Craig McCracken, Seth MacFarlane, Butch Hartman, and Rob Renzetti. Spin-off media include comic books, DVD and VHS releases, music albums, collectible toys, and video games. Reruns have aired on Cartoon Network's blocks The Cartoon Cartoon Show and Cartoon Planet, as well as the network's retro animation sister channel Boomerang.
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