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. The series follows Dexter, a boy-genius with a secret laboratory filled with his inventions. He constantly battles his sister Dee Dee, who always gains access despite his best efforts to keep her out, as well as his arch-rival and neighbor, Mandark.
The series' first two seasons contain additional segments: Dial M for Monkey, which focuses on Dexter's pet lab-monkey-turned-superhero, and The Justice Friends, about a trio of superheroes who share an apartment. Tartakovsky first pitched the series to Hanna-Barbera's animated shorts showcase World Premiere Toons, basing it on student films he produced while attending the California Institute of the Arts. A pilot aired on Cartoon Network in February 1995, and in August viewer approval ratings convinced the network to order a half-hour series, which premiered on April 28, 1996. By 1999, 52 episodes and a television movie had been produced, and Tartakovsky then left the series to begin work on his other projects, Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars. In 2001, the network revived the series under a different production team at Cartoon Network Studios, and after 26 more episodes, the series ended on November 20, 2003. Dexter's Laboratory received high ratings and became one of Cartoon Network's most popular and successful original series. During its run, the series was nominated for 4 Primetime Emmy Awards, 4 Golden Reel Awards, and 9 Annie Awards, winning 3 additional Annie Awards. The series is notable for helping launch the careers of several cartoonists, such as Craig McCracken (The Powerpuff Girls, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and Wander Over Yonder), Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad! and The Cleveland Show), Butch Hartman (The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom and T.U.F.F. Puppy), and Rob Renzetti (My Life as a Teenage Robot). Spin-off media include comic books, DVD and VHS releases, music albums, collectible toys, and video games.