|My Life as a Teenage Robot|
The series' intertitle[a]
|Created by||Rob Renzetti|
|Theme music composer||Peter Lurye|
|Composer(s)||James L. Venable|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||39|
|Running time||23 minutes|
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
|Original network||Nickelodeon (2003-2005)|
Nicktoons Network (2008-2009)
|Picture format||480i (4:3 SDTV)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||August 1, 2003 -|
May 2, 2009
|Preceded by||Oh Yeah! Cartoons|
My Life as a Teenage Robot (also known as Teenage Robot for short) is an American animated superhero science fantasy television series created by Rob Renzetti for Nickelodeon. It was produced by Frederator Studios in association with Nickelodeon Animation Studio and distributed by Paramount Television in the United States and by Nelvana in Canada with Rough Draft Studios providing the animation services. Set in the fictional town of Tremorton, the series follows the adventures of a robot girl named XJ-9, or Jenny, as she prefers to be called, who attempts to juggle her duties of protecting Earth while trying to live a normal human life as a teenager.
Renzetti pitched the series to Frederator Studios' animated shorts showcase Oh Yeah! Cartoons and a pilot titled "My Neighbor Was a Teenage Robot" aired on January 5, 1999. Viewer approval ratings led to the commissioning of a half-hour episodic series, which premiered on August 1, 2003; after airing its first two seasons, the series was cancelled in terms of production because of poor ratings. The completed third season eventually aired on Nickelodeon's spinoff network Nicktoons from October 4, 2008 to May 2, 2009, officially ending the series in terms of airing. The series totaled three seasons, each consisting of 13 episodes. All three seasons are available on DVD at Amazon and on the iTunes store, although they are geo-blocked from some countries including Canada.
My Life as a Teenage Robot is set in the fictional town of Tremorton; its themes focus on making lighthearted fun of typical teenage problems and other conventions and drama of the teenage and superhero lives, mixed up with a combination of action, adventure, sci-fi fantasy, and comedy sequences. The series follows XJ-9 ("Jenny Wakeman", as she prefers to be called; voiced by Janice Kawaye), who is a highly sophisticated state-of-the-art sentient gynoid automaton robot girl created by her mother Dr. Nora Wakeman (Candi Milo), an elderly spinster robotics scientist, five years prior to the series. Jenny is Earth's protector, armed to the teeth with a wide range of weapons and devices, but all she really wants is to live the life of a normal teenager. She was preceded in development by eight other models; in season one, the episode "Sibling Tsunami" introduced XJs 1-8.
Jenny's friends are her next-door neighbors Brad (Chad Doreck) and Tuck Carbuckle (Audrey Wasilewski). Brad is outgoing and adventurous, and is the first actual friend Jenny makes, while Tuck is Brad's rambunctious younger brother who usually tags along on adventures. Another one of her friends is Sheldon Lee (Quinton Flynn), a somewhat stereotypical nerd who is infatuated with her. Jenny often rejects his romantic advances, but still cares for him as a friend. Fans of the show often speculate on whether Jenny would have ended up with Sheldon or Brad. Renzetti and his team seem to favor Sheldon but refuse to give any definitive answers as to how he would have ended the series if he was given a fourth season.
At high school, Jenny has an ongoing rivalry with the Crust Cousins, Brit (Moira Quirk) and Tiff (Cree Summer), the popular girls in school. Dr. Wakeman often tries in vain to control her creation and keep her daughter focused on protecting the planet Earth. Adding to her trouble is that she is constantly being dogged by the all-robotic Cluster Empire, whose queen, Vexus (Eartha Kitt), wants her to join their world of robots (by force if necessary). Despite it all, Jenny struggles to maintain some semblance of a mostly-human life.
The special of the series, "Escape from Cluster Prime", shows that the alien planet is actually a peaceful paradise for every kind of robot. It's also revealed that Vexus has made Jenny out to be a villain due to her constant refusals to join, blaming her for the missing components that allow robots to transform; Vexus actually has them hidden, to help control the populace.
|First aired||Last aired||Network|
|1||13||August 1, 2003||February 27, 2004||Nickelodeon|
|2||13||December 8, 2004||September 9, 2005|
|3||13||October 4, 2008||May 2, 2009||Nicktoons|
Rob Renzetti moved from Cartoon Network to Nickelodeon to develop his own ideas as part of Fred Seibert's and Frederator Studios' Oh Yeah! Cartoons. At Nickelodeon, he developed a pilot called "My Neighbor was a Teenage Robot" which was the basis for the series. After brief stints working on Family Guy, The Powerpuff Girls, and Samurai Jack, Renzetti returned to Nickelodeon to start the Teenage Robot series.
Renzetti made 11 shorts during two seasons as a director on Oh Yeah! Cartoons. Five of these starred two characters called Mina and the Count and followed the adventures of a rambunctious little girl and her vampire best friend. He hoped that these characters might get their own series, but Nickelodeon rejected the idea. Faced with an empty slot where the sixth Mina short was slated to go, Fred Seibert tasked Renzetti to come up with three new ideas. One of these was about a teenaged girl whose boyfriend was a robot. After further thought, Renzetti merged the two characters to create Jenny, a robot with the personality of a teenaged girl.
On October 17, 2005, the show's crew announced on their blog that the show had been cancelled, and the third season would be the last: "The executives love the show but the ratings aren't good enough for them to give us more episodes." Following the series' cancellation, Renzetti left for Cartoon Network Studios, working on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends and The Cartoonstitute, before moving on to the Disney Channel to become supervising producer for Gravity Falls. The third season aired on Nicktoons from late 2008 to mid 2009, officially concluding the series in terms of television airing.
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Nickelodeon debuted My Life as a Teenage Robot on August 1, 2003 at 8:30 PM.[better source needed] The show was a part of Nickelodeon's Saturday night programming block called SNICK on August 2, 2003 and briefly was a part of the TEENick lineup on August 2003 to June 2004. The first season ended on February 27, 2004 with "The Wonderful World of Wizzly / Call Hating".
The second season (which was originally set to air on October 1, 2004) was pushed back to December 8, 2004 with the Christmas episode "A Robot for All Seasons". A new second-season episode was not aired until January 24, 2005. In the second season, a 48-minute, two-part TV movie entitled "Escape from Cluster Prime" (which was nominated for an Emmy in 2006) aired. Since the series' cancellation, reruns continued to air until April 14, 2013 and again from December 13, 2015 to May 15, 2016.
The episodes "See No Evil", "The Great Unwashed", "Future Shock", "A Robot for All Seasons", "Hostile Makeover", and "Gridiron Glory" were released on Nick Picks DVD compilations. As of December 12, 2011, seasons 1, 2, and 3 are available on DVD exclusive to Amazon.com in region 1. The full series was released across six discs by Beyond Home Entertainment in Australia on February 5, 2012.