My Life as a Teenage Robot
|My Life as a Teenage Robot|
The series' intertitle.
|Created by||Rob Renzetti|
|Theme music composer||Peter Lurye|
James L. Venable|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||40 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||23 minutes|
Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Paramount Television (United States)|
|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 is an American animated science fantasy television series created by Rob Renzetti for Nickelodeon. The series follows the adventures of XJ-9, better known as Jenny Wakeman, a robot girl who attempts to juggle her duties of protecting Earth while trying to live a normal teenage life.
The show premiered on Nickelodeon on August 1, 2003. The show was cancelled on October 17, 2005 because of low ratings. Unaired, completed season 3 episodes of the series were eventually seen on Nicktoons from October 4, 2008 to May 2, 2009. The series totaled 40 episodes and three seasons, including one TV movie. All three seasons are available on DVD at Amazon and on the iTunes store, although they are geo-blocked from some countries including Canada.
XJ-9 ("Jenny Wakeman", as she prefers to be called; voiced by Janice Kawaye) is a state-of-the-art gynoid automaton sophisticated robot 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.
The series is set in the fictional futuristic 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.
Rob Renzetti moved from Cartoon Network to Nickelodeon to develop his own ideas as part of 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 Dexter's Laboratory, 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." After the show ended, Renzetti spent year before moving on to become a producer for Gravity Falls.
"See No Evil", "The Great Unwashed", "Hostile Makeover", and "Grid Iron Glory" were previously 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.
Nickelodeon debuted My Life as a Teenage Robot on August 1, 2003 at 8:30 PM. 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, 2-part TV movie entitled "Escape from Cluster Prime" (which was nominated for an Emmy in 2006) aired. Reruns of the series aired on Nicktoons from August 1, 2003 to April 14, 2013. The series returned to Nicktoons on May 1, 2015 and aired until May 15, 2016.
- "Band Aids and Teenage Robots". The Teenage Roblog. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- "My Life as a Teenage Robot Awards and Nominations".
- AWN. "Dr. Toon: Nuts and Bolts With Rob Renzetti | AWN | Animation World Network". AWN. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "Band Aids and Teenage Robots". Teenageroblog.blogspot.com. October 17, 2005. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "XJWriter is No More!". Teenageroblog.blogspot.com. October 25, 2005. Retrieved September 21, 2011.
- "My Life As A Teenage Robot Season 1 – 3". Beyond Home Entertainment. Retrieved September 26, 2013.
- Archived November 27, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
- http://184.108.40.206/schedule/displaySeries.php?seriesID=309&networkID=19 Schedule for "My Life as a Teenage Robot" on Nicktoons
- "Complete list if Prime-time Emmy nominations". Nytimes.com. December 31, 1969. Retrieved September 21, 2011.