Rugrats is an American animated children's television series created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó, and Paul Germain for Nickelodeon. The show focuses on a group of toddlers most prominently—Tommy, Chuckie, twins Phil and Lil, and Angelica—and their day-to-day lives, usually involving life experiences that become much greater adventures in the imaginations of the main characters.The series premiered on August 11, 1991, as the second Nicktoon—after Doug and before The Ren & Stimpy Show. Production was initially halted in 1993 after 65 episodes spanning three seasons, with the last episode airing on May 22, 1994. From 1995 to 1996, the only new episodes broadcast were "A Rugrats Passover" and "A Rugrats Chanukah", two Jewish-themed episodes that received critical acclaim; during this time, after the end of the show's production run, Rugrats began to receive a boost in ratings and popularity due to constant reruns on Nickelodeon and Nick Rewind.
In 1996, Klasky Csupo Animation began producing new episodes, and the show's fourth season began in 1997. As a result of the show's popularity, a series of theatrical films were released over the next five years: The Rugrats Movie, which introduced Tommy's younger brother Dil, was released in 1998; Rugrats in Paris: The Movie, which introduced Kimi, Kira, and Fifi, was released in 2000; and Rugrats Go Wild, a crossover film with another Klasky Csupo series, The Wild Thornberrys, was released in 2003. The final TV episode aired on August 1, 2004, bringing the series to a total of 172 episodes over nine seasons. The 13-year run (with the 2-year break) ties Rugrats with King of the Hill as one of the eighth-longest-running American animated television series.
On July 21, 2001, Nickelodeon broadcast the made-for-TV special "All Growed Up" to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the series premiere. The special was a pilot for the Rugrats sequel series All Grown Up!, which aired from 2003 to 2008 as it chronicles the lives of the babies and their parents after they age 10 years. A spin-off series, Rugrats Pre-School Daze, aired on TV in 2008 but had only four episodes after Nickelodeon decided to focus on the sequel series. Two direct-to-video specials were released in 2005 and 2006 under the title Rugrats: Tales from the Crib. Tie-in media for the series include video games, comics, toys, and various other merchandise.
Rugrats gained over 20 awards during its 13-year run, including four Daytime Emmy Awards, six Kids' Choice Awards, and its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The series became a hit, garnering high ratings, and anchored Nickelodeon as the network's top-rated show from 1995 to 2001. It was Nickelodeon's longest-running cartoon, until SpongeBob SquarePants aired its 173rd episode in 2012. The show is Nickelodeon's third longest-running animated series, behind SpongeBob SquarePants and The Fairly OddParents.
A reboot of the series to be executive produced by the original creative team of Klasky, Csupó and Germain is scheduled to premiere on Paramount+ in the spring of 2021.