Veronica Mars is an American teen noir mystery drama television series created by screenwriter Rob Thomas. The series is set in the fictional town of Neptune, California, and stars Kristen Bell as the eponymous character. The series premiered on September 22, 2004, during television network UPN's final two years, and ended on May 22, 2007, after a season on UPN's successor, The CW, airing for three seasons total. Veronica Mars was produced by Warner Bros. Television, Silver Pictures Television, Stu Segall Productions, and Rob Thomas Productions. Joel Silver and Rob Thomas were executive producers for the entire run of the series, while Diane Ruggiero was promoted in the third season.
Veronica Mars is a student who progresses from high school to college while moonlighting as a private investigator under the tutelage of her detective father. In each episode, Veronica solves a different stand-alone case while working to solve a more complex mystery. The first two seasons of the series each had a season-long mystery arc, introduced in the first episode of the season and solved in the season finale. The third season took a different format, focusing on smaller mystery arcs that would last the course of several episodes.
Thomas initially wrote Veronica Mars as a young adult novel, which featured a male protagonist; he changed the gender because he thought a noir piece told from a female point of view would be more interesting and original. Filming began in March 2004, and the series premiered in September to 2.49 million American viewers. The critically acclaimed first season's run of 22 episodes garnered an average of 2.5 million viewers per episode in the United States. Veronica Mars appeared on a number of fall television best lists, and garnered several awards and nominations. During the series' run, it was nominated for two Satellite Awards, four Saturn Awards, five Teen Choice Awards and was featured on AFI's TV Programs of the Year for 2005.
Following the cancellation of the series, Thomas wrote a feature film script continuing the series. Warner Bros. opted not to fund the project at the time. On March 13, 2013, Bell and Thomas launched a fundraising campaign to produce the film through Kickstarter and attained the $2 million goal in less than eleven hours. They accumulated over $5.7 million via Kickstarter. The film was released on March 14, 2014.