Rick and Morty is an American adult animated science-fiction sitcom created by Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon for Cartoon Network's late-night programming block Adult Swim. The series follows the misadventures of cynical mad scientist Rick Sanchez and his fretful, easily influenced grandson Morty Smith, who split their time between domestic life and interdimensional adventures. The series premiered on December 2, 2013, and the third season concluded on October 1, 2017. A fourth season has been mentioned, first by Harmon in a September 2017 interview, and later in the post-credits scene of the third season's finale.
Roiland voices the eponymous characters, with Chris Parnell, Spencer Grammer, and Sarah Chalke voicing the rest of the family. The series originated from an animated short parody film of Back to the Future, The Real Animated Adventures of Doc and Mharti, created by Roiland for Channel 101, a short film festival co-founded by Harmon. When Adult Swim approached Harmon for television show ideas, he and Roiland decided to develop a program based on the short. The series has received universal acclaim for its originality, creativity, and humor.
The show revolves around the adventures of the members of the Smith household, which consists of parents Jerry and Beth, their kids Summer and Morty, and Beth's father, Rick Sanchez, who lives with them as a guest. According to Justin Roiland, the family lives outside of Seattle in the U.S. state of Washington. The adventures of Rick and Morty, however, take place across an infinite number of realities, with the characters travelling to other planets and dimensions through portals and Rick's flying car.
Rick is an eccentric and alcoholic mad scientist, who eschews many ordinary conventions such as school, marriage, love, and family. He frequently goes on adventures with his 14-year-old grandson, Morty, a kind but easily distressed boy, whose naive but grounded moral compass plays counterpoint to Rick's Machiavellian ego. Morty's 17-year-old sister, Summer, is a more conventional teenager, who worries about improving her status among her peers and sometimes follows Rick and Morty on their adventures. The kids' mother, Beth, is a generally level-headed person and assertive force in the household, though self-conscious about her professional role as a horse doctor. She is dissatisfied with her marriage with Jerry, a simple-minded and insecure person, who disapproves of Rick's influence over his family.
Different versions of the characters inhabit other dimensions throughout the multiverse and their personal characteristics can vary from one reality to another. The show's original Rick identifies himself as "Rick Sanchez of Earth Dimension C-137", in reference to his original universe, but this does not necessarily apply to every other member of the Smith household. For instance, in the first-season episode "Rick Potion #9", after turning the entire world population into monsters, Rick and Morty move to a different dimension, leaving Summer, Beth and Jerry behind.