Animator Butch Hartman came over to Nickelodeon from Cartoon Network, and immediately struck gold with the wacky Fairly Oddparents. So what could he do for an encore? How about a superhero cartoon with a comic twist?
Danny Phantom bowed in 2004, and, like most Nick cartoons of the period, was played into the ground way too quickly.
Daniel Fenton's parents are professional ghost busters----or at least they claim to be, but we never seem to see them actually on a case. They built a ghost portal as a dimensional doorway between worlds. A test run failed, and they left it at that. Curious Danny, 14, decided to take a look, and accidentally activated the portal, resulting in his transmutation into a half-boy, half-ghost. The series open summarizes it all rather nicely:
Ultimately, Danny learned to control his new powers to become his city's secret guardian, but hunted by his parents, cluelessly unaware of their son's new dual identity, known only to the youth's two closest friends, Tucker and Samantha, and later, his older sister, Jazz. Nickelodeon terminated production on the series after 3 seasons, perhaps way too soon, some might say, but it is company policy for whatever reason. What do network executives know, anyway?