Weeds is an American dark comedy-drama television series created by Jenji Kohan that aired on Showtime from August 8, 2005 to September 16, 2012. Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker), a widowed mother of two boys Silas (Hunter Parrish) and Shane (Alexander Gould), begins selling marijuana to support her family. Other main characters include Nancy's lax brother-in-law Andy Botwin (Justin Kirk), who moves in to help raise her children, naive acquaintance Doug Wilson (Kevin Nealon), narcissistic neighbor Celia Hodes (Elizabeth Perkins), who lives with her husband Dean (Andy Milder) and their daughter Isabelle (Allie Grant), as well as Nancy's wholesalers Heylia James (Tonye Patano) and Conrad Shepard (Romany Malco). Over the course of the series, the Botwin family become increasingly entangled in illegal activity.
The first three seasons are set primarily in the fictional town of Agrestic, California. During seasons 4 and 5, the Botwins reside in the also fictional San Diego suburb of Ren Mar. In season 6, the family relocates to Seattle, Washington and Dearborn, Michigan. In season 7, the family resides in New York City, living in Manhattan for the duration of the season, but relocates to Connecticut in the season 7 finale and throughout season 8.
When the show debuted on the Showtime cable network, it earned the channel's highest ratings. In 2012, TV Guide Network bought the airing rights and provided an edited version of the show free of charge. The show has received numerous awards, including two Emmy Awards, two Satellite Awards, one Golden Globe Award, a Writers Guild Award, and a Young Artist Award.
In November 2019, it was revealed that a sequel series was in the development at Starz, titled Weeds 4.20. The series features Mary-Louise Parker and Elizabeth Perkins reprising their roles with the story set 10 years after the conclusion of the original series. Victoria Morrow, who was a producer on the writing team for Weeds, is set to return as writer and executive producer on the spin-off series, while original series creator and showrunner Jenji Kohan is not yet confirmed to be involved, along with any other returning cast.
Produced by Tilted Productions, in association with Lionsgate Television, the show is inspired by crime series, such as The Shield and The Sopranos, in the sense of an antihero serving as the protagonist while retaining an individual moral code, which usually goes against the norms of society. The title, according to Kohan, refers "to a lot of things", including marijuana and widow's weeds; however, it mainly alludes to "hardy plants struggling to survive." The basic premise, as illustrated by the lyrics of the opening song from seasons 1-3 and 8, satirizes off-color characters struggling with faux suburban reality, in which everything is "all style, no substance". According to Kohan, she first pitched the series to HBO, which dismissed it. Robert Greenblatt invested in the show before it was commissioned by Showtime.
Showrunner and head writer Jenji Kohan, whose credits include Tracey Takes On..., Mad About You, and Sex and the City, is the executive producer of the series, alongside Roberto Benabib, of Little City fame. Kohan also explains how she and Benabib "tag team[ed]" in running the writers room. The writer Matthew Salsberg and director Craig Zisk also joined as executive producers in later seasons. Following Zisk's departure from the series after five seasons, Mark Burley, director Scott Ellis, and Lisa Vinnecour were added as executive producers. By season 8, writers Victoria Morrow and Stephen Falk became the other executive producers.
Exterior scenes for the first two seasons were shot almost exclusively in Stevenson Ranch, a suburban area of Santa Clarita Valley, California. The large fountain and Agrestic sign in the opening credits of the first three seasons was shot at the corner of Stevenson Ranch Parkway and Holmes Place. The name "Stevenson Ranch" was digitally replaced with "Agrestic" (and with "Majestic" and "Regrestic" in later episodes). The overhead satellite view in the beginning of the credits in the first three seasons is of Calabasas Hills, a gated community in Calabasas, California. The shot of the It's A Grind coffee shop in the introduction (seasons 1–3) is of an It's A Grind in Castaic, California. The show was originally filmed at Red Studios, previously known as Ren-Mar studios. The show moved to Universal Studios in Los Angeles for season 7, where it is noted on the studio tour. A version of this Wikipedia page served as the introduction for the season 5 episode titled "Where the Sidewalk Ends".