The first season of Veronica Mars, an American drama television series created by Rob Thomas, premiered on the United Paramount Network in the United States on September 22, 2004. The series was produced by Warner Bros. Television, Silver Pictures Television and Rob Thomas Productions, and Joel Silver and Thomas served as the executive producers.
The season revolves around Veronica Mars, a high school student and private investigator in the fictional Southern California seaside town of Neptune. When Veronica's best friend, Lilly Kane, is murdered, her life falls apart. Her father, County Sheriff Keith Mars, accuses Lilly's father of being involved in the murder. This provokes Neptune's wrath and Keith's ousting as sheriff in a recall election. Veronica's mother, Lianne, develops a drinking problem and leaves town. Veronica's "09er" friends—wealthy students from the fictional 90909 ZIP code—force her to choose between them and her father; she chooses her father. Keith opens a private investigation agency, Mars Investigations, where Veronica works part-time.
The series was critically acclaimed, and appeared on several fall television best lists. The first season garnered an average of 2.5 million viewers per all 22 episodes in the US. Out of all regular primetime programming that aired during the 2004–2005 American television season, Veronica Mars ranked #148 out of #156, according to the Nielsen ratings system. The pilot was watched by 2.49 million viewers, while the finale was watched by 2.99 million viewers.