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Daria Morgendorffer, the show's title character and protagonist, first appeared on MTV as a recurring character in Mike Judge's Beavis and Butt-Head.
MTV senior vice president and creative director Abby Terkuhle explained that when that show "became successful, we ...
Her immediate family (mother Helen, father Jake, and younger sister, Quinn) and her best friend Jane Lane appear in nearly every episode.
A number of secondary characters round out the regular cast.
MTV approved a series order of 13 episodes; both Eichler and Lewis were signed onto the series as executive producers.
The first episode of Daria aired on March 3, 1997, roughly nine months before Beavis and Butt-Head ended its original run.
Titled "Esteemsters", the episode established Daria and her family's move from fictional Highland, the setting of Beavis and Butt-Head, due to uranium in the water to the new series' equally fictional locale of Lawndale.
The emotional and comedic turmoil among Jane, Tom and Daria was the centerpiece of the TV movie Is It Fall Yet?
, and the relationship between Tom and Daria fueled several of season five's stories.