Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated (also known as Mystery Incorporated or Scooby-Doo! Mystery, Inc.) is the eleventh incarnation of Hanna-Barbera's Scooby-Doo animated series, and the first incarnation not to be first-run on Saturday mornings. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network and premiered in the United States on Cartoon Network on April 5, 2010, with the next twelve episodes continuing, and the first episode re-airing, on July 12, 2010. The series concluded on April 5, 2013 with two seasons and fifty-two episodes, with a total of twenty-six episodes per season. By episode count, this is the longest running Scooby-Doo series.
Mystery Incorporated returns to the early days of Scooby and the gang, when they are still solving mysteries in their home town, though it makes many references to previous incarnations of the franchise, not least among them many cases and creatures from the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!. Episode by episode, the series takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the classic Scooby-Doo formula (similar to A Pup Named Scooby-Doo and Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!), with increasingly outlandish technology, skills and scenarios making up each villain's story, and a different spin on the famous "meddling kids" quote at the end of every episode. Contrasting sharply with this, however, are two elements that have never been used in a Scooby-Doo series before: a serial format with an ongoing story arc featuring many dark plot elements that are treated with near-total seriousness, and ongoing relationship drama between the characters.
The series pays extensive homage to the horror genre, drawing on many works from film, television and literature in both parodic and serious ways, from horror movie classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street, modern films such as Saw, television series Twin Peaks, and the works of H. P. Lovecraft, alongside the classic monster horror movies shown in previous series. In particular, in the second season, the central story arc of the show evolves to heavily feature the use of Babylonian mythology, exploring the Anunnaki, the Babylonian and modern pseudo-scientific concepts of Nibiru, and the writings of Zecharia Sitchin. Other Hanna-Barbera characters occasionally guest-star, including Captain Caveman, Jabberjaw, Speed Buggy, The Funky Phantom, Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, and more.
As was the case with the previous three installments in the franchise, Mystery Incorporated redesigns the main characters, this time into a retro look that returns them to their original 1969 outfits, with some small changes (such as Velma now wearing bows in her hair). The series is also the animated debut of Matthew Lillard as the voice of Shaggy, after he portrayed the character in two live-action films, Scooby-Doo (2002) and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004). Casey Kasem, the original voice of Shaggy, now voices Shaggy's father. Linda Cardellini, who played Velma in the live-action movies, is the voice of Hot Dog Water, a recurring character in the series.
Fred Jones, Jr., Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, Norville "Shaggy" Rogers, and Scooby-Doo are a team of teen mystery solvers who live in the small town of Crystal Cove, the self-proclaimed "Most Hauntedest Place on Earth". The allegedly "cursed" town's long history of strange disappearances and ghost and monster sightings form the basis for its thriving tourist industry; as such, the adults of the town (chief among them being Fred's father Mayor Fred Jones Sr. and Sheriff Bronson Stone) are not happy that the kids are debunking all the supernatural goings-on that bring in so much revenue as the overwrought schemes of charlatans and criminals.
In addition to the traditional cases they always solve, the team finds itself being nudged into the uncovering of a dark secret that is hidden in the past of Crystal Cove. Following cryptic hints from a faceless mystery-man known only as "Mr. E." (a play on "mystery"), the gang unearths the legend of a cursed Conquistador treasure, the secret history of Crystal Cove's founding Darrow Family, and the mysterious, unsolved disappearance of four mystery-solving youths and their pet bird—the original Mystery Incorporated. Standing in the way of their solving this mystery, however, are the romantic entanglements pulling the kids apart: Shaggy finds himself unable to put his new romance with Velma ahead of his longtime friendship with Scooby, while Daphne pines for a trap-obsessed Fred, who obliviously struggles to realize he shares her feelings, too.
The return of the original Mystery Incorporated to Crystal Cove begins a race between the two groups to locate the pieces of an enigmatic alchemical disk, which will point the way to the cursed treasure beneath the town. As the pieces are gathered, it becomes apparent that these two groups are not the only teams of mystery-solvers that have lived in Crystal Cove: many similar groups, always made up of four humans and an animal, have existed, and the secret behind their centuries-long connection will reveal the truth behind the curse of Crystal Cove. The fate of both the gang's friendship and all of reality itself hangs in the balance as extradimensional forces gather in preparation, and the time of Nibiru draws near.
The first season of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated ran for twenty-six episodes between 2010 and 2011 with an unknown stop to the airing of the episodes after episode thirteen. The first episode of the season premiered as a sneak peek on April 5, 2010, and reaired on July 12, 2010 on Cartoon Network along with the next twelve episodes in the United States. The series continued to air on Canada's Teletoons after episode thirteen. The remaining thirteen episodes, dubbed as a second season by Cartoon Network, began airing in May 3, 2011 until July 26, 2011. During the hiatus the first episode of the second season premiered on March 30, 2012 on Cartoon Network Videos and aired on Boomerang in the UK on June 2, 2012 with four more episodes premiering until June 6, 2012. The official Warner Brothers website announced that the second season would begin airing on Cartoon Network in May 2012 but was set back to July 30, 2012 in the United States. The first fifteen episodes aired on weekdays after July 30, 2012, until August 17, 2012. The show went on another hiatus until March 25, 2013, when the remaining episodes of season two began to air in the United States and concluded on April 5, 2013.
Each episode of the series is called a "chapter" in line with the show's overarching story, numbered from 1 to 52 across both seasons.