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The Best Television Shows of the 2000s 

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Updated May 26, 2020 155.9k votes 8.2k voters 185.6k views 324 items

List Rules Only TV series that aired between 2000 and 2009

Some great TV shows came out of the 2000s, while some have even lived on. Here's a list of the best shows that aired from 2000-2009, as ranked by television fanatics and critics. Television has been steadily evolving over the past few decades. What used to be simply an entertaining way to spend a half hour with the family has transformed into an elevated art form. Movies have been usurped by the television medium due to a continued rise in content quality. Starting in the 2000s, when cable networks like HBO and Showtime were introduced, the focus moved to quality in writing, directing, and acting more than ever before. People in the entertainment business who used to focus on movies began to move into television.

In the '00s, there were more quality television shows on the air than ever before. Cable networks introduced shows like Six Feet Under, Dexter, and The Sopranos that revolutionized the way television was made. Other shows, like Lost, Battlestar Galactica, and Supernatural, changed the way people watched television, by including fan involvement and discussion as part of the experience. Comedies like Arrested Development and The Office and reality shows like American Idol also reigned supreme in the television universe.

What are your favorite TV shows from 2000-2009? This list includes the top shows from the 2000s from a variety of genres from sitcoms to science fiction.

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list ordered by
1
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2008-2013

Actors: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, + more

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Thriller, Neo-western, Tragedy

Breaking Bad (AMC, 2008) is an American neo-Western crime drama television series created by Vince Gilligan. After being diagnosed with cancer, a depressed high school chemistry teacher (Bryan ...more

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All Of The Science Hacks From 'Breaking Bad' #2 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #1 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

2
The Office is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2005-2013

Actors: Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B. J. Novak, + more

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Mockumentary

The Office (NBC, 2005) is an American mockumentary sitcom television series developed by Greg Daniels, based on the 2001 British series. Led by manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell), the office ...more

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Jim Halpert Is A Scumbag, And It's Obvious If You Just Pay Attention #5 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #4 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

3
Friends is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
JenAnistonFriends added 1994-2004

Actors: Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

Genres (Tv): Sitcom

Friends (NBC, 1994) is an American sitcom television series created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman. The personal and professional lives of six friends (Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa ...more

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The Best Characters On 'Friends,' Ranked #6 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

4
How I Met Your Mother is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2005-2014

Actors: Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, + more

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Romantic comedy

How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 2005) is an American sitcom created by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays. Through a series of flashbacks, Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) recounts to his children the journey he ...more

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Legendary 'How I Met Your Mother' Fan Theories #11 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #15 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

5
The Simpsons is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
1989

Actors: Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright, Julie Kavner

Genres (Tv): Animation, Television comedy, Comedy, Family Film

The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by the ...more

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The Best Simpsons Characters of All Time #26 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Animated Series

6
Parks and Recreation is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2009-present

Actors: Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Mockumentary, Satire, Romance TV, Comedy-drama, + more

Parks and Recreation (NBC, 2009) is an American television sitcom created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur. The series follows Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), a perky mid-level bureaucrat, and her ...more

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Ben Wyatt Is A Better Husband Than Jim Halpert And We Can Prove It #19 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #21 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

7
Family Guy is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
1999-present

Actors: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Animation, Sitcom, Animated cartoon, Comedy, + more

Family Guy is an American adult animated sitcom created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; ...more

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Family Guy Fan Theories So Crazy They Might Be True #57 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Animated Series

8
Modern Family is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2009-present

Actors: Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, + more

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Mockumentary, Family, Comedy, Family Film

Modern Family (ABC, 2009) is an American comedy television sitcom created by Francisco Bobadilla. Three different but related families face trials and tribulations in their own unique way from ...more

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The Most Hilarious Phil Dunphy Quotes From 'Modern Family' #20 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #30 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

9
House is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2004-2012

Actors: Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard

Genres (Tv): Medical drama

House, M.D. (Fox, 2004) is an American television medical drama created by David Shore. An antisocial maverick doctor (Hugh Laurie) who specializes in diagnostic medicine does whatever it takes ...more

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The Best Seasons of 'House' #12 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #3 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

10
The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
1999-2007

Actors: James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

Genres (Tv): Crime drama

The Sopranos (HBO, 1999) is an American crime drama television series created by David Chase. New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) deals with personal and professional issues in ...more

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12 Gangster Movie Homages On The Sopranos Most People Totally Missed #9 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #7 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

11
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2006-2013

Actors: Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Psychological thriller, Mystery, Dark comedy, Police procedural

Dexter (Showtime, 2006) is an American crime drama mystery series developed by James Manos Jr., based on the 2004 novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. When he's not doing forensic work ...more

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Dexter Morgan’s Infamous ‘Work’ Rooms, Ranked By Practicality #13 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #17 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

12
SpongeBob SquarePants is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
1999

Actors: Tom Kenny, Rodger Bumpass, Bill Fagerbakke

Genres (Tv): Animation, Comedy, Family Film

SpongeBob SquarePants is an American animated television series created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon. The series chronicles the adventures and endeavors of ...more

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Crazy Good Fan Theories About SpongeBob SquarePants #161 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Animated Series

13
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2005-present

Actors: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Katie Cassidy, Lauren Cohan, Misha Collins, + more

Genres (Tv): Supernatural drama, Black comedy, Drama, Horror Film, Mystery, + more

Supernatural (The CW, 2005) is an American fantasy horror television series created by Eric Kripke. Two brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), follow their father's ...more

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The Best Supernatural Characters #7 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

14
The Big Bang Theory is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2007-present

Actors: Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, + more

Genres (Tv): Sitcom

The Big Bang Theory (CBS, 2007) is an American television sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady. A woman (Kaley Cuoco) who moves into an apartment across the hall from two brilliant but ...more

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Dark 'Big Bang Theory' Fan Theories That Will Mess With Your Head #17 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

15
Scrubs is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2001-2010

Actors: Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Medical drama

Scrubs (NBC, 2001) is an American medical comedy-drama television series created by Bill Lawrence. In the unreal world of Sacred Heart Hospital, intern John "J.D." Dorian (Zach Braff) ...more

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The Best Scrubs Characters of All Time #61 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #20 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

16
Drake & Josh is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2004

Actors: Drake Bell, Josh Peck, Miranda Cosgrove

Genres (Tv): Teen sitcom

Drake & Josh (Nickelodeon, 2004) is an American sitcom created by Dan Schneider. Despite having opposite personalities, stepbrothers Drake Parker (Drake Bell) and Josh Nichols (Josh Peck) ...more

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#272 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #31 of 461 The Best Duos of All Time #129 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time

17
Rugrats is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
1991

Actors: Elizabeth Daily, Christine Cavanaugh, Nancy Cartwright

Genres (Tv): Animation, Animated cartoon, Children's television series, Animated series

Rugrats is an American animated television series created by Arlene Klasky, Gábor Csupó and Paul Germain for Nickelodeon. The show focuses on a group of toddlers, most prominently ...more

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18
Prison Break is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2005-2009

Actors: Dominic Purcell, Wentworth Miller, Amaury Nolasco

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Prison Break (Fox, 2005) is an American television serial drama created by Paul Scheuring.The series revolves around two brothers; one has been sentenced for a something he did not commit, and ...more

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The Best Seasons of Prison Break #21 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #77 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

19
Law & Order: Special... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
1999-present

Actors: Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama, Live action, Legal drama, + more

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 1999) is an American police procedural, legal, crime drama television series set in New York City. In the style of the original Law & Order, ...more

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20
Psych is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2006-2014

Actors: James Roday, Dulé Hill, Timothy Omundson

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama, Mystery, Comedy-drama, + more

Psych is an American detective comedy-drama television series created by Steve Franks and broadcast on USA Network with syndication reruns on ION Television. It is produced by Franks and Tagline ...more

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21
South Park is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
1997-present

Actors: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Mary Kay Bergman, Isaac Hayes, Eliza Schneider, + more

Genres (Tv): Animation, Television comedy, Sitcom, Satire, Animated cartoon, + more

South Park (Comedy Central, 1997) is an American adult animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. In the small town of South Park, four boys get caught up in all sorts of bizarre ...more

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The All-Time Best 'South Park' Characters, Ranked #50 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Animated Series

22
The Office is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2001

Actors: Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman, Mackenzie Crook

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Mockumentary, Satire, Drama, Comedy

The Office (BBC Two, 2001) is a British television mockumentary sitcom created, written, and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. The series follows the day-to-day lives of office ...more

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#273 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #120 of 214 The Most Important TV Sitcoms #23 of 152 The Best British Sitcoms of All Time

23
Futurama is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
looksharp added 1999

Actors: Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal

Genres (Tv): Animation, Sitcom, Comedy, Science Fiction

Futurama is an American adult animated science fiction sitcom created by Matt Groening and developed by Groening and David X. Cohen for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series follows the ...more

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The 15 Worst 'Futurama' Episodes Ever #52 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Animated Series

24
Buffy the Vampire Slayer... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
1997-2003

Actors: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, James Marsters

Genres (Tv): Supernatural, Horror, Comedy-drama, Teen drama, Action, + more

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (The WB, 1997) is an American supernatural drama television series created by Joss Whedon, based on the 1992 film. Destined to slay vampires, a young woman (Sarah ...more

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25
My Name Is Earl is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2005

Actors: Jason Lee, Ethan Suplee, Jaime Pressly

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

My Name Is Earl is an American television comedy series created by Greg Garcia that aired on the NBC television network from September 20, 2005, to May 14, 2009, in the United States. It was ...more

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