watchworthy presents

The Best Television Shows of the 2000s 

Ranker TV
Originally by
Updated October 11, 2019 148.7k votes 7.6k voters 169.4k views 476 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.

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
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

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 54

Network: AMC

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Crime Fiction, Crime, Suspense, Drama, + more

Breaking Bad (AMC, 2008) is an American drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. A high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer turns to ...more

More Breaking Bad 

The Best Breaking Bad Characters of All Time #1 of 263 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #3 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

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

Actors: Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer

Number of Seasons: 9

Number of Episodes: 201

Network: Global Television Network, NBC

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Mockumentary, Satire, Romance TV, Romantic comedy, + more

The Office is an American television comedy series that aired on NBC from March 24, 2005 to May 16, 2013. It is an adaptation of the BBC series of the same name. The Office was adapted for ...more

More The Office 

Jim Halpert Is A Scumbag, And It's Obvious If You Just Pay Attention #3 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #194 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

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

Number of Seasons: 10

Number of Episodes: 236

Network: NBC

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

More Friends 

47 Things You Didn't Know About Friends #6 of 802 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

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 184

Network: CBS

Genres (Tv): Romance Film, Sitcom, Comedy-drama, Comedy

How I Met Your Mother is an American sitcom that originally ran on CBS from September 19, 2005, to March 31, 2014. The series follows the main character, Ted Mosby, and his group of friends in ...more

More How I Met Your Mother 

Legendary 'How I Met Your Mother' Fan Theories #27 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #8 of 296 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History

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

Number of Seasons: 31

Network: Fox

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

More The Simpsons 

The Best Fake Words From The Simpsons #3 of 717 The Best Cartoons of All Timelisted 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

Number of Seasons: 7

Network: NBC

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 stars Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, a perky, mid-level bureaucrat in the ...more

More Parks and Recreation 

The Best Parks and Recreation Characters #14 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #27 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

Number of Seasons: 18

Network: Fox

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

More Family Guy 

Family Guy Fan Theories So Crazy They Might Be True #42 of 477 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Madelisted on Longest Running Animated Series

8
The Big Bang Theory is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2007-present

Actors: Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 135

Network: CBS

Genres (Tv): Television comedy, Sitcom, Comedy

The Big Bang Theory is an American sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, both of whom serve as executive producers on the show along with Steven Molaro. All three also serve as head ...more

More The Big Bang Theory 

Dark 'Big Bang Theory' Fan Theories That Will Mess With Your Head #11 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

9
Modern Family is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2009-present

Actors: Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen

Number of Seasons: 11

Number of Episodes: 250

Network: ABC

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

Modern Family (ABC, 2009) is an American comedy television sitcom created by Francisco Bobadilla. The series follows the lives of Jay Pritchett and his family, all of whom live in suburban Los ...more

More Modern Family 

The Best Characters On Modern Family #28 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #24 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

10
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2006-2013

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

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 96

Network: Showtime

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

More Dexter 

Dexter Morgan’s Infamous ‘Work’ Rooms, Ranked By Practicality #7 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #14 of 263 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

11
That '70s Show is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
1998

Actors: Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 200

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Genres (Tv): Romance Film, Sitcom, Comedy

That '70s Show is an American television period sitcom that originally aired on Fox from August 23, 1998, to May 18, 2006. The series focused on the lives of a group of teenage friends living in ...more

More That '70s Show 

Behind The Scenes Secrets From 'That '70s Show' Most People Don't Know #11 of 296 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television Historylisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

12
Scrubs is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2001-2010

Actors: Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke

Number of Seasons: 9

Number of Episodes: 181

Network: NBC, ABC

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

More Scrubs 

The Best Scrubs Characters of All Time #61 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #20 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

13
House is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2004-2012

Actors: Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 177

Network: Fox

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

More House 

The Best New Tech House Songs of 2020 #14 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #3 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

14
South Park is listed (or ranked) 14 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

Number of Seasons: 16

Network: Comedy Central

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

More South Park 

The Best South Park Characters of All Time #8 of 717 The Best Cartoons of All Timelisted on Longest Running Animated Series

15
Malcolm in the Middle is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
datrlykewlfreekinguymandood added 2000-2006

Actors: Frankie Muniz, Jane Kaczmarek, Bryan Cranston

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 151

Network: Fox

Genres (Tv): Sitcom

Malcolm in the Middle (Fox, 2000) is an American television sitcom created by Linwood Boomer. A gifted young teen (Frankie Muniz) tries to survive life with his dimwitted, dysfunctional family.

More Malcolm in the Middle 

The Cast Of 'Malcolm In The Middle' - Where Are They Now? #27 of 296 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television Historylisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms

16
The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
1999-2007

Actors: James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 86

Network: HBO

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

More The Sopranos 

12 Gangster Movie Homages On The Sopranos Most People Totally Missed #13 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #339 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

17
Law & Order: Special... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
1999-present

Actors: Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T

Number of Seasons: 21

Number of Episodes: 474

Network: NBC

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

More Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 

The Best Law & Order SVU Guest Stars #60 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

18
Buffy the Vampire Slayer... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
1997-2003

Actors: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, James Marsters

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 144

Network: UPN, The WB Television Network

Genres (Tv): Paranormal romance, Supernatural drama, Supernatural, Action/Adventure, Drama, + more

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an American television series which aired from March 10, 1997 until May 20, 2003. The series was created in 1997 by writer-director Joss Whedon under his production ...more

More Buffy the Vampire Slayer 

15 Fan Theories About Buffy The Vampire Slayer Just Crazy Enough To Be True #40 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #14 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

19
SpongeBob SquarePants is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
1999

Actors: Tom Kenny, Rodger Bumpass, Bill Fagerbakke

Number of Seasons: 10

Number of Episodes: 204

Network: Nickelodeon

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

More SpongeBob SquarePants 

36 Random Spongebob Squarepants Memes That Take Memes To The Next Level #9 of 477 The Greatest Animated Series Ever Madelisted on Longest Running Children's TV Shows

20
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2005-present

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

Number of Seasons: 15

Number of Episodes: 318

Network: The WB Television Network, The CW Television Network

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

More Supernatural 

The Best Supernatural Characters #281 of 717 The Best Cartoons of All Timelisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

21
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2005-present

Actors: Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson

Number of Seasons: 15

Number of Episodes: 324

Network: A&E, CBS

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Crime, Suspense, Drama, + more

Criminal Minds (CBS, 2005) is an American police-procedural television program. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based in Quantico, Virginia. The ...more

More Criminal Minds 

How Accurate Is The Depiction of Behavioral Analysts In 'Criminal Minds?' #39 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #65 of 263 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

22
Futurama is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
looksharp added 1999

Actors: Billy West, John DiMaggio, Katey Sagal

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 140

Network: Comedy Central, Fox Broadcasting Company

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

More Futurama 

Every Opening Caption from Every Single Futurama Episode #12 of 717 The Best Cartoons of All Timelisted on Longest Running Animated Series

23
Drake & Josh is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
2004

Actors: Drake Bell, Josh Peck, Miranda Cosgrove

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 64

Network: Nickelodeon

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Satire, Teen situation comedy, Children's television series, Farce, + more

Drake and Josh are two guys with different personalities. REALLY different. Going to the same school is about the only thing they have in common. But that's about to change--in a BIG way. See, ...more

More Drake & Josh 

#461 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #279 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #183 of 296 The Greatest Sitcoms in Television History

24
Rugrats is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
1991

Actors: Elizabeth Daily, Christine Cavanaugh, Nancy Cartwright

Number of Seasons: 9

Number of Episodes: 172

Network: Nickelodeon

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

More Rugrats 

20 Things You Didn't Know About Rugrats #295 of 802 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running Children's TV Shows

25
Sabrina, the Teenage Wit... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Television Shows of the 2000s
1996

Actors: Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 163

Network: The WB Television Network, ABC Family, TeenNick, American Broadcasting Company

Genres (Tv): Supernatural, Sitcom, Children's television series, Comedy, Fantasy television, + more

Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is an American sitcom based on the Archie comic book series of the same name. The show premiered on September 27, 1996, on ABC to over 17 million viewers in its ...more

More Sabrina, the Teenage Witch 

#132 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #26 of 78 The Best Teen Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Serieslisted on The Longest Running US Sitcoms