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October 20, 2014

Best TV Shows of the 2000s

by Kim Potts, posted Dec 7th 2009 6:00AM
Best TV Shows of the '00s
Boiling any decade's list of the best TV shows down to 40 is tough; a common viewer complaint is that there are hundreds of channels and nothing worth watching, but we'd argue that they're just not looking in the right places.

Our list of the 40 best shows of the 2000s is chockful of edgy dramas ('CSI' and 'Deadwood'), sharp comedies ('30 Rock' and 'Chappelle's Show') and reality shows -- like 'The Amazing Race' and 'Top Chef' -- that have transcended their genres to become just plain good entertainment. Family dramas, clever teens, "'Seinfeld' on crack" and comeback efforts by Kiefer Sutherland and Neil Patrick Harris also pepper our lineup, so delve into the AOL TV list of the top 40 shows of the 2000s and let us know what you think we got right and wrong.
Best TV Shows of the '00s

Boiling any decade's list of the best TV shows down to 40 is tough; a common viewer complaint is that there are hundreds of channels and nothing worth watching, but we'd argue that they're just not looking in the right places.

Our list of the 40 best shows of the 2000s is chockful of edgy dramas ('CSI' and 'Deadwood'), sharp comedies ('30 Rock' and 'Chappelle's Show') and reality shows -- like 'The Amazing Race' and 'Top Chef' -- that have transcended their genres to become just plain good entertainment. Family dramas, clever teens, "'Seinfeld' on crack" and comeback efforts by Kiefer Sutherland and Neil Patrick Harris also pepper our lineup, so delve into the AOL TV list of the top 40 shows of the 2000s and let us know what you think we got right and wrong.


NCIS40. 'NCIS' (2003-present)
This drama about the internal affairs-ish special agents who investigate crimes related to Navy and Marine personnel flies under the radar of many viewers, but there are legions of 'NCIS' devoted, who tune in for the 'CSI'-like forensic work, twists and quirky characters, led by Mark Harmon's stoic, but effective Gibbs. In fact, the show's regularly atop the ratings heap ... 21 million viewers can't be wrong, right?

Big Love39. 'Big Love' (2006-present)
Bill Henrickson and his wife Barb are like most marrieds. As are Bill and his wife Nicki. And Bill and his wife Margene. Which is a big part of this compelling drama: Their polygamist way of life leads to some unique problems (Bill's bedroom schedule, for example), but Bill and his wives also face the same issues other families face, including in-laws, Bill's business worries and rebellious teens.

Gilmore Girls38. 'Gilmore Girls' (2000-07)
Some of the wittiest dialogue in any TV decade, great chemistry between stars Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel as single mom Lorelai and daughter Rory and a town so delightfully quirky in its makeup and citizenry that Frank Capra himself might have conjured it were why we loved this heartfelt family/teen/buddy/romantic dramedy and why we still miss our weekly visits with the Gilmores.

Project Runway37. 'Project Runway' (2005-present)
Tim Gunn and designers like Jay McCarroll and Christian Siriano are the real stars of this reality competition, which is hosted by supermodel Heidi Klum. The designer contestants, of varying age and experience, are challenged each week to whip up a new, themed frock, from a garment made of things found in a candy store to dresses made of flowers, and, as Gunn urges, they always manage to make it work.

How I Met Your Mother36. 'How I Met Your Mother' (2005-present)
Filling the twentysomething friendship sitcom gap left when 'Friends' ended, 'Mother' owes its success to a likable ensemble cast and smart writing that makes the storylines, which are nothing that break new ground, feel fresh. And, of course, there's Neil Patrick Harris, whose ultimate-dude character Barney can always be relied on for a laugh and a new, legen -- wait for it -- dary catchphrase.

Survivor35. 'Survivor' (2000-present)
Is it the physical challenge, the mental game play, the exotic locales or the chance for one regular Joe or Jane to win a million dollars that has kept this seminal reality series from being voted off the primetime island for 19 seasons? Try all of the above, along with the charm and snarkiness of host Jeff Probst, who, in no small feat, manages to wrangle over-the-top characters like Richard Hatch and lyin' Johnny Fairplay.

Extras34. 'Extras' (2005-07)
If his stint as David Brent in the original 'Office' didn't provide enough evidence, his role as hapless actor Andy Millman in 'Extras' did: Ricky Gervais enjoys playing characters who humiliate themselves. Millman's pursuit of (and failure to achieve) stardom was the core of Gervais' second clever sitcom, which was also boosted by A-list guest stars like Robert De Niro, Daniel Radcliffe and Kate Winslet.

Alias33. 'Alias' (2001-06)
Buffy got her butt-kickin' on with vampires, but Jennifer Garner took on real world baddies as spy chick Sydney Bristow, who battled international villains while employing a number of scanty disguises and some serious martial-arts skills. 'Alias' creator J.J. Abrams not only concocted one of the best drama pilots ever (remember Syd in the red wig?), but also helped launch Garner's big-screen career.

Family Guy32. 'Family Guy' (1999-present)
One of the few series so popular it was actually revived after being canceled, 'Family Guy' has won a permanent spot on the favorites lists of fans who appreciate creator Seth MacFarlane's irreverent pop culture jabs and willingness to be as politically incorrect as the censors will allow. Hats (or is that diapers?) off, too, to baby Stewie, a matricidal-minded tot whose every utterance makes us laugh.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer31. 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' (1997-2003)
Joss Whedon had seven seasons to play out monster slayer Buffy Summers' (Sarah Michelle Gellar) life, taking her from angst-addled, sarcastic teen to an adult who'd survived heartbreak, loss and even her own death. It's rare to get the opportunity to follow a beloved character through such a lengthy, seminal timeline, and fans were further rewarded with a satisfying, Hellmouth-destroying finale.



SEE 30-21 IN THE LIST

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spiderballs00

Thanks for ******* ruining six feet under for me, no spoiler alert either, fire this person. I created an account just to say this.

September 29 2011 at 12:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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