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December 17, 2014

Worst TV Shows of the 2000s (10-1)

by Kim Potts, posted Dec 11th 2009 6:00AM
Cavemen10. 'Cavemen' (2007)
Based on a series of GEICO commercials, this ABC sitcom seemed doomed from the start, as some viewers disliked even the ads, which, like the series, revolve around modern-day cavemen trying to get respect amongst their more evolved brethren. Some critics even charged that the series was racist, and the only upside to the show was that it's almost certain we'll never see a series based on the GEICO gecko.

According to Jim9. 'According to Jim' (2001-09)
Key to the schlubby guy/hot wife sitcom: The schlub has to exhibit some charm to make audiences believe he could have landed the hot wife (see: Kevin James, Jackie Gleason, Homer Simpson), and Jim Belushi hadn't been charming (or funny) since 'About Last Night.' Still, one of the blandest sitcoms of all time actually ran for eight full seasons, so we're guessing Belushi is laughing all the way to the bank.

Emeril8. 'Emeril' (2001)
It's perhaps the first sitcom inspired by a couple of catchphrases. How else to explain why NBC execs thought chef Emeril Lagasse, famous for his "BAM!" and "Kick it up a notch!" declarations, could carry a sitcom, even one in which he played chef Emeril Lagasse, surrounded by cliched sitcom characters? Worse still, the series wasted the late Robert Urich, in his last TV series role, as Emeril's agent.

The Anna Nicole Show7. 'The Anna Nicole Show' (2002-03)
It brought Howard K. Stern and Bobby Trendy into our homes, which was reason enough to dislike it, but the fact that it was exploiting a woman who was in need of an intervention, or 10, was obvious. Both Anna Nicole and her teen son would be dead less than four years after the show ended, but the series played all her drunken, drugged stupors for laughs and even gave it a bouncy theme song.

Shasta McNasty6. 'Shasta McNasty' (1999-2000)
The title may have made it sound like the worst flavor of a cheap brand of soda, but it was, in fact, just an unwatchable UPN series (starring Jake Busey and Verne Troyer) about a trio of California slackers who wanted to be rappers. The network tried to boost the floundering show by shortening its name to 'Shasta,' but it had already left a bad taste in too many viewers' mouths.

Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire5. 'Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire' (2000)
You have to give it up to Fox for creating one of the most distasteful shows of all time in one two-hour airing. The Feb. 2000 special married strangers "multi-millionaire Rick Rockwell" (whose last name wasn't Rockwell and whose worth just barely added up to $2 million) and Darva Conger and sent them on a honeymoon, but the ill-conceived wedding ended with a March 2000 annulment.

John From Cincinnati4. 'John From Cincinnati' (2007)
An existential surfing drama? A guy, the titular John, who can make people levitate? A bird-obsessed cop? Though HBO aired an entire season of the David Milch-created series, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone (outside, perhaps, Milch?) who can explain what the show was actually about, and if, in fact, the savior-like John was a savior and was from Cincinnati ...

Joey3. 'Joey' (2004-06)
Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) was the example, but it's likely that none of the 'Friends' would have made good spin-off series, because, as beloved as the characters were (despite and because of their foibles), the true appeal of the show was their enduring friendships. You take Joey away from his 'Friends,' and he's just a deluded, unemployed, womanizing actor, and where's the fun in that?

The Swan2. 'The Swan' (2004)
It was 'Nip/Tuck'-meets-Miss America, as contestants of this uber-creepy reality show were assigned teams of surgeons, therapists, trainers and dentists who designed for each a program to, well, redesign themselves. The top makeovers were then chosen to compete against each other in a pageant, where tabloid editors and Carnie Wilson judged who won cash, cars, vacays and a NutriSystem spokesperson contract.

Britney & Kevin: Chaotic'1. 'Britney & Kevin: Chaotic' (2005)
Britney Spears obsessed about her sex life, proposed to Kevin Federline, was rejected, said yes to his proposal and invited her whole family to her surprise wedding. The show's tagline: "Can you handle our truth?" Not for more than five episodes. Though in hindsight, her family should've seen the reality show as a warning of Britney's soon-to-follow meltdown and got her some help a little sooner.

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