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September 20, 2014

Worst TV Shows of the 2000s

by Kim Potts, posted Dec 11th 2009 6:00AM

There was no shortage of truly great TV shows this decade -- but there was no dearth of really bad TV, either.

From talking babies and singing-and-dancing casino moguls to ill-conceived celebrity ventures into reality programming and scripted fare ... and whatever category you want to put the inexplicably enduring 'According to Jim' in, here are our picks for the worst TV the networks offered up to us in the last 10 years.

There was no shortage of truly great TV shows this decade -- but there was no dearth of really bad TV, either.

From talking babies and singing-and-dancing casino moguls to ill-conceived celebrity ventures into reality programming and scripted fare ... and whatever category you want to put the inexplicably enduring 'According to Jim' in, here are our picks for the worst TV the networks offered up to us in the last 10 years.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip40. 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip' (2006-07)

It was appropriate when Aaron Sorkin explored big issues on the politically themed 'The West Wing.' But when he tried to get all philosophical on this drama that went behind-the-scenes of a 'Saturday Night Live'-ish sketch comedy show, it felt heavy-handed and boring. It ain't life and death, after all, it's just comedy, something the similarly themed '30 Rock' acknowledges with actual humor.

Flavor of Love39. 'Flavor of Love' (2006-08)
Without rapper Flavor Flav's quest for love on this VH1 celeb-reality series, a quest so skanky and cringe-inducing that it almost gives kissing a bad name, we would not have spin-off series like 'I Love New York,' 'Charm School' and 'Real Chance of Love,' nor VH1 "stars" with colorful names like Punkin, Myammee, Buckwild, Tailor Made, T-Weed, 12 Pack, Whiteboy and Mr. Entertainer. Need we say more?


Dr. Vegas38. 'Dr. Vegas' (2004)
Rob Lowe was the titular physician in this (unintentionally) silly drama, in which his Dr. Grant had given up ER work to become the house doc for a Las Vegas Strip casino. On call 24/7, the fancily attired Grant managed to find plenty of time to gamble, while also flirting with his nurse (Amy Adams) and butting heads with profits-minded pal/casino manager Tommy (Joe Pantoliano).

Joe Millionaire37. 'Joe Millionaire' (2003)
He wasn't a millionaire or named Joe; he was construction worker Evan Marriott, who pretended to be rich to suss out the motives of female contestants. In the end, he and his reality-show mate split a surprise million dollar check (and then quickly split as a couple), but not until Fox had made it seem, with "slurp, gulp, slurp" subtitles, that one of the contestants was performing oral sex on Marriott. Classy, Fox.

Hey Paula36. 'Hey Paula' (2007)
Paula Abdul was credited as a producer of this Bravo reality series, but even she couldn't contain the crazy. The show followed her as she juggled her 'American Idol,' choreographer and jewelry designer gigs, but it's most famous for showing her scary breakdowns, including hissy fits directed at her assistants and a sobbing rant where she says she's "tired of people not treating me like the gift that I am."

Coupling35. 'Coupling' (2003)
Ted McGinley has a reputation as the TV-show killer, but his female counterpart may be Lindsay Price, who's no slouch herself when it comes to starring in doomed series. Price, to be fair, wasn't the only misfire in this U.S. version of the popular 'Friends'-ish U.K. comedy; the 'Coupling' remake also suffered from a lack of chemistry among the whole cast and lack of humor in delivering the U.K. scripts.

I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here34. 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here' (2003-present)
The problem with this reality series, which has aired for two seasons, is twofold: 1) the term "celebrity" is applied loosely, with comedy team Frangela, 'American Idol' joke Sanjaya and Holly Montag (a sister of a D-lister!) among season 2's "stars"; and 2) if they really are celebrities, how interested should we be in pampered people living in the jungle and eating a few bugs for three weeks?

Bob Patterson33. 'Bob Patterson' (2001)
Another bit of evidence of a so-called 'Seinfeld' curse, 'Bob Patterson' starred Jason Alexander as "America's #3 self-help guru," loved by his followers, but a selfish, insecure annoyance to those who knew him. The sitcom was done in five episodes, but Alexander adapted the concept into another fictional character, and travels the country performing as Donny Clay, "America's #4 self-help guru."

The Moment of Truth32. 'The Moment of Truth' (2008-09)
There's bad TV, and then there's TV that could ruin your life. 'Truth' fell into the latter category, as a game show that gave cash to contestants who admitted damning personal info, like having affairs, ignoring job duties, falsifying evidence in lawsuits and career-threatening jail time. One regret: The show was canceled before Fox aired an episode featuring disgraced baseball pro Jose Conseco.

Freddie31. 'Freddie' (2005-06)
Freddie Prinze Jr. is a likable enough actor in light big-screen fare like 'She's All That,' but the execs who thought he could carry a sitcom, especially one as thin as this one, overestimated his charms. Freddie, the character, was a hotshot chef who found himself rooming with several female members of his family, resulting in a string of sexist, warmed-over sitcom jokes.



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