Some of the greatest TV shows ever made were released in the 2000s. These shows have been influential in cinema and pop culture over the years.
Apart from being a groundbreaking time in TV history, several actors rose to stardom from featuring in these series.
Owing to streaming platforms, these beloved TV shows are readily accessible on our screens. So whether it's your first time watching or you want to take a trip down memory lane, these gem shows from the 2000s are a must-watch this month.
10. Malcolm in the Middle
Any millennial can attest that this sitcom was the go-to show growing up.
Released in 2000 and running for seven seasons till 2006, Malcolm in the Middle follows an unorthodox middle-class family whose dysfunctionality is displayed in the eyes of the middle child Malcolm (Frankie Muniz), with an exceptional IQ and photographic memory.
Malcolm's siblings include Francis (Christopher Kennedy Masterson), the firstborn, Reese (Justin Berfield), the second born and Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan), the last and fourth son.
Malcolm in the Middle saw Bryan Cranston's first major role in TV, and from then, he went on to star in the greatest TV show in history. Cranston plays Hal, the father of the family, while Jane Kaczmarek plays his wife and the hot-headed mother of the family.
The series rates 8.1/10 on IMDb and 95% on Google Review. Take a nostalgic humor trip this month with this sitcom gem.
Before Stranger Things and Riverdale, there was this slightly underrated gem called Heroes. Heroes is a superhero drama show that ran for four seasons from 2006 to 2010.
The series follows ordinary people who discover their supernatural abilities. Heroes received several awards and nominations, including the British Academy Television Awards, Emmy Awards, People's Choice Awards and Golden Globes.
The series stars some of Hollywood's legends, including Hayden Panettiere, Kristen Bell, Milo Ventimiglia, Zachary Quinto, Masi Oka, Adrian Pasdar, Ali Larter, Nicolas D’ Agosto, Robert Knepper, Christine Rose and many others.
You’re sure to love these favorite A-listers embarked with supernatural powers, some making the greatest villains ever!
Don’t let the average ratings fool you. There’s so much to like about this superhero drama series. It scores 7.6/10 on IMDb, 52% on Rotten Tomatoes and 76% on Google Review.
8. Gilmore Girls
Gilmore Girls is another heartfelt comedy-drama series that debuted in 2000 and aired for seven seasons till 2007.
Starring Lauren Graham as the protagonist Lorelai Gilmore, the show follows Lorelai’s relationship with her strong-willed teenage daughter Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel). Since Lorelai got pregnant at sixteen, her relationship with her wealthy parents became strained, causing her to move from Hartford to Connecticut.
Though Gilmore Girls didn’t draw large ratings back then, its increasing following led to its status as a 2000s American cult classic. The show has obtained critical acclaim for its cross-generational appeal, effective mix of drama and humor and witty dialogue.
Gilmore Girls rates 8.2/10 on IMDb, 86% on Rotten Tomatoes and 92% on Google Review.
7. Prison Break
Prison Break will definitely make you nostalgic about the 2000s. Initially released in 2005 and running for five seasons, the serial drama series shares the experience of an engineer who installs himself in a prison he helped to design to save his falsely convicted brother from a death sentence.
Some familiar faces featured in the series include Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, Sarah Wayne Callies, Robert Knepper, Jodi Lyn O’ Keefe, William Fichtner, Amaury Nolasco, Rockmond Dunbar, Robin Tunney, Paul Adelstein, Camille Gauty, Michael Rapaport and many others.
94% of Google Users adore the show. Prison Break also scores 8.3/10 on IMDb and 61% on Rotten Tomatoes.
6. My Name is Earl
My Name is Earl is another comedy gem of the 2000s. It ran for four seasons from 2005 to 2009. Let alone its star-studded cast, the sitcom is highly critiqued for its clever plot and humorous dialogue.
Featuring Jason Lee as Earl Hickey, the plot follows the protagonist, a petty criminal who wins a lumpsum at a lottery but losses the ticket. He decides to mend his ways by doing kind deeds to alleviate his endless misfortunes.
Joining Lee in the cast are Ethan Suplee, Eddie Steeples, Jaime Pressly, Nadine Velazquez, Trey Carlisle, Noah Crawford, Louis T. Moyle, Giovanni Ribisi, Chloë Grace Moretz, Alyssa Milano, Dale Dickey, Judy Greer, Christine Taylor, Lin Shaye, Rico Rodriguez, Abdoulaye N’ Gom, Skyler Gisondo, Johnny Galecki, among others.
Here are the show's ratings: 7.8/10 on IMDb, 82% on Rotten Tomatoes and 92% on Google Reviews.
This drama series ran from 2004 to 2010 for six seasons. Lost shares the experiences of survivors of a plane crash who find themselves trapped on a mysterious island. They must pull efforts to survive on the island, already occupied by others.
You’d love the series of conspiracy theories that arise after each supernatural-filled episode.
Ratings: 80% on Google Review, 8.3/10 on IMDb and 85% on Rotten Tomatoes.
4. One Tree Hill
Just a simple story of everyday life in a fictional town called One Tree Hill, the drama series focuses on two half brothers, Nathan Scott (James Lafferty) and Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray), who bond over their love for basketball.
One Tree Hill premiered in 2003 and ended in 2012 after nine successful seasons. It received several award nominations and two Teen Choice Awards. Critics rate it favorably as well, obtaining a 7.7/10 rating on IMDb and 77% on Google Review.
This one had to be mentioned in case you forgot about it. Based on DC's Superman, Smallville narrates the story of Clark Kent, the adopted son of Martha and Jonathan Kent. Of course, Clark has supernatural abilities that he hides but makes it his responsibility to save teenagers in his hometown Smallville, Kansas, from evil forces.
Here are some beloved faces that feature in the series: Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Justin Harley, John Schneider, Annette O’ Toole, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Aaron Ashmore, Jensen Ackles, Eric Johnson, Kristin Kreuk, Erica Durance, Allison Mack, Sam Jones III, Alan Ritchson, Tyler Posey, Cobie Smulders, Terence Stamp, Lucas Grabeel, James Marsters, Laura Vandervoort and many others.
Smallville aired for ten seasons from 2001 to 2011 and rates 78% on Rotten Tomatoes, 7.5/10 on IMDb and 73% on Google Review.
2. The Office
Dark humor fans, this one is for you. Though The Office got off to a rocky start with mixed reviews when it premiered in 2005, the following seasons saw the show’s ratings pick up with exceptional character development and content delivery.
In nine seasons that ended in 2013, the sitcom narrated the everyday work life of employees of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, spearheaded by Regional Manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell). John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, Mindy Kaling, Ed Helms, Jenna Fischer, Rashinda Jones, Melora Hardin, B.J. Novak, and Angela Kinsey are some of the series cast members.
The mockumentary sitcom scores an impressive 9/10 on IMDb, 81% on Rotten Tomatoes and 94% on Google Review.
1. Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad is one crime drama series that shocked everyone when it slowly made it to the top of the greatest TV shows of all time.
Debuting in 2008, no one thought it would gain a cult following. In fact, it almost got canceled in its third season. But thanks to the remarkable chemistry between a modest high school teacher and a junkie and a slow-building engaging plot, we have one of the best shows that you can never grow weary of watching over and over.
Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk, RJ Mitte, Betsy Brandt, Jonathan Banks, Giancarlo Esposito, Steven Michael, and Jesse Plemons, among others.
The series has awesome ratings of 9.5/10 on IMDb, 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and 95% on Google Reviews.