23 Definitive TV Shows From The 2000s (And Where To Eat Them)

These series helped define a decade, and you can watch them today!

The 2000s were a very interesting time in all media: nu metal and post-grunge seceded as pop punk emerged, CGI was changing every day what could be done with film and animation , and television was changing with the arrival of cable packages, a booming DVD market, and new viewing habits thanks to the Internet and the DVR.


Yet TV shows from the 2000s live on today thanks to the many streaming services in our homes and devices, allowing us to revisit these pop culture powerhouses on our next hands-on binge. With that in mind, I’ve rounded up 23 of the most essential and definitive TV shows born in the 2000s that you can dive into right now…


CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000–15)

CBS / Alamy

You know your sleek ensemble crime procedural is a television landmark when Quentin Tarantino and William Friedkin are more than willing to step into the director’s shoes.

Where to watch: Hulu and Paramount+


dead wood (2004–06)

Doug Hyun / HBO / Album / Alamy

David Milch’s gritty but phenomenal western series was the perfect precursor to the ‘golden age’ of television and redefined the careers of its excellent ensemble, including Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, John Hawkes, Molly Parker and Anna Gunn .

Where to watch: HBO Max


Gilmore Girls (2000–07)

Warner Bros. Television Distribution / Alamy

Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel landed their ticket to cult stardom thanks to the rampant popularity of this witty comedy-drama from the mind of Amy Sherman-Palladino.

Where to watch: netflix


Fringe (2008–13)

Bad Robot / Alamy

Bad Robot found another small-screen sensation with this twisty sci-fi series that helped make Anna Torv a magnificent lead actress while opening a new chapter for the film’s career. The the Lord of the Rings” John Noble and Dawson’s Creekis Joshua Jackson.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video


Smallville (2001–11)

David Gray / The WB / Alamy

Laying the groundwork for the CW’s future superhero-studded programming slate, SmallvilleThe subversion of traditional comic book tradition has helped cement its status as the best small screen Superman series ever.

Where to watch: Hulu


The Boondocks (2005–14)

Cartoon Network / Courtesy of Everett Collection

Aaron McGruder’s hysterical, heart-pounding animated series has sometimes been touted as the heir to South ParkThe throne of adult animation, but prolonged gaps between seasons and McGruder’s not-so-friendly departure from the show after its third season in 2010 kept it from reaching greater heights.

Where to watch: Hulu and HBO Max


Pinch/Tuck (2003–10)

Warner Bros / Courtesy of Everett Collection

Before his career soared into the stratosphere with Joy and american horror storyRyan Murphy cut his teeth as a prime-time provocateur with Pinch/Tuckthe graphic and controversial mystery drama set in the sensational (but allegedly medically accurate) world of plastic surgery.

Where to watch: Hulu


CO (2003–07)

20th Century Fox Television / Alamy

Take over from people like Beverly Hills, 90210 and party of five, CO brought teen-centric melodrama into the new millennium while using a modern soundtrack and sharper subject matter relevant to a new generation.

Where to watch: Hulu and HBO Max


The shield (2002–08)

Prashant Gupta / Fox / Courtesy of Everett Collection

Shawn Ryan’s groundbreaking drama series not only rewrote the playbook on what was acceptable on non-premium cable TV, but was one of the first major series to introduce the rough handheld camera work that would come to be embraced. by many later cop programs.

Where to watch: Hulu


Battlestar Galactica (2003–09)

Sci-Fi Channel / Courtesy of Everett Collection

This modern reboot of the 1978 sci-fi classic brought the gravity of prestige drama and the dark edge of modern storytelling to a genre that is so often seen as relying on special effects as a crutch for its content.

Where to watch: Peacock


Dexter (2006–13)

Showtime Networks Inc. / Courtesy of Everett Collection

Although the later seasons have lost some of the luster of the show’s heyday, there’s no denying that Dexter was a landmark show of the 2000s, proving that a serial serial killer story could be accepted by a national audience.

Where to watch: Show time


Chappelle show (2003–06)

Comedy Central / Courtesy of Everett Collection

Before becoming one of the most polarizing figures in stand-up comedy, Dave Chappelle completely turned the sketch sketch landscape upside down in the 2000s with this risque and ridiculous series, making a permanent impact on pop culture in a relatively short time. short.

Where to watch: Netflix, HBO Max and Paramount+


Aqua Teen Hunger Force (2001–15)

Cartoon Network / Courtesy of Everett Collection

A defining show for Adult Swim’s absurd brand of adult television, Aqua Teen Hunger Force basically operated on the principles of meme culture before memes were really a thing and opened the door to the weird and wild shows that have kept Adult Swim high to this day.

Where to watch: Hulu and HBO Max


Thread (2002–08)

HBO / Courtesy: Everett Collection

David Simon’s unwavering and multifaceted look at Baltimore’s war on drugs still remains one of HBO’s original programming benchmarks, and often locks horns with The Sopranos in the premium cable GOAT debates.

Where to watch: HBO Max


Scrubs (2001–10)

ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Substantially blending irreverence and fantastical absurdity with the biting, beard-laden modern sitcom structure, this comedy about eccentric medical students has found a way to appeal to both old-school sitcom fans and to a less valuable younger audience in an overly palatable whole. and careful packaging.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video and Hulu


Desperate Housewives (2004–12)

ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

While the behind-the-scenes drama would to some extent spoil the show’s legacy, this satirical sensation dominated pop culture conversation for a number of years and proved that women of a certain age could still be as popular and funny as their less stigmatized male counterparts.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video and Hulu


24 (2001–10)

20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

In 2001, Joel Surnow, Robert Cochran and Kiefer Sutherland did what many thought was impossible in the television landscape: they managed to bring the feel, atmosphere and spectacle of a big-budget action movie into a format serialized, armed with a gimmick that’s been tailor-made to keep you coming back to the season finale.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video and Hulu


Friday night lights (2006–11)

NBC / Courtesy of Everett Collection

While it would be easy to assume Friday night lights could be a college blues-esque melodrama for a small-screen format, the incredible cast of underrated heavy hitters and up-and-coming young performers has elevated this series to powerhouse, must-have television.

Where to watch: Netflix, Peacock and Hulu


Lost (2004–10)

ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

The fact that, more than 10 years after the show ended, fans new and old are still debating the mysteries, twists and resolution of this pop culture phenomenon makes it all the more worthy of be on this list.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video and Hulu


Accommodation (2004–12)

Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

Hugh Laurie has become a household name on American shores as the petulant but efficient titular character of a medical procedure with a X-files-esque “mystery of the week” that had a bit of something for everyone.

Where to watch: Peacock, AppleTV and the Roku Channel


A.k.a (2001–06)

ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

Although he was often considered a small-screen prodigy, JJ Abrams became a powerful actor on television after the resounding success of this fascinating spy series directed by Jennifer Garner.

Where to watch: Disney+


Development stopped (2003–06)

20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

Before its less than stellar revival on Netflix in 2013, Development stopped might have been the best comedy of the 2000s, bolstered by a painfully funny cast and a layered callback structure that puts most “smart” comedies to shame.

Where to watch: Netflix, Hulu and the Roku Channel


Six feet Under ground (2001–05)

HBO / Album / Alamy

Alan Ball’s heartbreaking drama about a family funeral home was one of HBO’s most acclaimed series throughout its five-season tenure, the length of which resulted in what many people consider to be the greatest all-time series finale.

Where to watch: HBO Max

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