HomeEntertainment News10 Most Popular TV Shows of the 2000s, Ranked According to IMDb

10 Most Popular TV Shows of the 2000s, Ranked According to IMDb

The 2000s era was arguably the best for many films, especially television series. Although they weren’t as polished and cinematic as many are today, they elude certain nostalgic and comforting elements that are not so present in today’s sitcoms and television programs.

Additionally, the simplicity of television characters in the early 2000s shows made them easy to watch. They bring you back to life before the digital age, when many don’t rely on technology as entertainment, and things were much simpler. IMDb‘s list of the most popular TV shows of the 2000s can transport viewers back to this unique period.

Updated on May 17, 2023, by Hannah Saab:

A new season of the longest-running live-action sitcom, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, is just around the corner, with Season 16 set to premiere on June 7. It’s also among the most popular early 2000s TV shows that have managed to sustain that momentum and build a massive fan base that’s thriving today.



10 ‘The Big Bang Theory’ (2007 – 2019)

The gang playing a rousing game of D&D in The Big Bang Theory
Image via CBS

A beloved sitcom that needs no introduction, The Big Bang Theory introduced the likable and hilarious cluster of intellectually gifted yet socially awkward scientists who navigate interactions and not-too-unusual events in uniquely comedic ways. Made up of Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), Penny (Kaley Cuoco), and more additions to the gang in later episodes of TBBT, the series chronicles their funny and relatable misadventures.

The Big Bang Theory eventually evolved into a cultural phenomenon that became widely regarded for embracing geekdom and celebrating quirks and intellect. Despite ending in 2019, the series still has a solid fan base that will forever appreciate one of the defining shows of the 2000s.

Watch on HBO Max

9 ‘House’ (2004 – 2012)

Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House in House M.D.
Image via FOX

House – also known as House, M.D. – is a massively popular medical drama that set the standard for the genre and established the format that’s familiar to fans today. It follows the genius Dr. Gregory House (superbly portrayed by Hugh Laurie) as he diagnoses seemingly inexplicable cases per episode.

Of course, just like any other well-written medical TV show, the series soon turns into a more personal drama that tackles the main characters’ lives and struggles, whether that’s ethical, romantic, or something else. Combined with genuinely intriguing fictional medical cases, and House became a show that had fans looking forward to each new episode.

Watch on Prime Video

8 ‘Modern Family’ (2009 – 2020)

The cast of Modern Family in the series finale
Image via ABC

A top-rated mockumentary-style sitcom full of gut-busting iconic moments, Modern Family revolves around three unconventional family set-ups in suburban Los Angeles. Over the course of eleven seasons, it depicts the antics of the chaotic Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker family, linked by the patriarch Jay Pritchett (portrayed by the incomparable Ed O’Neill). It also features his vivacious second wife Gloria (Sofía Vergara), and her wise-beyond-his-years son Manny (Rico Rodriguez); Jay’s daughter Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen), her affable husband Phil (Ty Burrell), and their trio of children; and lastly, Jay’s son Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), his lovable partner Cameron (Eric Stonestreet), and their precocious adopted daughter Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons).

Though divisive among critics, fans undeniably loved the way the show portrayed the interwoven stories in light-hearted and hilarious ways. Audiences have grown to love the wacky characters throughout the years, all the way to the show’s conclusion in 2020.

Watch on Hulu

7 ‘Criminal Minds’ (2005 – )

Image via Paramount+

Criminal Minds is a police procedural crime drama show that revolves around the brilliant minds within the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) of the FBI. The team of exceptional profilers embarks on a relentless quest to penetrate the twisted depths of criminal psychology, unraveling heinous crimes and restoring justice to the innocent with each new episode. Led by the enigmatic Agent Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), this extraordinary team harnesses their unparalleled profiling skills, deep psychological insight, and unwavering empathy to navigate the darkest recesses of the human psyche.

With unflinching and sometimes genuinely disturbing episodes, Criminal Minds set itself apart and became a true standout in the genre fairly quickly. Its hair-raising stories often raised profound questions about the darkness behind every individual, which is something each member of the BAU struggles with alongside audiences.

Watch on Paramount+

6 ‘Supernatural’ (2005 – 2020)

Supernatural - Somewhere between heaven & hell
Image via The CW

A widely beloved dark fantasy drama with a dedicated fanbase, Supernatural follows the winding odyssey of the unwavering Winchester brothers, Sam (portrayed by the talented Jared Padalecki) and Dean (brought to life by the remarkable Jensen Ackles), as they traverse the country and immerse themselves in the unpredictable realm of the supernatural. Viewers follow their every move as they confront otherworldly creatures and investigate inexplicable phenomena, while also dealing with personal struggles.

Supernatural‘s blend of spine-tingling horror and poignant character development unsurprisingly had fans rooting for its charming leads who have flawless chemistry. It is one of the most cherished and influential supernatural series to ever grace the screen and, as an added bonus, is endlessly rewatchable.

Watch on Netflix

5 ‘NCIS’ (2003 – )

The 2000s were a high point for procedural crime dramas, and, for many viewers, NCIS stood above the rest. It follows the exploits of the titular Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), an elite team of special agents devoted to unraveling the intricate web of crimes linked to those who serve in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Its impressive and now-iconic main characters form the unbreakable unit, and are made up of the inimitable Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), the tech-savvy Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), the brilliant forensic scientist Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette), and the skilled and steadfast agents Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) and Timothy McGee (Sean Murray).

Audiences hold their breath as the team delves into the heart-pounding details of each case, which often leads to adrenaline-soaked investigations and exhilarating action. Now at 20 seasons, it’s not surprising that the series is still going strong today, as its longevity is a testament to how beloved it is by fans around the globe.

Watch on Paramount+

4 ‘The Office’ (2005 – 2013)

Cast of The Office
Image via NBC

Although Ricky Gervais’ British version is the original, the American The Office proved to be more successful and appealing to a wider audience worldwide (though many Brits will argue that the original British The Office is still the best version). With impressive scriptwriting and a talented cast such as Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Mindy Kaling, and more, The Office (US) was an instant hit.

Though The Office brought in 11.2 million viewers during the time of its first release, the show is more popular now than ever. It became Netflix’s most-streamed show in 2020, seven years after the show ended with a cumulative stream of more than 57 billion minutes. The show has also become a big part of the internet and pop culture and is commonly featured in many internet memes.

Watch on Peacock

3 ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ (2005 – )

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

Paddy’s Pub has seen some darkly comedic antics over the past (almost) two decades that It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has been airing. Centered on “the gang” – a group of self-centered and morally questionable friends – IASIP portrays their often ill-fated misadventures. Throughout the years, fans have learned more about its comedic main characters – the devious Dennis Reynolds (Glenn Howerton), the audacious Mac (Rob McElhenney), the delightfully eccentric Charlie Kelly (Charlie Day), the hilariously inept Dee Reynolds (Kaitlin Olson), and the bizarre Frank Reynolds (masterfully played the legendary Danny DeVito).

Often depicting outlandish and uproarious situations (like Charlie staging a play to propose to the woman he has been stalking for years or Dennis trying to sell a “finisher car” half submerged in water), the series portrays a twisted world full of dark humor. IASIP has been known to stir controversy with its taboo subjects and offensive episodes, which push the boundaries of what is deemed acceptable and highlight the power of comedy to spark much-needed discussions.

Watch on Hulu

2 ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (2005 – )

cast of Grey's Anatomy from season 1

The genre-defining medical drama series that captured fans’ hearts from the get-go, Grey’s Anatomy revolves around the intense world of a group of surgical interns, residents, and attendings. Set in the fictional Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, the main characters struggle to balance their personal and professional lives, as well as deal with challenging medical cases. Primarily following the life of Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), the series explores the complicated situations that often arise in a hospital setting.

What truly sets Grey’s Anatomy apart and fuels its immense popularity is its remarkable ability to balance the gripping world of medical drama with exquisitely crafted character arcs. Viewers find themselves inexplicably drawn into the lives of these doctors, sharing in their joys, shouldering their sorrows, and rooting for their personal triumphs. It’s ABC’s longest-running scripted primetime show for a reason, as audiences have been tuning in for years.

Watch on Netflix

1 ‘Breaking Bad’ (2008 – 2013)

Walt, Jesse, and Mike in the desert in Say My Name from Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad still comfortably sits at the top of numerous “top 10” lists of the best series ever made, and for many good reasons. The award-winning drama tells the wonderfully complex and often heartbreaking story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston’s iconic character), who transforms from a humble chemistry teacher into a terrifying figure in the world of methamphetamine. Driven by desperation, a cancer diagnosis, and the desire to provide for his family, fans witness Walter’s descent into the shadows. His partnership with the street-smart and troubled Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), forms the core of the show, creating a dynamic duo that navigates the treacherous waters of the criminal underworld.

With these morally complex characters, the meticulously crafted show takes audiences on a wild ride that will leave them breathless more than once. Full of violence, betrayal, and shocking twists, the series forces viewers to confront what they believe about right and wrong through Walt’s unforgettable journey.

Watch on Netflix

NEXT:The Best 2000s Movies on Netflix Right Now



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments

%d bloggers like this: