The Top 10 Must-Watch TV Shows of the 2000s, as Rated by IMDb

The era of the 2000s has been widely regarded as one of the best periods for films and television series. Although they may not have been as cinematic as today's productions, they possessed a certain nostalgic charm that is often lacking in modern television. This was due, in part, to the simplicity of the characters and the absence of technology as the primary source of entertainment.

IMDb's curated list of the most popular TV shows of the 2000s is the perfect portal into this distinctive era.

Number 10: 'The Big Bang Theory' (2007 - 2019)

Image Courtesy of CBS

The widely popular television sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, remains a beloved show, even after its final season in 2019. The show follows the endearing and amusing lives of a group of intellectually gifted yet socially awkward scientists. The iconic cast includes fan-favorite characters like Sheldon Cooper, Leonard Hofstadter, and Penny, who navigate their daily lives with humor and wit. The show's genius lies in its ability to celebrate quirks and intellect, making it one of the defining shows of the 2000s.

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

Stream on HBO Max

Image Courtesy of FOX

The medical drama House, also known as House, M.D., set the standard for the medical drama genre. The show follows the life of the brilliant Dr. Gregory House, portrayed by Hugh Laurie, as he diagnoses seemingly inexplicable medical cases. The show is not only a medical drama, but it also delves into the personal lives and struggles of the main characters, making it relatable and emotionally engaging. Combined with the show's attention-grabbing fictional medical cases, House became a must-watch for any fan of the medical drama genre.

Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House in House M.D.

Stream on Prime Video

In the world of sitcoms, Modern Family stands out as a top-rated mockumentary-style show, offering laughs and iconic moments throughout its eleven seasons. This unconventional family drama depicts the quirky Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan, headed by the patriarch Jay Pritchett, who is portrayed with brilliance by Ed O'Neill. The cast also includes memorable characters like the vivacious Gloria, played by Sofía Vergara, her son Manny played by Rico Rodriguez, Jay's daughter Claire Dunphy with her lovable husband Phil portrayed by Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell respectively, and lastly, Jay's son Mitchell with his partner Cameron, lovably played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet, and their adorable adopted daughter Lily portrayed by Aubrey Anderson-Emmons. Although critics may have been divided, fans came to love the show and its wacky characters, leading to its conclusion in 2020.

The cast of Modern Family in the series finale

For those seeking a police procedural crime drama, Criminal Minds rises above the rest. The show revolves around a team of exceptional profilers known as the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) of the FBI, led by the enigmatic Agent Aaron Hotchner who is played by Thomas Gibson. With each episode, the team relentlessly pursues the most twisted minds in the criminal world, unraveling heinous crimes, and bringing justice to the innocent. The show stands out for its unflinching and often disturbing episodes that encourage profound questions about the darkness inside humanity.


For fans of dark fantasy dramas, Supernatural offers an unforgettable journey. The show's loyal fanbase follows the adventurous Winchester brothers, portrayed by the talented Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, as they explore the supernatural domain and confront otherworldly creatures. Along the way, they also tackle personal struggles amidst their travels throughout the country.

Supernatural - Somewhere between heaven & hell

The enthralling mix of intense terror and thought-provoking character arcs in Supernatural naturally had fans rooting for its captivating leads, who possess impeccable onscreen chemistry. It is undoubtedly among the most beloved and impactful paranormal series to grace our screens, and it has the added benefit of being incredibly rewatchable.

Stream on Netflix

The 2000s were marked by an abundance of procedural crime dramas, and for countless viewers, NCIS was the reigning champion. The plot follows the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, comprised of top-tier special agents assigned to unravel the complex web of crimes committed by members of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The unbreakable, legendary team is comprised of the incisive Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon), the tech-savant Anthony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly), the brilliant forensic scientist Abby Sciuto (Pauley Perrette), and the skilled, unwavering agents Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) and Timothy McGee (Sean Murray).

Audiences hang on every word as the team unearths the thrilling details of each case, often leading to heart-stopping investigations and electrifying action scenes. Its 20 seasons are a testament to its enduring popularity worldwide, as fans adore it beyond compare.

Watch on Paramount

Image via NBC

Although Ricky Gervais' original British version existed prior, the American adaptation of The Office demonstrated greater success and a more substantial fanbase worldwide (despite the fact that many Brits insist that the original remains unmatched). With superb writing and a star-studded cast that includes Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer, Mindy Kaling, and more, The Office (US) became an immediate sensation.

Cast of The Office

Despite attracting 11.2 million viewers during its first release, The Office is more popular now than ever before. It reached peak popularity as Netflix's most-streamed show in 2020, seven years after the series came to a close, with over 57 billion minutes watched overall. It has also become an integral part of internet culture and memes.

Experience the hilariously outrageous antics of Paddy's Pub, which have been entertaining viewers for nearly two decades on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The show follows "the gang," a group of selfish and morally questionable friends, as they embark on ill-fated misadventures. Its main characters include the devious Dennis Reynolds (portrayed by Glenn Howerton), the audacious Mac (played by Rob McElhenney), the delightfully eccentric Charlie Kelly (brought to life by Charlie Day), the hilariously inept Dee Reynolds (performed by Kaitlin Olson), and the bizarre Frank Reynolds (skillfully played by the legendary Danny DeVito).

The show, known for its twisted world of dark humor, presents outlandish and uproarious situations, such as Charlie staging a play to propose to the woman he has been stalking for years or Dennis attempting to sell a “finisher car” half submerged in water. While some of the show's taboo subjects and offensive episodes have courted controversy, they nonetheless highlight the power of comedy to initiate much-needed discussions.

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

Grey's Anatomy, a genre-defining medical drama that has captured fans' hearts since its inception, revolves around a group of surgical interns, residents, and attendings at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. The show delves into the personal and professional struggles of these individuals as they are confronted with challenging medical cases. The story primarily centers around Meredith Grey (portrayed by Ellen Pompeo) and explores the complex situations that often arise in a hospital setting.

What distinguishes Grey's Anatomy and accounts for its immense popularity is its rare ability to balance the gripping world of medical drama with finely crafted character arcs. The show draws viewers inexorably into the lives of these doctors, sharing in their joys, shouldering their sorrows, and rooting for their personal triumphs. As ABC's longest-running scripted primetime show, Grey's Anatomy has been captivating audiences for years.

cast of Grey's Anatomy from season 1

From the halls of pop culture history, one series stands alone as the embodiment of excellence: Breaking Bad. It's an undeniable fact that this prize-winning drama takes us on a heart-rending, brain-twisting odyssey about one Walter White, a simple chemistry teacher morphed into a terror of the methamphetamine world by forces both internal and external. Motivated by looming death, desperation, and familial responsibility, we bear witness to Walt's chameleon-like conversion into a shadowy figure among shadows. His series-defining partnership with the street-wise, emotionally-troubled Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) forms the unshakable core of the show, offering a dynamic duo that navigates the perilous underworld by necessity, not by choice.

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

With these morally ambiguous, multi-dimensional characters, the series transports audiences on an emotional rollercoaster that refuses to slow down, deftly exploring concepts of morality and values as we follow Walt's unforgettable journey. From violent outbursts to unexpected betrayals and shocking plot twists, Breaking Bad demands that viewers face head-on the harsh truths of right and wrong in an ever-complicated world.

So, why not jump in and explore it all on Netflix now? And once you're done, don't forget to check out The Best 2000s Movies on Netflix Right Now for your next entertainment fix.

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