Top 20 Greatest TV Sitcoms of the 2000s



Top 20 Greatest TV Sitcoms of the 2000s

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Kim Mabee
The 2000s saw the debut of some of the best sitcoms of all time! For this list, we'll be looking at the best live-action situational comedies that premiered between 2000 and 2009. Our countdown includes “Scrubs” (2001-10), “Parks and Recreation” (2009-15), “It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (2005-), “Flight of the Conchords” (2007-09), and more!
The 2000s saw the debut of some of the best sitcoms of all time! For this list, we’ll be looking at the best live-action situational comedies that premiered between 2000 and 2009. Our countdown includes “Scrubs” (2001-10), “Parks and Recreation” (2009-15), “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (2005-), “Flight of the Conchords” (2007-09), and more! If you love these hilarious and heartwarming TV shows as much as we do, let us know in the comments.

#20: “Two and a Half Men” (2003-15)

After Alan Harper splits from his wife, he moves in with his freewheeling bachelor brother Charlie. In tow is Alan’s son Jake. While this initially cramps Charlie’s style, eventually they learn to live together despite their differences. The show ran for over a decade and never ran out of steam despite some of the main cast's departures. We got to see the two and a half men evolve into three grown men throughout the series, and it’s not everyday you get to see a show continue successfully after killing off their main character. Whether it was Charlie Sheen or Ashton Kutcher at the helm, this sitcom had us in stitches from beginning to end.

#19: “8 Simple Rules” (2002-05)

When Cate Hennessy takes on a job as a full time nurse, her overprotective husband Paul is left at home in charge of the kids. But he quickly realizes that he’s not well-equipped to deal with teenagers. This is another show that had to improvise due to the loss of a main cast member, after John Ritter tragically passed in the middle of the series and the show was left without its patriarch. David Spade and James Garner stepped in as the father-figures, but no matter who was in the cast through its three year run, “8 Simple Rules” always managed to stay hilarious, relatable, and heartfelt.

#18: “Flight of the Conchords” (2007-09)

Based on the real life comedy duo Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, “Flight of the Conchords” only got two seasons, but what glorious seasons they were. This unconventional show focuses on two former shepherds from New Zealand who move to New York to work as musicians. They’re helped, and hindered, by their incompetent part-time band manager Murray, played by Rhys Darby. The show’s humor is brilliantly dry, and each episode features hilarious songs courtesy of Clement and McKenzie. These musical moments have become iconic, and they helped set this sitcom apart.

#17:“Rules of Engagement” (2007-13)

This 100-episode strong sitcom centers around a group of friends as they try to maneuver through a variety of romantic relationships. The show focuses on Jeff and Audrey, who have been married for years, young engaged couple Adam and Jennifer, and their single, womanizing friend Russell. Patrick Warburton is predictably hilarious as Jeff, and David Spade steals the show as Russell. Even though “Rules of Engagement” didn’t sit well with critics, the cast and crew have their loyal fanbase to thank for keeping the show on our TV screens for seven seasons.

#16: “Reba” (2001-07)

Country singer Reba McEntire carried this comedy series for six years, earning the show consistently high viewership and ratings. The sitcom revolves around sarcastic single mother Reba Hart, the matriarch of a family that’s falling apart. She’s the only one that can keep it together. All in one day, she learns that her teenage daughter is pregnant along with her husband’s mistress. And that’s just the start of her troubles. Audiences loved seeing Reba navigate these unexpected turns with humor and grace, not to mention gentle hands and the heart of a fighter.

#15:“Party Down” (2009-10)

“Party Down” may have only lasted two seasons, but this is a classic example of quality over quantity. The multifaceted sitcom is about a group of caterers in L.A. who come from different backgrounds in the entertainment industry as writers, actors, and models. While some have failed at their craft, others are still waiting for their big break. Each episode is named after an event they cater, and all of the characters deal with their day-to-day struggles in their own unique ways. Even though this show has been over for a number of years, there is a revival limited series on the horizon, and we can’t wait to see what the characters are up to now.

#14:“The IT Crowd” (2006-13)

We love a good workplace sitcom, and this British show about a group of coworkers in the IT department is among the best. Roy and Maurice are underappreciated nerds who deal out hilarious quips as they work to keep the business running, hidden away in the company’s basement. Their manager, Jen, is completely computer illiterate, with no idea what she’s doing. The series was praised by real information technology workers for its accuracy, but “The IT Crowd” still unfortunately came to an end after four seasons. The show was so beloved that several adaptations have been attempted, and there was even an American version starring Joel McHale that was filmed but never aired.

#13: “Parks and Recreation” (2009-15)

Even though this show took a season or two to find its footing, once it did, it was unstoppable. Set in the fictional town of Pawnee in Indiana, the mockumentary is a political satire about the local Parks Department. Leslie Knope’s passion for improving her town is the driving force of the show, as her idealism encounters obstacle after obstacle. Full of hilarious characters who were perfectly cast, this show only got better and better as it went on. To this day,“Parks and Recreation” is still one of the best shows to portray government and politics in a humorous and relatable way.

#12: “Everybody Hates Chris” (2005-09)

Some of our favorite shows are inspired by real life, and “Everybody Hates Chris” is a textbook example. Co-created and narrated by Chris Rock, this series was based on his upbringing in predominantly white schools. Still managing to elicit chuckles as it navigated important topics, it was beloved by fans and critics alike. While it was only around for four years, Rock said he felt the show had come to a natural conclusion, with young Chris dropping out of school, which would eventually lead him into stand-up comedy. But there are plans to reboot it in the form of a cartoon, and we’ll be anxiously waiting for its return.

#11: “Community” (2009-15)

Based on creator Dan Harmon’s college experience, “Community” tells the story of lawyer-turned-student, Jeff Winger. He forms a study group at Greendale Community College in an attempt to get closer to Britta, who invites some other misfit students to join. The eclectic group grows close over their time at the college, and the rest of the series follows the gang as they try to find where they fit in. “Community” has gained cult status over the years, and been recognized for its clever writing and charming cast. Recently, there has even been talk of making a film based on the sitcom, and we have our fingers crossed as we think that would be cool. Cool cool cool.

#10: “Scrubs” (2001-10)

Usually medical TV shows aren’t particularly comedic, but “Scrubs” decided to break that mold. Throughout the show we get to see J.D., Turk, and Elliot grow up professionally and personally. “Scrubs” was groundbreaking in its storytelling, revealing more about its characters through voice and even musical numbers. With humor, it was able to tell challenging stories in a light-hearted way. This sitcom had a way of making viewers feel like they were casually hanging out with friends, and the one-liners made us laugh out loud every single episode.

#9: “Malcolm in the Middle” (2000-06)

What’s it like being a genius in a family of dimwits? Malcolm Wilkerson can tell you all about it, and he does through seven hilarious seasons on “Malcolm in the Middle.” Malcolm is raised by eternally angry Lois and loveable goofball Hal, along with his three brothers. A young Frankie Muniz shines as the reluctant nerd, and watching him navigate school and his dysfunctional family is always comical. It’s no wonder this show was nominated for an Emmy over 30 times. Sunday nights were always a little more fun when we got to see the Wilkersons on our screens.

#8: “30 Rock” (2006-13)

Some of the best sitcoms are inspired by the creator’s real life experiences, and this show is a perfect case in point. Tina Fey stars as Liz Lemon, head writer and showrunner for a sketch comedy show produced at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The plot mirrors Fey’s own experience as the head writer on Saturday Night Live as she deals with larger than life personalities and the unpredictability involved in working on a TV show. “30 Rock” features an all-star cast with Alec Baldwin as Lemon’s boss and Tracy Morgan as the star of the show. During the sitcom’s seven year run, the satirical look at life in NBC studios left an indelible mark on the small screen.

#7: “The Big Bang Theory” (2007-19)

From the creators of “Two and Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory” put nerds front and center. The show follows friends and physicists Leonard, Sheldon, and Raj, engineer Howard, and aspiring actress Penny. The boys share geeky interests, but struggle with everyday social engagement. The characters grow up a lot throughout the show’s run, coming into their own professionally, and in their relationships. While “The Big Bang Theory” started off low in the ratings, it became a massive hit that ran for over a decade and even inspired a surge of real-life college students pursuing physics.

#6: “Modern Family” (2009-20)

We dare you to get through an episode of this hilarious mockumentary style sitcom without cracking up or shedding a tear. “Modern Family” centers around Jay Pritchett’s family, including his young wife, Gloria, and her son, Manny. Jay’s daughter Claire and her husband Phil navigate life with their three kids, while Claire’s brother Mitchell and his partner Cam raise their adopted daughter, Lily. The show tackles issues like divorce, death, adoption, gay rights, and unplanned pregnancy through the eyes of an average extended in family in the modern world. The show consistently garnered millions of viewers, and has been nominated for 80 Primetime Emmys and 12 Golden Globes, showing that it’s universally loved by fans and critics alike.

#5: “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (2005-)

Set in an Irish pub in Philly, this sitcom follows friends Charlie, Mac, and Dennis as the co-owners of Paddy’s. Their gang also includes Sweet Dee, who waitresses at the pub, and Frank, their reluctant father figure. The owners, staff, and customers at Paddy’s are all flawed and dealing with their own problems, including substance abuse and mental illnesses. “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” deals out both laughs and tears, and is one of the few shows on this list that’s still airing. It is also the longest running comedy on cable TV, proving that it is truly deserving of a spot in our top five.

#4: “How I Met Your Mother” (2005-14)

The year after “Friends” came to an end, we were introduced to another sitcom about 20-something friends living in New York. In 2030, Ted Mosby tells his kids the story of how he met their mother years earlier. Throughout the show’s nine seasons, Ted searches for true love, and through it all, he has Marshall, Lily, Robin, and Barney by his side. All of the characters struggle with relationships, careers, and friendships, making the show relatable and humorous for everyone’s who’s survived their 20’s. Even though it ended with a controversial finale, we’re sure this show will be considered one of the best for years to come.

#3: “Arrested Development” (2003-06; 2013-19)

Jason Bateman takes center stage as Michael Bluth, who’s trying to keep his quirky family together after their father’s arrest. Throughout the show, we see the conflicting personalities in the Bluth family as they try to adjust to their new lifestyle. Although Michael is clearly the logical choice to handle the family’s wealth, he battles with his snobbish and ignorant family to do so. Despite the fact that “Arrested Development” was received well by critics, low viewership led to a premature cancellation after three seasons. Netflix brought the show back to life in 2013 and finally gave viewers the closure they needed. This showed the world that canceling the show was, as Gob would say, a huge mistake.

#2: “Curb Your Enthusiasm” (2000-)

After the end of “Seinfeld,” fans were craving more of Larry David’s humor, and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” was just the show to satisfy this. Based on a fictional version of the “Seinfeld” co-creator, Larry David plays a narcissistic, semi-retired screenwriter. The show follows the everyday woes of his life with his wife, played by Cheryl Hines, and his best friend, played by Jeff Garlin, in what is essentially another show about nothing. The main purpose of a sitcom is to make us laugh, and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” has done exactly that for eleven seasons and counting, proving that it is indeed one of the best of all time.

#1: “The Office” (2005-13)

The original British version of this show was also a great candidate for this list. But with apologies to Ricky Gervais, we have to give the top spot to our friends at Dunder Mifflin. The eccentric Michael Scott manages a run-of-the-mill paper company in Pennsylvania, overseeing characters who are all too familiar to anyone in the workforce. Since their debut in 2005, they’ve all become iconic, from Jim Halpert to Dwight Schrute. The romance between Jim and Pam still feels just as real, and the evolution of Michael Scott’s character remains a compelling watch. Without doubt, “The Office” is the best sitcom of the 2000s!