2000's Television

Television 2000's.mp4

2000's Television

Television in the 2000's was about bringing everyday life to the screen, in shows like The Sopranos you see the struggles of a mob boss as he tries to live his life.  In the show Lost a plane crashes on an island and strange things begin to happen.  Sitcoms focused on the work and personal relationships it had approached in the past, but this time with a more documentary feel thanks to genre changing shows like The Office.  Talk shows made their way out of the 1990's with a commitment to less trashy television and more meaningful and entertaining content.  The Colbert Show continued to expand the genre of political satire talk shows and television stars like Ellen DeGeneres were reminding Americans what it means to look out for each other during a decade of highs and lows.  

More than anything else however, it was the growth in popularity of reality television with shows like Survivor and Big Brother that challenge players in both metal and physical endurance and shows like the Amazing Race and American Idol that keep the audience rooting on contestants to finish strong and strike it rich.  America's fascination with television, fame and riches had completely taken over American society and our television sets.


Task 1: Watch the Introductory Video to this Unit (5 minutes)

Task 2: Review the provided videos and attached links for Television during the 2000's (25 minutes)

Task 3: Share Your Findings on Google Classroom (20 minutes)


Dramas in the 2000's were gaining popularity as Americas were getting tired of the sparkly image of sitcoms.  Americans wanted to see reality reflected on the screen and as a result a renewed interest in police procedural shows and work place dramas.  This shift allows for new issues to be discussed like the concept of masculinity or the struggle of the human condition as characters look out for one another even in tough times. 


Original Release September 22, 2004 – May 23, 2010 

No. of Seasons 6

No. of Episodes 121

Stars Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia, Maggie Grace, Josh Holloway, Malcolm David Kelley, Daniel Dae Kim

Network ABC

"The past, present, and future lives of surviving Oceanic Flight 815 passengers are dramatically intertwined as a fight for survival ensues in a quest for answers after crashlanding on a mysterious island. Each discovery prompts yet more secrets, as the hastily-formed colony search for a way off the island, or is this their home?"  - IMDB

The Sopranos

Original Release January 10, 1999 – June 10, 2007 

No. of Seasons 6

No. of Episodes 86

Stars James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli, Dominic Chianese, Steven Van Zandt, Tony Sirico, Robert Iler, Jamie-Lynn Sigler

Network HBO

"An innovative look at the life of fictional Mafia Capo Tony Soprano, this serial is presented largely first person, but additional perspective is conveyed by the intimate conversations Tony has with his psychotherapist. We see Tony at work, at home, and in therapy. Moments of black comedy intersperse this aggressive, adult drama, with adult language, and extreme violence." - IMDB

The Wire

Original Release June 2, 2002 – March 9, 2008 

No. of Seasons 5

No. of Episodes 60

Stars Dominic West, John Doman, Idris Elba, Frankie Faison, Larry Gilliard Jr., Wood Harris, Deirdre Lovejoy, Wendell Pierce, Lance Reddick, Andre Royo

Network HBO

"The streets of Baltimore as a microcosm of the US's war on drugs, and of US urban decay in general. Seen not only through the eyes of a few policemen and drug gang members but also the people who influence and inhabit their world - politicians, the media, drug addicts and everyday citizens"  - IMDB

Game Shows And Reality Television

Reality TV is the genre of programming in which the everyday routines of “real life” people (as opposed to fictional characters played by actors) are followed closely by the cameras”. In this genre there are three major categories of shows: game shows, dating shows, and talent shows.   The 2000s was a time of reality game shows with the creation of shows like Survivor that asked everyday p[people to survive on an island with strangers for a chance at a million dollars, or Big Brother which placed everyday people in a house for a summer and the person who makes it to the end wins big bucks.  An era of television centered around vanity and fame was in full effect, the world could not turn away as American Idol searched for the next music superstar or as contestants show their feats of strength on American Ninja Warrior. 

American Idol

Original Release June 11, 2002 – April 7, 2016

No. of Seasons 15

No. of Episodes 568

Stars Ryan Seacrest, Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson, (and various contestants - i.e. Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, Adam Lambert and others)

Network FOX

"Twelve finalists and/or future singers (six men and six women) who were selected from America, compete in a talent contest in which they were asked to sing any song they like on this "Star Search" clone. After each song that was sung, the judges, Abdul, Jackson and Cowell, then critique that finalist's chosen song. After each show's ending, America must vote for a finalist to whom they really think their performance is good using this AT&T or any other cellular phone to cast votes with. Once the votes are locked in, the judges and America decides who has the most and the least amount of votes, and the contestant with the least amount of votes is eliminated, and it goes on each week's show until the winner is crowned as "American Idol," where he/she wins a recording contract worth up to $1,000,000. " - IMDB


Original Release May 31, 2000 – Present 

No. of Seasons 44 (and counting)

No. of Episodes 648 (and counting)

Stars Jeff Probst (and various contestants)

Network CBS

"Sixteen average Americans (divided into two tribes which eventually merge into one) were sequestered on the deserted island of Pulau Tiga for 39 days. For their stay, they must learn to live as a tribe, although eventually, it is everyone for themselves. They compete in challenges for "luxuries" (a barbecue, a phone call home, etc.) and immunity. Every three days, the losers of the latter challenges must face tribal council, where they will account for their actions by voting one person off of the island. At the end of day 39, there will be only one survivor left who will leave the island with one million dollars."  - IMDB

Big Brother

Original Release July 5, 2000 – Present 

No. of Seasons 25 (and counting)

No. of Episodes 855 (and counting)

Stars Julie Chen Moonves, Ian O'Malley

Network CBS

"Based on the Dutch series, thirteen strangers who are living in a studio-like house that's filled with cameras and microphones, compete in a series of physical and mental stunts, and some challenging trivia at a chance at $500,000 in this reality soap opera-like summer program. Thirteen of those house guests live in 13 different states. America will watch every single move they compete to be the last one standing, after having twelve house guests evicted. The thirteen will be living in the same house for the following two months. " - IMDB

Amazing Race

Original Release September 5, 2001 – Present

No. of Seasons 34 (and counting)

No. of Episodes 396 (and counting)

Stars Phil Keoghan

Network CBS

"Multiple teams race around the globe for $1,000,000 to 'amazing' locations. "  - IMDB

Fear Factor (Season 1 Episode 1 - 43 min).mp4

Fear Factor

Original Release June 11, 2001 – September 12, 2006 

No. of Seasons 6

No. of Episodes 142

Stars Joe Rogan

Network NBC

"In each pulse-racing "Fear Factor" episode, contestants (sometimes solo, often paired with spouses, siblings or best friends) recruited from across the nation must decide if they have the guts and determination to face their most primal fears. Under the supervision of professional Hollywood stunt coordinators, contestants are confronted with a series of challenging stunts. If they complete their task they advance; if fear stops them from completing a stunt or they fail the mission, they are immediately eliminated. The contestant who wins the final challenge takes home the prize." - IMDB

American Ninja Warrior

Original Release December 12, 2009 – Present 

No. of Seasons 15 (and counting)

No. of Episodes 216 (and counting)

Stars Blair Herter, Alison Haislip, Matt Iseman, Jimmy Smith, Jonny Moseley, Angela Sun, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, Jenn Brown, Kristine Leahy, Zuri Hall

Network G4, NBC

"Contestants run, jump, crawl, climb, hang, and swing through crazy obstacles as they compete to become the next American Ninja champion." - IMDB


The genre of the situation comedy has come a long way since the early days of the 1950s and 1960s, but in many ways, plenty of familiar characters and stories have remained the same. In the early 2000s, the majority of the sitcoms you could find were built upon the same tried and true format that had worked for decades. Many of the most successful early 2000s sitcoms followed the daily lives of an extended family, featuring a childish husband, a nagging wife, annoying children of differing ages, and either grandparents, neighbors, or immature friends.  (https://screenrant.com/early-2000s-sitcoms-defined-era-tv/ )

The Office

Original Release March 24, 2005 – May 16, 2013 

No. of Seasons 9

No. of Episodes 201

Stars Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B. J. Novak, Melora Hardin, David Denman, Leslie David Baker, Brian Baumgartner, Kate Flannery, Angela Kinsey, Oscar Nunez, Phyllis Smith, Ed Helms, Mindy Kaling, Paul Lieberstein, Creed Bratton, Craig Robinson

Network NBC

"A mediocre paper company in the hands of Scranton, PA branch manager Michael Scott. This mockumentary follows the everyday lives of the manager and the employees he "manages." The crew follows the employees around 24/7 and captures their quite humorous and bizarre encounters as they will do what it takes to keep the company thriving." - IMDB


Original Release May 19, 2009 – March 20, 2015 

No. of Seasons 6

No. of Episodes 121

Stars Dianna Agron, Chris Colfer, Jessalyn Gilsig, Jane Lynch, Jayma Mays, Kevin McHale, Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Matthew Morrison, Amber Riley, Mark Salling

Network FOX

"A group of ambitious misfits try to escape the harsh realities of high school by joining a glee club headed by a passionate Spanish teacher." - IMDB

How I Met Your Mother

Original Release September 19, 2005 – March 31, 2014

No. of Seasons 9

No. of Episodes 208

Stars Bob Saget, Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris, Alyson Hannigan, Cristin Milioti

Network CBS

"Ted Mosby sits down with his kids, to tell them the story of how he met their mother. The story is told through memories of his friends Marshall, Lily, Robin, and Barney Stinson. All legendary 9 seasons lead up to the moment of Ted's final encounter with "the one."" - IMDB


Cartoons in the 2000's were able to diversify much like the rest of television in the decades prior.  While new adult cartoons had already hit the airways the 2000's allowed for networks to specialize in different types of entertainment.  Nickelodeon was able to produce shows that appeal to young and pre-teen kids like the Fairly Odd Parents and Jimmy Neutron while channels like Fox and MTV were able to produce adult cartoons like the Simpsons, Family Guy and others.  Networks like the cartoon network aired and produced both adult and children's content, separating their audience by the hours these shows were on - child friendly shows during the day and adult programming at night.   Creators continued to push the envelope of what was appropriate with new technology and plot lines that challenged their viewers and American family values.

The Fairly Odd Parents

Original Release March 30, 2001 – July 26, 2017 

No. of Seasons 10

No. of Episodes 172

Stars Tara Strong, Susanne Blakeslee, Daran Norris, Carlos Alazraqui, Grey DeLisle, Matthew W. Taylor, Kari Wahlgren

Network Nickelodeon

"Timmy Turner, a 10-year-old boy, has had it with his cruel babysitter, neglectful parents and sadist teacher. Due to his misery, he summons his fairy godparents who have the power to grant him wishes. Some of the wishes are really helpful, others don't work out so well. Timmy's fairy godparents Cosmo and Wanda have ideas of their own and always lead Timmy on many magical adventures."  - IMDB

The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius

Original Release July 20, 2002 – November 25, 2006 

No. of Seasons 2

No. of Episodes 55

Stars Debi Derryberry, Rob Paulsen, Jeffrey Garcia, Frank Welker, Carolyn Lawrence, Crystal Scales, Mark DeCarlo, Megan Cavanagh, Candi Milo, Andrea Martin, Tim Curry

Network Nickelodeon

"Follows James Isaac "Jimmy" Neutron (Debi Derryberry), his faithful robotic dog, Goddard (Frank Welker), and his eclectic friends and family as they experience life in Retroville. Jimmy is a typical kid, who just happens to be a genius. He creates gadgets to improve his everyday life, but his inventions go awry more often then not, and hilarious trouble ensues." - IMDB

Family Guy

Original Release January 31, 1999 – Present

No. of Seasons 21

No. of Episodes 409

Stars Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Lacey Chabert, Mila Kunis, Mike Henry, Patrick Warburton, Arif Zahir

Network FOX

"In a wacky Rhode Island town, a dysfunctional family strives to cope with everyday life as they are thrown from one crazy scenario to another." - IMDB

Talk Shows

The Daytime and Late Night talk show segment of television in the 2000's was changing once again as shows like the Daily Show imagined what it meant to entertain and make a difference.  Jimmy Kimmel entered the Late Night talk show space on ABC, this meant that for the first time all three major networks had a late night talk show.  These shows were like their daytime counterparts, but often had more adult humor and discussions.  Daytime shows like Ellen DeGeneres gain significant popularity during the 2000's after Oprah and Rosie O'Donnell changed the landscape of daytime television from trash TV to mom and family time.  Hosts took on real social issues and inspired their audience to do more.  Alternative talk shows like The Colbert Report also presented political news in a satirical fashion that made issues more relatable and highlighted the hypocrisy of many politicians and public relations pushes of the time.  While once thought of as a joke or a distraction shows like this became increasingly important to the political landscape of America.

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Original Release January 26, 2003 – Present 

No. of Seasons 21 (and counting)

No. of Episodes 3,588 (and couting)

Stars Jimmy Kimmel, Guillermo Rodriguez, Sal Iacono, Cleto and the Cletones


"Emmy-winning funnyman Jimmy Kimmel serves up comedy bits and welcomes guests that include other comics, celebrities, athletes, and musicians, as well as everyday people with unusual or compelling personal stories. Kimmel's family and friends take part in the festivities, including his Cousin Sal, Uncle Frank (until his death in 2011), and childhood friend Cleto Escobedo III, who leads the show's house band. " - IMDB

The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Original Release September 8, 2003 – May 26, 2022

No. of Seasons 19

No. of Episodes 3,294

Stars Ellen DeGeneres 

Network Sydication

"A mix of celebrity interviews, musical performers, audience participation games, and segments spotlighting real people with extraordinary stories and talents." - IMDB

The Colbert Report

Original Release October 17, 2005 – December 18, 2014 

No. of Seasons 11

No. of Episodes 1,447

Stars Stephen Colbert

Network Comedy Central

"Satirical newscaster Stephen Colbert provides humorous commentary on the big issues going on in the United States and the rest of the world, with his larger-than-life ego and overly-patriotic spirit along with him every step of the way." - IMDB