The 2000s have come and gone, leaving a few traces of its existence behind. The 2000s were ruled by Razr phones, choker necklaces, butterfly clips, and MySpace. But the 2000s were also a time for sitcoms that were largely centered around families. In today’s world, sitcoms are usually about the workplace and friendships, such as Parks and Recreation or The Big Bang Theory — the theme has changed since the early 2000s sitcoms.
Before there was Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, there was good ol’ fashion cable television that hosted sitcoms for the whole family to watch. Many of these shows are long since forgotten, but they deserve a rewatch.
Updated on September 22nd, 2021 by Lynn Gibbs: Family sitcoms in the 2000s mainly focused on one thing: life at home. Many centered on the parents finding a balance between work, play, and getting their kids on the right path. Likewise, many fans watched said kids go through typical growth spurts as they found their independence. These shows were relatable for viewers. Today, sitcoms still focus on family (i.e Modern Family and Mixed-ish) but they’ve also expanded their repertoire. But as great as these modern sitcoms are, nothing beats 2000s family sitcoms and even the forgotten ones warrant some praise.
10 Honorable Mention: Dharma & Greg (1997–2002)
● Available on Hulu
Dharma & Greg may have started in the late ’90s but the bulk of its run was actually during the 2000s. Created by Chuck Lorre, the sitcom ran for five seasons and had over 110 episodes. What made this series fun was that Dharma and Greg got married after having one date together.
Despite their vast differences, the two get to know each other once they’re married. Dharma was seen as the free-spirit who was hyper-emotional whereas Greg was a lawyer and wasn’t used to his feelings. According to Looper, the series ended because it wasn’t performing well with viewers. However, that doesn’t mean that this underrated sitcom shouldn’t get a rewatch.
9 So Little Time (2001)
● Available for purchase on Apple TV
So Little Time was a TV series starring Olsen sisters Mary-Kate and Ashley as Riley and Chloe Carlson. The sitcom ran for just one season as it followed the sisters throughout their days at high school, work, and play. So Little Time would be the Olsen twins’ last sitcom to date but it was a likable TV series regardless. Although it only lasted for one season, it’s still widely loved, with reruns playing on Disney.
According to its Fandom page, the show ended due to network changes because Fox Family soon became ABC Family.
8 8 Simple Rules (2002–2005)
● Available for purchase on Apple TV
After John Ritter starred as Jack Tripper in Three’s Company but before Kaley Cuoco was Penny in The Big Bang Theory, there was 8 Simple Rules starring not only John Ritter and Kaley Cuoco, but also Katey Sagal as the mom of the family.
8 Simple Rules had some great episodes but it only lasted for three seasons as it focused mostly on the struggles of being a dad with teenage daughters. It was based on the book 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter written by W. Bruce Cameron. Sadly, John Ritter’s tragic death played a role in the series being canceled, as it was hard to recover from the loss of such a great star.
7 Grounded For Life (2001–2005)
● Available on Peacock, Roku, and Fubo TV
Families were a big theme for the sitcoms of the 2000s, as Grounded For Life was one of many that focused on family matters. Parents, Claudia and Sean, have a lot of learning to do as they try to grow up themselves while raising their three children.
With the help of Eddy, Sean’s offbeat brother, and Walt, Sean’s old-fashioned Catholic-Irish father, Claudia and Sean are able to be the best parents they can be while still having their fun from time to time. The series aired for five seasons before it was canceled. Every parent who is young at heart could relate to the Finnertys’ struggle while getting a laugh as they watched the family’s comedic ups and downs.
6 Still Standing (2002–2006)
● Available on Tubi and Pluto TV
Still Standing had four seasons under its belt by the time it ended and it was yet another sitcom of the 2000s with the main focus being parents trying to figure out how to raise their kids. The series centered on blue-collar Chicago parents Judy and Bill, who attempt to find common ground in their differing parenting styles as they raise their three children, Brian, Lauren, and Tina.
Judy was a strong, notable sitcom mom while Bill was seen as the laidback, “lazy” dad. Along for the ride is Linda, Judy’s unwed sister who tries to help out with the kids while still being the fun aunt. Sadly, the 2000s sitcom was canceled due to low viewership, according to TV Series Finale.
5 What I Like About You (2002–2006)
● Available on HBO Max and for purchase on Apple TV
What I Like About You, starring Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth, had a total of four seasons. The series told the story of two sisters who live together in Manhattan. Val, played by Jennie Garth, is forced to take in her younger sister Holly, played by Amanda Bynes, when their father leaves for Japan.
Along with the two sisters trying to figure out how to live together, the show also involved strong friendships and the ups and downs of romantic relationships. Every older and younger sister can relate to the frustrating and loving times that Holly and Val shared, even today.
4 Rules Of Engagement (2007–2013)
● Available on Starz, Directv, Spectrum on Demand, and Roku
Rules of Engagement was one of the only sitcoms in the 2000s that focused on a friend group without parenting responsibilities. The series had some great episodes, airing from 2007 to 2013 with a total of 7 seasons. It focused on the friend dynamic between a married couple, Audrey and Jeff, a committed dating couple, Jennifer and Adam, and their fun-loving single friend Russell, played by David Spade.
Also joining in on the fun as the voice of reason was Timmy, Russell’s sensible assistant. Even though the series never received high reviews from critics, it always had high ratings as fans found the shenanigans of the group comical and relatable. According to Entertainment Weekly, the show was canceled due to “performance pressure” as the ratings were dipping.
3 Reba (2001–2007)
● Available on Hulu and Directv
Reba McEntire is a woman of many talents, as she is not only a singer of country music which has earned her several Academy of Country Music awards, but she is also a talented actress. For 6 seasons, Reba McEntire starred in her sitcom series Reba. This family-friendly show helped to define the 2000s era.
The sitcom was about a newly divorced mother learning how to not only be a single working mom, but also how to deal with her ex-husband’s obnoxious new wife Barbara Jean, played by Melissa Peterman. If the divorce wasn’t life-changing enough, Reba also finds out her teenage daughter is pregnant. The twists and turns of the series had fans rooting for Reba the entire time. Unfortunately, according to Country Rebel, the show was canned after WB Network merged with The CW.
2 According To Jim (2001-2009)
● Available for purchase on Apple TV, Amazon Prime, and Google Play
For eight seasons, fans watched the immature antics of Jim play out while his wife, Cheryl, patiently and loving, puts up with not only him but also her childish brother and sister, Andy and Dana, who are constantly barging in.
According to Jim followed the family life of married couple Jim and Cheryl. The couple has three children, eventually having five altogether, and while Jim is the one who goes to work every day, Cheryl is the one who holds everything together. TV Series Finale noted the series ended due to low ratings.
1 The New Adventures Of Old Christine (2006-2010)
● Available on HBO Max and Directv
Fans of the popular ’90s show Seinfeld were excited to see Julia Louis-Dreyfus back in the world of sitcoms in 2006 when she starred in the series The New Adventures of Old Christine. The series lasted for five seasons and was one of Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s best roles.
Louis-Dreyfus had a much different role this time around. Instead of playing a never married and childless best friend to a stand-up comedian, Julia played a divorced mom in her role as Christine Campbell. Not only is Christine a mother but she is also a gym owner. Elaine Benes would not approve of Christine’s responsibility-filled lifestyle. Sadly, the creator Kari Lizer believes the show was canceled due to sexism as it was never fully supported by CBS, according to Entertainment Weekly.
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