20 Beloved TV Shows You Won't Believe Are 20 Years Old

These classic TV series first aired in the year 2000, and some of them are still airing!

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Do you remember what you were watching at the turn of the millennium? Sure, there were all the '90s shows that carried into the new decade, but there were also a slew of new TV series that premiered in the year 2000. Depending on how old you were then, you might have gotten hooked on a kids' show like Dora the Explorer, teen entertainment like Gilmore Girls, or more mature fare like Curb Your Enthusiasm. Those familiar faves and more—including some that are still on the air today—are among the TV shows that are now 20 years old. And for more entertainment anniversaries to celebrate, revisit these 40 Movies Turning 40 This Year.

1
Gilmore Girls

still from gilmore girls
Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution

The fast-paced banter between mother-daughter duo Lorelai and Rory Gilmore—played by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel—made fans and critics fall in love with Gilmore Girls. It didn't hurt that the cozy vibe of Stars Hollow offered some much needed respite from the harsh realities of the early 2000s. And for more family-friendly series, try these 23 Great TV Shows to Watch as a Family.

2
Girlfriends

tracee ellis ross on girlfriends
CBS Television Distribution

Girlfriends was a series that showed the importance of a well-crafted ensemble—and putting funny, complex Black women on television. The show was an enormous success, at one point the longest-running live-action sitcom on the air. And now, after years of fans begging, it's finally coming to Netflix.

3
Malcolm in the Middle

frankie muniz on malcolm in the middle
20th Television

Life was unfair for titular child prodigy Malcolm (Frankie Muniz), who didn't fit in with his chaotic family. For many of us, this family sitcom was our first introduction to Bryan Cranston before his Breaking Bad fame (and the multiple Emmys he earned).

4
Big Brother

cast of big brother
CBS

It was in 2000 and not 1984 that the American version of Big Brother premiered, ushering in a new kind of reality television. The idea that people could be filmed 24/7—and more importantly, watched 24/7—was a total game-changer. Twenty years later, it's still going strong. And for some reality TV blasts from the past, check out our list of The 18 Most Hated People in Reality TV History.

5
Survivor

cast of survivor
MGM Worldwide Television Distribution

Big Brother wasn't the only genre-defining reality competition that premiered two decades ago. Survivor, which has aired a staggering 40 seasons since its 2000 debut, put a bunch of strangers on an island and let us watch them outwit, outplay, and outlast. TV has never been the same. And to see some reality stars who hit it big, these are The 30 Most Successful Reality TV Personalities of the Last 30 Years.

6
Curb Your Enthusiasm

still from curb your enthusiasm
HBO

Larry David stars as Larry David—or, OK, a somewhat fictionalized version of himself—on Curb Your Enthusiasm. And while the character isn't exactly easy to root for, the show has proved a massive success. In June, HBO renewed the series for an 11th season.

7
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

marg helgenberger on csi crime scene investigation
CBS Television Distribution

Who could have known when CSI: Crime Scene Investigation premiered on CBS in 2000 that it would chug along for 15 seasons? Not only that—the enduring procedural also spawned hit spinoffs CSI: Miami and CSI: NY. (CSI: Cyber lasted a respectable two seasons.) And for other long-running series to stream, discover The 20 TV Shows Streaming on Netflix That Have the Most Episodes.

8
Dark Angel

still from dark angel
20th Century Fox

Remember Dark Angel? You'd be forgiven if you don't. The show didn't exactly have the same cultural impact as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Still, it let Jessica Alba play a super-soldier fighting baddies in post-apocalyptic Seattle, which made the James Cameron-produced series worth a watch at the time. And for more information delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

9
Ed

still from ed
NBC

There was a certain kind of offbeat small town comedy-drama that really made sense in the early 2000s. Instead of the Gilmores, Ed gave us Tom Cavanagh's Ed Stevens, a lawyer who returns to his hometown and buys a bowling alley.

10
Trading Spaces

trading spaces
TLC

If you watched the original run of Trading Spaces, there are some things you'll never forget—namely the design choices of Hildi Santo-Tomas. The American take on the BBC's Changing Rooms quickly became a home design show staple. It even made a comeback in 2018. And for some reality series that may have slipped your mind, check out these 19 Reality TV Shows You Forgot Existed.

11
Young Americans

young americans DVD cover
Lions Gate Television

If you know, you know. Young Americans never really got the attention it should have, but the Dawson's Creek spinoff was certainly a moment for anyone watching The WB in the year 2000. It was hard not to fall in love with a young Kate Bosworth or the impossibly dreamy Ian Somerhalder.

12
MTV Cribs

mtv cribs logo
MTV

Stars—they're just like us! Well, not exactly, as it turns out. MTV Cribs offered us an exclusive (often highly fictionalized) look at how A-listers lived. Even 20 years after it premiered, MTV Cribs is still being talked about and memed, especially the iconic Mariah Carey episode and the show's unofficial tagline, "This is where the magic happens."

13
106 & Park

106 and park logo
BET

For 14 years, 106 & Park was one of BET's biggest success stories. The hip hop and R&B music video countdown show introduced viewers to an uncountable number of talented artists, and helped inform the tastes of a generation who grew up on it.

14
Boston Public

still from boston public
AF archive / Alamy Stock Photo

David E. Kelley's drama about public school teachers and their students didn't last as long as his hit series The Practice—with which it crossed over—but it did earn kudos for its great cast. The show included talented (and often underappreciated) names like Chi McBrideJessalyn GilsigSharon Leal, and Fyvush Finkel.

15
Even Stevens

still from even stevens
Buena Vista Television

Long before he became one of the most controversial names in Hollywood, Shia LaBeouf played Louis Stevens on this beloved Disney Channel family series. If you were a kid in the year 2000, you were tuning into Even Stevens. And you probably still remember all the lyrics to "We Went to the Moon in 1969."

16
Soul Food

soul food complete series dvd cover
Showtime

The 1997 film Soul Food inspired this Showtime series, which doesn't often get the credit it's due. With high ratings over the course of the show's five seasons, Soul Food was another groundbreaking show that revealed how hungry audiences were to see Black lives on television.

17
The 10th Kingdom

still from the 10th kingdom
Hallmark Entertainment

OK, so it wasn't a proper series, but yes, 20 years ago, the fairy tale mashup The 10th Kingdom aired over the course of five nights on NBC. At an impressive 10 hours long, the miniseries' modernized fable characters and dense mythology still have us remembering it fondly two decades later.

18
Yes, Dear

cast of yes dear
AF archive / Alamy Stock Photo

Mismatched married couples are a tried-and-true sitcom formula. Couple that with the kind of title that you can't believe hadn't been used already, and you can see why Yes, Dear spent six seasons on CBS following its 2000 premiere.

19
Dora the Explorer

dora the explorer
ViacomCBS Domestic Media Networks

It's hard to believe that if she were a real person, little Dora would now be 27 years old. On the Nickelodeon series, however, she's eternally 7, and she's been a staple of many childhoods since she first graced our screens. Maybe your kids loved her, or maybe she taught you some Spanish yourself. (And we're sorry in advance for getting "Swiper, no swiping" in your head again.)

20
Cheaters

cheaters logo
Goldenstein Pictures

A reality series about infidelity? Sounds like a recipe for disaster—and to be fair, Cheaters has caused its fair share of regrettable incidents—but people can't get enough. Now in syndication, the 20-year-old show is still breaking hearts.

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