What’s the first thing you did when you got home from school in the 2000s? It probably wasn’t homework. Most likely you grabbed a snack and headed right for the boob tube. There were plenty of networks to watch, including Disney, Nickelodeon, and MTV. What was your favorite show? Lizzie McGuire? TRL? Even Stevens? Check out some of the best and most popular after-school shows of the decade…
SpongeBob SquarePants Has Generated Billions In Revenue
SpongeBob SquarePants premiered on Nickelodeon on July 7, 1999, and was hugely popular by the time the second season aired. The animated show follows the adventures of the titular character and his pals, including Patrick Star and Krusty Krab, in underwater city Bikini Bottom. The show turned into a media powerhouse, generating billions of dollars in revenue from merchandising. It’s even popular in the Middle East in countries such as Egypt and Libya. Fun facts about SpongeBob: He was born in 1986. The creator of the show, Stephen Hillenburg, is a marine biologist. A fungus was named after SpongeBob in 2011: Spongiforma Squarepantsii.
Ashton Kutcher Was The King Of Punk’d
Ashton Kutcher’s hidden camera series Punk‘d premiered on MTV in 2003. Similar to Candid Camera and TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes, the series targeted unsuspecting celebrities. One who is “punk’d” is a victim of one of Ashton’s pranks. Singer Justin Timberlake was the victim of the first episode. He was told government agents were seizing his property because he failed to pay income taxes. Other celebs who appeared on the show include: Demi Lovato, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Chris Brown, John Cena, and Zac Efron. Kutcher said in 2016 that his favorite episode involved rapper Drake. Producers pretended he was experiencing an earthquake in a parking garage.
Hillary Duff Says Lizzie McGuire Was Very Relatable
Lizzie McGuire aired on the Disney Channel from 2001 to 2004. It centered on a 13-year-old shy and clumsy girl who dealt with typical teenage problems who happened to have an animated alter ego. Actress Hillary Duff said of the series in 2017: “I loved it and honestly it prepared me for so much. And I think just like everyone else, that it hit them when they needed it to at that time of their life, it did the same thing for me. I totally related to her, loved her, felt like I was her completely. And I loved that she was just so relatable. But I’m kind of glad to move on from that.”
That’s So Raven Was Supernatural Fun
Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven aired from 2003 to 2007 (reruns aired through 2011). It centered on teen Raven Baxter (Raven-Symone), who had psychic abilities. The show spawned two spin-offs, including Raven’s Home in which Raven plays a divorced mom with twins. The actress later said of bringing back the character: “I really don’t have to worry about anything when I play her. She’s just fun. When I’m off set, I have to be me and worry about this and this and this. But [when I play] her, I can let all my inhibitions go, and let myself free.”
Even Stevens Launched Shia LaBeouf’s Career
Even Stevens centered on the Stevens family, particularly the youngest siblings, Ren and Louis. It aired on the Disney Channel from 2000 to 2003. The show is considered actor Shia LaBeouf’s breakout role and was known for its fast motion photography. In 2016, MTV asked Christy Carlson Romano if she’d be open to a reunion. She said: “Of course I would! Do you think Shia would do it? Recently I spoke with the guys at Robot Chicken via social media—and they laughed at the idea of doing it in claymation. That kind of mirrors our opening sequence anyways…”
Not Everyone Was Happy With Their Pimp My Ride Cars
Rapper Xzibit hosted the MTV series Pimp My Ride from 2004 to 2007. A car in bad condition was restored and transformed into something entirely different. The show was met with controversy because the vehicles didn’t always run well after getting customized. And participants complained about it. The response? “As much as it was a showy, fun show, the intention was never to make it seem like we were fixing these cars and turning them into $1 million cars on the inside,” casting director Nick Chiodini told BuzzFeed. “It was about fulfilling a dream for a kid in college.”
MTV Cribs Featured Celebrity Excess
MTV Cribs let fans see inside their favorite celebrities’ homes and mansions. More than 185 musicians, actors, and athletes appeared on the program over the course of 13 seasons. The most popular episode was a special one-hour edition featuring Mariah Carey’s New York penthouse. Other episodes featured celebs such as Tony Hawk, Destiny’s Child, Naomi Campbell, and 50 Cent, who showed off his 19-bedroom and 35-bath mansion in Connecticut. The rapper spotlighted his basketball courts, pools, studio and cinema room. Another highlight? The closet for his trainers. He said: “I don’t know when it’s going to be the right time for me to wear yellow shoes.”
Kim Possible Was One Of Disney’s Most Popular Shows
The animated adventure Kim Possible aired on Disney from 2002 to 2007. It featured the titular character dealing with high school life while fighting crime alongside her sidekick Ron Stoppable, his naked mole rat Rufus, and their computer genius pal Wade. The series was intended to show a strong female protagonist in the vein of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Alias. The premiere was the most-watched of any Disney Channel original series. Fans brought the show back after it was canceled by the network in 2005. The series is considered one of the channel’s greatest and most successful of all time.
The Fairly OddParents Is America’s Longest-Running Fantasy Series
The Fairly OddParents centers on the adventures of Timmy Turner, a boy who has two fairy godparents named Cosmo and Wanda. It was originally an animated short that was turned into a series because of its popularity. It lasted for five seasons on Nickelodeon until 2006 but was picked up again in 2008. The cartoon is the longest-running fantasy TV series in U.S. television history. The show’s creator, Butch Hartman, announced in February 2018 that he was leaving the network after 20 years. It’s unclear what effect his decision will have on the popular program. He’s been with Nickelodeon since 1998.
The Actors On Drake & Josh Were Quite Close In Real Life
Nickelodeon’s Drake & Josh centers on two teenage boys with very different personalities — Drake Parker (Drake Bell) and Josh Nichols (Josh Peck) — who become stepbrothers. Both previously starred in The Amanda Show with actress Nancy Sullivan, who plays their mother. The show lasted for four seasons from 2004 to 2007. Bell talked about a possible Drake & Josh reunion in January 2018. He explained that he was definitely up for it. He told Billboard of working with Peck: “He was an only child, so I think I was really the closest thing that he would ever have to a brother and we were really close.”
Total Request Live Featured Everyone’s Favorite Stars
Total Request Live, or TRL, featured popular music videos on MTV. The series kicked off in 1998 and by season two featured Carson Daly as the host. Various musicians and celebs, such as Britney Spears, ‘NSYNC, Eminem and Destiny’s Child, would appear on the program to promote their projects. It initially featured the 10 most requested videos of the day and aired for one hour Monday through Thursday. The hosts changed over the years, and the show was canceled in 2008. TRL came back in 2017 but doesn’t seem to have captured the magic of the early 2000s, which enhanced the careers of so many stars.
The Proud Family Had A Lot Of Awesome Guest Stars
The animated sitcom The Proud Family aired on the Disney Channel from 2001 to 2005. The series centered on a young teen named Penny Proud and her friends and family. The theme song featured Destiny’s Child and Solange Knowles. One of the show’s most notable characters was Penny’s grandmother Suga Mama. Many celebs made guest appearances on the show, including NBC’s Al Roker, who played a genie, and Shia LaBeouf, who played a classmate that happened to be a paraplegic. Mos Def and Mariah Carey also made appearances. It featured a lot of music, dancing, and the struggles of growing up.
Jackass Spawned Numerous Spin-Offs
The reality show Jackass aired on MTV from 2000 to 2002. Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Steve-O, and their friends performed numerous dangerous, crude, and sometimes disgusting stunts to get a rise out of viewers. It was so popular, it spawned several spin-offs, including Wildboyz, Viva La Bam, Homewrecker, Bam’s Unholy Union, and Dr. Steve-O as well as three big-screen films. It was controversial because some believed the men were promoting dangerous behavior. Some content was so over the top it never aired. In one stunt gone wrong, Knoxville did a motorcycle stunt and he literally broke his manhood.
The Adventures Of Jimmy Neutron Only Lasted Three Seasons
The animated series The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius was a spinoff of a 2001 film. It aired on Nickelodeon for three seasons from 2002 to 2006. It centered on a young boy genius who invents things and gets into crazy adventures with his friends and family. Jimmy had an IQ of 210, most likely making him the smartest person in the world. In the early years of the show, Jimmy was Nickelodeon’s official mascot. It’s possible that the character had Autism, which is not uncommon for science nerds. There were plans for a fourth season, but the production company shut down.
Trading Spaces Sparked People’s Interest In Home Renovation Shows
The home renovation program Trading Spaces aired from 2000 to 2008 on TLC and Discovery Home. Hosted by Paige Davis, the series focused on two sets of neighbors who agreed to redecorate each other’s home using a designer and carpenter. The catch? They could only spend $1,000. The teams had some input into the homes they were redecorating. Popular designers included Vern Yip, Hildi Santo-Tomas, Doug Wilson, and Genevieve Gorder. The series is often credited with launching the numerous home decorating shows that are on the air today. The show is returning on April 7, 2018, a decade after it was canceled.
True Life Was (And Still Is) An Eye-Opening Series
The MTV documentary series True Life premiered in 1998 and still airs on the network. Each episode follows a certain theme, such as drug addiction and financial problems and is narrated by the participants. Other issues the show has tackled include being in a love triangle, life as a mixed martial artist, and participants who are bisexual. The program has received numerous GLAAD awards for its portrayal of LGBT issues. Some of its most shocking episodes have featured sex offenders, kids with parents who were porn stars, a young adult with schizophrenia, and adults who enjoyed wearing diapers.
Teen Titans Was One Of Cartoon Network’s Most Beloved Programs
The animated series Teen Titans aired on the Cartoon Network from 2003 until 2006. The show was based on the DC Comics characters of the same name. It was one of the network’s most popular shows. It centered on five teen superheroes who save the world from villains while dealing with everyday teen issues. In 2005, it was nominated for an Annie Award for Outstanding Storyboarding in an Animated Television Production. Reruns started airing in summer 2012 and again in 2017. The spinoff, Teen Titans Go! launched in 2013. It’s often listed as one of the best animated series of all time.
A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila Was A Huge Success For MTV
The dating show A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila aired on MTV in 2007 and starred 16 heterosexual men and 16 lesbians vying for the attention of MySpace personality and social media star Tila Tequila. The second season aired in 2008. The show was massively popular with viewers and debuted at number one in its time slot. It was the second highest-rated series premiere of the year, following Life of Ryan. The season finale drew 6.2 million viewers, making it MTV’s most-watched telecast at the time. Many conservative groups opposed the show because of Tila’s sexuality.
Avatar: The Last Airbender Was One Of Nickelodeon’s Best Shows
Avatar: The Last Airbender aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon from 2005 until 2008. It centered on 12-year-old Ang, who had the ability to manipulate the elements and strove to bring peace to the world by stopping the Fire Lord’s war. Critics and fans loved the show, which received Annie Awards, Genesis Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a Peabody Award. At the time of its premiere, it was Nickelodeon’s highest-rated animated television series in its demographic (6 to 11-year olds). The show was later syndicated to more than 105 countries and was ranked number one in Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Colombia.
My Super Sweet 16 Was All About Money, Money, Money (& The Occasional Tantrum)
MTV’s reality show My Super Sweet 16 premiered in 2005 and ran until 2008. The show centered on teens from the United States, Canada and Britain whose wealthy parents threw them over-the-top birthday parties. It wasn’t uncommon for teens to throw tantrums about their parties, to wear exorbitantly expensive outfits, to demand parties that were impossible to create, to receive insanely expensive cars as gifts, and to have celebrities perform at the events. Coming-of-age parties were also included in the series. Celebs such as Bow Wow, Sean Kingston, Aly and AJ, and Chris Brown had their parties featured on the program.