2000 was such a different era for television. Other than, like, The Simpsons still being on the air there is little connection to that era. The idea of streaming? Forget about it! People watched shows when they aired. Most television was appointment television. Hell, SportsCenter was still valuable. The internet existed, but it was not nearly what it is now. Some people were still using AOL, and it wasn’t completely insane! Let’s go back to the first year of the new millennium. Let’s see what the landscape of television was in 2000, when we were sitting down in front of a tube TV.
First, I want to say that this was the year the terrible show Son of the Beach debuted. It was a lazy, lame bro comedy produced by Howard Stern. The show spoofed Baywatch, but in the same way, say, Meet the Spartans parodied 300. You can just read the Wikipedia page and recognize the show is lousy. A friend and I actually once derisively read through the Wikipedia page on our old podcast. Timothy Stack, who co-created the show and starred in it, still has a Google alert for Son of the Beach. I know this because he sent my friend the most obnoxious, smug email complaining about us not liking his show and talking trash about it. Apparently we did not have the level of respect for a show where a female character is named “B.J. Cummings” that Stack wanted. The only reason I bring this show up is to point out what a petty man Stack is.
Big Brother debuted in the summer of 2000, which is significant even if it is a bad reality show. Other notable shows debuting include Malcolm and the Middle, Dora the Explorer, and CSI. Perhaps most notably, 2000 was basically the birth of Adult Swim, which is significant. Sealab 2021, The Brak Show, Harvey Birdman, and Aqua Teen all debuted that December. For stoners and teenagers, this was huge. And don’t get me started on the teenaged stoners!
Meanwhile, while Adult Swim was being born, a ton of Nickelodeon shows were cancelled in 2000, including Kenan and Kel. Also, sadly, we lost Shasta McNasty. Honestly, this was not a big year for shows ending or milestones. It wasn’t a bad year for new shows, but weirdly 2000 was unremarkable. That doesn’t make sense on paper. Wouldn’t they have wanted to make a big deal about a new millennium of television? I guess they didn’t. This was just another year for TV. At least it gave us Adult Swim. As for The Simpsons, it was in the middle of a pretty mediocre run right about this time. In 1995, though, we are going to be in the prime of the greatest show of all time.