PROVIDENCE -- "The Whole Truth" -- Episode 17 -- Pictured: (l-r) Mike Farrell as Dr. James Hansen, Paula Cole as Joanie Hansen, Seth Peterson as Robbie Hansen, Concetta Tomei as Lynda Hansen, Weakest Link host Anne Robinson, and Melina Kanakaredes as Dr. Sydney Hansen -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

2001: A Television Odyssey

2001 did not turn out to be like the Stanley Kubrick film about a certain space odyssey. We were all watching things when they aired, and even the cable channels were less robust. AMC just showed movies. FX was far from a big player. This was a time when I used to watch reruns of stuff, even shows I didn’t like all that much, because I had to watch what was on. I don’t miss that, but do I miss the 2001 TV landscape?

This year was the end of WCW and the beginning of Kelly Ripa being Regis Philbin’s cohost. I watched one of those things, but not the other. Adult Swim debuted on Cartoon Network, which would be big for me as a teenager but has long fallen by the wayside as far as I’m concerned, save for the occasional revisit of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. Oh, also Alex Trebek shaved his mustache. R.I.P. to a legend. R.I.P. to a legendary mustache.

The Weakest Link debuted in the United States, and I watched it for a bit before tiring of it. I don’t like that concept for a game show personally. On the other hand, I liked the concept of That’s My Bush, but the show itself pretty much sucked. Fear Factor debuted, and I did watch it for a bit. I don’t know why. Everything about it is garbage. Ugh. What an awful show. On the complete opposite end of things we also got Unwrapped, which changed the Food Network. It became a network that wasn’t merely about cooking shows. It was pretty interesting too.

Hard Knocks let us into the world of the NFL, and that show still exists to this day. It was not a good year for new network shows, because I don’t like Scrubs. I did like Undeclared at the time, but I don’t know how I would feel about it if I watched it now. Speaking of network-changing shows, there’s Pardon the Interruption on ESPN. If you wonder why the network is teeming with shows where idiots yell at each other, you can point to the success of PTI.

Baywatch (TV Series 1989–2001) - IMDb

We lost some notable shows in 2001, including Baywatch. I can’t believe it held out for that long. Only one show I really enjoy came to a close that year, and that was 3rd Rock from the Sun. However, it got plenty of seasons and was ready to come to a conclusion. It has a pretty lousy series finale, though. Well, at least the alternate ending.

This was kind of a lackluster year. To be honest, I wasn’t even watching wrestling much in 2001. I tuned back in to watch WCW end, but the new shows aren’t all that notable and the shows that ended weren’t all that special. Honestly, the biggest thing to happen was probably the introduction of Adult Swim. That’s a change that has lasted to this day. Even if I am not a stoner teenager, I can appreciate that.

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