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8 Great Bingeable Dramas You May Have Missed from the Early 00s

From 'NCIS' to 'ER,' popular dramas of the early 2000s are worth the watch!

While we have plenty of current shows to choose from in today’s vast television canvas, we say it’s never too late to start watching some true gems you may have missed the first time around, especially the 2000s TV shows.

This decade carried some of TV’s best-ever dramas — particularly crime dramas — and many of these shows will not seem dated today, because we were already in the modern internet and cell phone era when the majority of them were made. All of these 2000s TV shows that made the list are available on at least one streaming platform, and most of them are on DVD as well.

So, when you have time to kill, we recommend making some popcorn, curling up on the couch and diving into a glorious binge with these amazing two-plus-decade-old television shows. Better 20 years late to a pop culture party than never, right?

8. Cold Case (2003-2010): 2000s TV Shows

Detectives in “Cold Case” posed
Cast of “Cold Case” (2003) Productions

If you like smart, riveting shows with drama, thrills and suspense, along with history — and, if you like those that touch your heart — you’ll find all of those qualities and more in the seven seasons of Cold Case. Fans of this CBS show, which ran from 2003 to 2010, will tell you that Cold Case is the most brilliant crime drama ever made, mostly because it goes far beyond the simple “whodunit” formula and morphs into more of a “whydunit.”

This Philadelphia squad of homicide detectives specializes in cold (i.e. unsolved) cases that everyone else has given up on, and as things unfold — with the layers of years-old mysteries gradually being peeled back — the audience comes to understand what motivates people to do the unthinkable. Aside from this additional layer of depth and emotion, Cold Case is unique in its historical element, portrayed through very smart flashbacks, complete with pop music from a specific period, dual actors playing characters then and now, and even old-fashioned cinematography that recreates eras that can date all the way back to 1919.

Every Cold Case episode interweaves thrills, therapy sessions, history lessons and unique soundtracks. This is a Jerry Bruckheimer masterpiece, and Kathryn Morris dazzles as Detective Lilly Rush.

Watch Cold Case on Max now!

7. Ghost Whisperer (2005-2010)

Cast of "ghost whisperer"; 2000s TV Shows
Cast of Ghost Whisperer (2005)CBS Television Studios

If you missed Ghost Whisperer, and you like both tearjerking drama and the spooky supernatural, start streaming this: We guarantee you will love this 2005-2010 gem starring Jennifer Love Hewitt as Melinda Gordon, who has the ability to see and communicate with ghosts. In each episode over its five seasons, the spirit of a deceased person pursues Melinda because he or she has unfinished business with the living and only she can help.

These spirits can either be lighthearted or downright scary, but at one time each of them was a living being with feelings and lives of their own. Melinda’s efforts to discover the circumstances of their deaths, while simultaneously orchestrating a resolution of sorts with their loves ones, touches our hearts.

At the end of most episodes, the spirits have healed their issues, and Melinda witnesses them crossing over to the loving peace of the light in the great beyond. Make sure you have a tissue handy for these endings.

Watch Ghost Whisperer on Pluto TV now!

RELATED: See the ‘Ghost Whisperer’ Cast Then and Now — Plus, Jennifer Love Hewitt Talks a Reboot!

6. CSI (2000-2015)

man sitting at desk and woman standing;
William Petersen and Marg Helgenberger in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000) Productions

Crime dramas and police procedural fans can’t go wrong with any of the five shows from the CSI series — which launched in 2000 with the original, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, running for 15 seasons Following the first CSI came spinoffs came CSI: Miami in 2002; CSI: NY in 2004; CSI: Cyber in 2015; and CSI: Vegas; a sequel to the original that started in 2021 and is still in production.

The immensely popular, Emmy-winning franchise has produced more than 800 episodes, with many people ranking the original as the best of the series – a valid argument, since it lasted 15 seasons, which is by far the longest. But at the same time, we give a special shout-out to the one you most likely missed – CSI: Cyber, which lasted only two seasons and was maligned by many. But we enjoyed it. The lovely Patricia Arquette as Special Agent Avery Ryan is reason alone to watch these 2000s TV shows, which deals with ultra-modern and high-tech cybercriminals.

Watch CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: NY, CSI: Miami on Pluto TV now! CSI: Cyber is available on Apple TV+ and CSI: Vegas is available on CBS!

5. Medium (2005-2011)

cast of "Medium"; 2000s TV Shows
Cast of “Medium” (2005) Network Television

Speaking of Arquette, she gives an amazing five-season performance in the supernatural drama Medium, which ran 2005 to 2011, first on NBC and then CBS. Arquette’s character, Allison DeBois, has a special gift: She receives messages from the dead about their deaths or other crimes while she sleeps. The show combines spooky intrigue with human-interest drama, as Allison balances her personal life with helping law enforcement solve crimes.

Watch Medium on Pluto TV now!

4. NCIS (2000-present): 2000s TV Shows

cast of NCIS
Cast of NCIS (2003) Productions

Another long-running winner that you can both catch up on and see new episodes of in the present is NCIS, which stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Originally starring legend Mark Harmon, who left the show in 2021, NCIS is nonetheless going strong now in its 21st season on CBS. In this military-based crime drama, the cast investigates criminal cases connected to people in the Marine Corps and Navy.

Despite the loss of Harmon and a few other fan favorites, NCIS remains popular because of its characters, and its crime procedural format. People love this show because, unlike real life, the good guys always win, and the bad guys always lose.

Watch NCIS on Netflix now!

RELATED: Mark Harmon Young: A Look Back at How the Handsome ‘NCIS’ Star Got His Start

3. JAG (1995-2005)

cast of JAG; 2000s TV Shows
Cast of “JAG” (1995) Productions

There’s more military crime drama in the form of JAG, started in 1995 on NBC and running for 10 seasons — nine of them on CBS – with the final episode airing in 2005. JAG actually was the parent series that led to spinoff NCIS!

JAG, which stands for Judge Advocate General, was originally perceived as a hybrid of the movies Top Gun and A Few Good Men, since it deals with naval crimes. Many episodes of JAG, starring David James Elliott and others, were fictionalized versions of real-life cases from the headlines. It’s a riveting crime drama.

Watch JAG on Pluto TV now!

2. The Closer (2005-2012): 2000s TV Shows

Kyra Sedgwick in detective office
Kyra Sedgwick in “The Closer” (2005) Bros. Television

In The Closer, Kyra Sedgwick dazzles as the force-of-nature Brenda Leigh Johnson of the LAPD. They call her a “closer,” because she has a reputation for closing the deal on cases by dragging confessions out of homicide suspects and solving crimes.

The TNT series lasted seven seasons, and people love it because it’s smart combination of intrigue, thrills, humor and passion. We miss Brenda’s legendary interrogation skills, but we can binge watch this awesome show anytime we want.

Watch The Closer on Youtube TV now!

RELATED: Kyra Sedgwick Movies and TV Shows: 14 of the Beautiful Star’s Best Roles

1. ER (1994-2009)

Doctors and nurses in ER; 2000s TV Shows
Cast of “ER” (1994) c Productions

The sensational ER, one of the most popular of the 2000s TV shows, started its 15-season run in 1994 and continued almost through the end of the first decade of the new millennium. People who didn’t get around to watching the medical drama when it aired, and have only recently gotten sucked into the ER cult via streaming reruns, are seeing just what all the fuss was about. Besides the very dated looking vending machines and cars, and (especially) the absence of cell phones in the earlier seasons, the series has aged well and seems contemporary.

Almost every ER episode portrays the crazy days of an urban emergency room, with cases ranging from level-one traumas to just about anything you can imagine would bring a person through those hospital doors. The show captures the emotions of the patients, while documenting the private dramas of the good-looking doctors and nurses. As far as 2000s TV shows go, ER is certainly a must-watch!

Watch ER on Max now!

RELATED: Cast of ‘ER’ Then and Now: Catch Up With the Stars of the Iconic Medical Drama

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