Top Television Stars of the 2000s


The American Television industry surely saw some new faces in the 2000s as there was a major twist. During that decade, viewers were more interested in watching sitcoms that belonged to the comedy genre. Then, the performance of many actors and actresses has just been obscure and skillful. In this article, we spotlight the top television stars of the 2000s, highlighting their contributions to the small screen and how they left an indelible mark on the industry.

Popular Television Stars of the 2000s

This period saw the rise of television stars who would go on to define a generation of screen talent. From comedy to drama, these actors brought to life roles that resonated with viewers, earning critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base. Have a look at a few of the best television celebrities of the 2000s.

Neil Patrick Harris

Neil Patrick Harris

Perhaps one of the funniest yet classiest actors of 200ss was Neil Patrick Harris. Born in 1973, Neil started his career at the very young age of 16 when he took part in Doogie Howser, which helped him gain popularity in the industry. Most people know him as Barney Stinson from the famous show “How I Met Your Mother?” which lasted for almost nine years.

There have been numerous films, including Starship Troopers, The Smurfs Part 1 and 2, A Million Ways to Die in the West, Gone Girl, and others. Neil also took part in several musicals and got the award for Hedwig and the Angry Inch in 2014 for the Best Leading Actor in a physical. Neil has such a big fanbase that Times Magazine ranked him as one of the 100 Most Influential People in 2010. He is still quite active and planned for the release of “The Matrix 4”.

Josh Radnor

Joshua Thomas Radnor is another famous actor known for his lead role in the sitcom, “How I Met Your Mother?”. Radnor and Neil Harris have gone along very well on set, and this collaboration has resulted in the success of the sitcom as well. He played the role of Ted Mosby between 2005 and 2014.

But that’s not it! Radnor has been known for his role in several other TV sitcoms as well, which include Welcome to New York, Off Centre, Law and Order, The Court, ER, Six Feet Under, Miss Match, Judging Amy, and Family Guy. Radnor has also made his appearance in the film industry. Surprisingly, the first film he wrote and directed, “Happy Thank You More Please,” earned him the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award.

Kaley Cuoco

This pretty star is the favorite of many! We know her from the famous TV sitcom “The Big Bang Theory,” which aired between 2007 and 2019, where she played the role of Penny. For her exceptional role, she has received the Critics’ Choice Award, People’s Choice Award, and Satellite Award as well. However, she has been working in several other sitcoms before The Big Bang Theory.

Kaley Cuoco worked in 8 Simple Rules, Brandy & Mr. Whiskers, and a guest role in the television series named Charmed. Moreover, she appeared in many films after her role in The Big Bang Theory, which helped her gain fame. She has starred in the HBO Thriller “The Flight Attendant,” for which she has received several nominations. In addition to that, her famous films include The Penthouse, The Wedding Ringer, Author Anonymous, and Cougar Club as well. For her outstanding work in Hollywood, she received a Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2014, and she also founded her own production company, Yes, Norman Productions, in 2017.

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato

Most of you might know her as a singer, but she was a very well-known television star in the 2000s. Lovato gained fame from the first television series she took part in, known as Barney & Friends. It was an American Children’s Show that ran between 2002 and 2004. She also took part in the sitcom “Sonny with a Chance” which aired between 2009 and 2014. Her role on TV has been extended to other areas as well, such as being the judge for the X-Factor Season 2 and Season 3.

However, singing seemed to be a more suitable option for Lovato than acting, which is why she signed up with Hollywood Records, and her music career took over her acting career. Her debut album, Don’t Forget, was released in 2008 and got the second spot on the Billboard 200 list. She has received several nominations for Grammy Awards, and her songs have also been in the top positions on charts throughout the years.

For a list of male pop stars that became popular in the 2000s, check out the Top Male Pop Stars of the 2000s.

Zac Efron

The 2000s was a decade when many child stars entered the industry and became famous instantly. Zac Efron was one of those stars, as he began his career in the early 2000s and got his big break in 2006. In the musical television film High School Musical trilogy, Efron played the role of Troy Bolton. This series was a major success and ran for over two years.

In TV series, we have seen Efron in the form of guest roles for Firefly, ER, and The Guardian as well. He also played the role of Cameron Bale for 16 episodes in the series Summerland between 2004 and 2005. Surprisingly, at this young age, Efron has already racked up more than 20 awards while he was nominated for several others as well. Gold is the most recent film Efron has been working on.

Steve Carell

Steve Carell's star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Steven John Carell was born in 1962 and has been a famous actor in television and Hollywood. Between 2005 and 2013, he played the role of Micheal Scott in “The Office”, one of the top-grossing television sitcoms of all time. For his extraordinary performance in the show, he has been nominated for several awards and even got the Golden Globe Award for being the Best Actor for the same show.

In addition to that, he has been named “America’s Funniest Man” by Life Magazine. With the success of this sitcom, he shifted to Hollywood movies such as Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Evan Almighty, Get Smart, and Date Night, while he took part in several other films after 2010 as well. However, Carell joined television once again in 2016, where he became the co-creator of the comedy series Angie Tribeca. Further shows are also expected from him.

Courteney Cox

Most of us would have seen Courteney Cox in the famous TV sitcom Friends. She played the role of Monica Geller between 1994 and 2004, which is why she was one of the most popular stars of the 2000s decade. The show was a massive success, which not only helped Cox gain fame and rise in the industry but she was also nominated for several awards, of which she won one as well.

Her TV career isn’t just limited to Friends; she took part in a drama series called Dirt in 2007 and in 2008 as Lucy Spiller. She also played the role of Jules Cobb in the sitcom Cougar Town, which aired from 2009 to 2015. Cox is also famous for so many films, including Barnyard and Bedtime Stories, both of which were released in the 2000s decade. Cox now owns a production company named Coquette Productions, where she aims to release some of the best films of all time.

For other actresses that rose into fame in the 2000s, check out the Top Pop Female Stars of the 2000s.

Jason Segel

Jason Jordan Segel was born in 1980 and has been an amazing actor, comedian, singer, and producer. The talented young man got his big break from the CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother,” which aired for nine years between 2005 and 2014. The role he played was of Marshall Erickson. Other television series on which he has worked, along with the director and producer, include Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared.

Soon after he started to gain fame from How I Met Your Mother, Segel started to take part in several films, including Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Love You, Man, and others as well. In 2012, he was also named the Hasty Pudding Man of the Year. Throughout his career, Segel has been nominated for Best Actor for several films.

Interesting Facts About 2000s Television

The 2000s introduced viewers to iconic television stars and a plethora of shows that would become cultural landmarks. However, despite the popularity of the television industry in the 2000s, there are some people who aren’t aware of some of the fascinating tidbits about the said decade. Here are ten interesting facts about 2000s television that highlight its impact and legacy:

  1. Rise of Reality TV: The 2000s marked the explosion of reality TV, with shows like “Survivor,” “Big Brother,” and “The Apprentice” becoming household names and setting the stage for reality television’s dominance in the years to follow.
  2. Introduction of High-Definition Television: This decade saw the widespread adoption of high-definition television (HDTV), dramatically improving the viewing experience with sharper images and better sound quality.
  3. Digital Transition: In 2009, the United States completed its transition from analog to digital television broadcasting, enhancing picture quality and allowing for more channels within the same bandwidth.
  4. The Emergence of Streaming Services: The late 2000s witnessed the birth of streaming as a major force in television consumption, with platforms like Netflix beginning to offer streaming services alongside their DVD rental business.
  5. The Writers Strike of 2007-2008: This major strike by the Writers Guild of America significantly affected television production, leading to shortened seasons, delayed show premieres, and an increased reliance on reality and game shows.
  6. Innovative Storytelling: Shows like “Lost” and “24” broke conventional storytelling norms with non-linear narratives and real-time formats, influencing the structure of TV dramas to come.
  7. The Popularity of Anti-Heroes: Characters like Tony Soprano (“The Sopranos”) and Walter White (“Breaking Bad”) marked the rise of complex anti-heroes as central figures in television dramas, a trend that would dominate the industry in subsequent years.
  8. Global Television Hits: The 2000s saw several television shows gain international popularity, breaking cultural and language barriers. Series like “Friends” and “The Office” became global phenomena, thanks to syndication and later streaming.
  9. The Impact of Social Media: Although in its infancy, social media platforms began to influence television by the end of the decade, offering fans new ways to engage with their favorite shows and creating a more interactive viewing experience.
  10. Iconic Theme Songs: The decade produced some of the most memorable TV theme songs that remain popular to this day, including the themes from “The OC” and “Malcolm in the Middle,” contributing to the shows’ identities and legacy.


From the above-mentioned list, we can see that some of the best television stars of the 2000s include Neil Patrick Harris, Josh Radnor, Kaley Cuoco, Dami Lovato, Jason Segel, Steve Carell, and Courteney Cox. These actors and actresses have been entertaining us with some of the best TV sitcoms, and we expect many other films and sitcoms from them in the future.

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