The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (2024)

Sitcoms

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (1)

By David Caballero

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The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (2)

Sitcoms are a crucial part of television. Throughout the decades, sitcoms have achieved critical and commercial success thanks to their amiable, approachable, and universal formula, making them appealing and possibly irresistible to everyone.

The 21st century has produced many worthy sitcoms, even with the rise of streaming. In fact, the new millennium has some of the best and most celebrated sitcoms in television history. Whether because of their hilarious storylines, charming cast, clever approach, or a combination of all these factors, these sitcoms are the best of the 21st century and among the all-time best.

15 'Party Down' (2009 - Present)

Creators: John Enbom, Rob Thomas, Dan Etheridge, Paul Rudd

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (3)

Adam Scott leads an ensemble cast in the beloved cult hit Party Down. The show follows a group of struggling actors and writers working at a catering company while trying to make it in Hollywood. Jane Lynch, Lizzie Caplan, Ken Marino, Ryan Hansen, and Martin Starr also starred.

With its successful blend of acidic humor and on-point satire, Party Down is among the best sitcoms of the 2000s and an underrated gem that deserves far more love. The show thrives on the strength of strong writing and a brilliant cast in service of a surprisingly insightful story about fear, ambition, and the inherent instability of daring to "live the dream."

Party Down

Release Date
March 20, 2009
Cast
Ken Marino , Adam Scott , Lizzy Caplan , Ryan Hansen , Martin Starr , Megan Mullally

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
2

Watch on Roku

14 'Letterkenny' (2016 - )

Creator: Jared Keeso

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (4)

Jared Keeso stars in the Canadian sitcom Letterkenny. The plot revolves around the inhabitants of the fictional rural community of Letterkenny in Ontario, Canada, chronicling their everyday lives and the wild antics they usually find themselves involved in.

Letterkenny has received near-universal acclaim for its refreshing and unconventional humor. The show's use of Canadian vernacular has been met with particular acclaim from critics and fans, as have the storylines revolving around Canadian culture and identity. Letterkenny is among the decade's most underrated comedies, expertly blending simplicity with outrageousness and creating a unique show on its way to becoming a classic.

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (5)
Letterkenny

Release Date
2016-00-00

Cast
Jacob Tierney , Kaniehtiio Horn , Mark Forward , Tyler Johnston

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
9

Watch on Hulu

13 'Broad City' (2014 - 2019)

Creators: Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (6)

Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer star in the underrated sitcom Broad City. Based on the pair's web series of the same name, the show follows two best friends dealing with the hardships of life and love while navigating New York City.

Broad City is a masterpiece of slacker humor. Elevated by Jacobson and Glazer's hilarious, relatable performances, the show is an absurd and compelling portrayal of twenty-something life, full of self-deprecating and clever humor. Thanks to its quotable scripts and tongue-in-cheek humor, Broad City is among the best sitcoms in recent years and an instant television classic.

Broad City

Release Date
January 22, 2014
Cast
Hannibal Buress , Chris Gethard , John Gemberling

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
5

Watch on Hulu

12 'Raising Hope' (2010 - 2014)

Creator: Greg Garcia

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (7)

Martha Plimpton starred in the underrated Fox sitcom Raising Hope. The plot features a truly wild premise revolving around Jimmy, a twenty-three-year-old who accidentally impregnates a serial killer. Following the mother's death sentence, Jimmy must raise the baby, Hope, alongside his eccentric family.

Over-the-top and wacky but always earnest and poignant, Raising Hope made the best out of its out-there premise without letting things get out of hand. Classic in the best possible way, Raising Hope is a tender and nuanced portrayal of a working-class family, full of pathos, humor, and heartfelt emotion.

Raising Hope

Jimmy Chance, a 23-year-old man who skims pools for a living, has a chance romantic encounter with Lucy, a wanted felon. When he visits Lucy in prison months later, Jimmy discovers that she gave birth to a baby he must now raise -- with his family's help. Jimmy's family includes his parents, who have no interest in helping to raise their grandchild, and his grandmother, Maw Maw, who can barely care for herself ... let alone a baby. Greg Garcia ("My Name Is Earl") created and executive produces the family comedy.

Release Date
September 21, 2010
Cast
Shannon Woodward , Garret Dillahunt , Lucas Neff , Gregg Binkley , Martha Plimpton , Cloris Leachman

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
4

Watch on Prime Video

11 'Happy Endings' (2011 - 2020)

Creator: David Caspe

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (8)

The egregiously underrated sitcom Happy Endings centers on the close and slightly dysfunctional relationship of six friends living in Chicago. Unlike other sitcoms with similar premises that plagued noughties television, Happy Endings stood out because of its zanier humor and warm-hearted approach.

Critically acclaimed throughout its run, Happy Endings is among the many great shows canceled too soon, with ABC pulling the plug following the second season. It's a shame because the show could've gone for multiple seasons, thanks to the chemistry between its well-balanced and irresistible cast. Still, Happy Endings has aged remarkably well, with many fans and critics considering it a modern classic.

Happy Endings

Release Date
April 13, 2011
Cast
Eliza Coupe , Elisha Cuthbert , Zachary Knighton , Adam Pally , Damon Wayans Jr. , Casey Wilson

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
3

Watch on Hulu

10 'Black-ish' (2014 - 2022)

Creator: Kenya Barris

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (9)

Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross received universal acclaim and multiple Emmy nominations for their work in the ABC sitcom Black-ish. The plot centers on André and Rainbow, a married couple raising their family while struggling to incorporate their Black heritage into their upper-middle-class, suburban lifestyle.

Nuanced and poignant, Black-ish incorporated many crucial and relevant social issues into its otherwise lighthearted plot. The result is a clever and insightful look at family life from a perspective seldom seen on mainstream television. As the show progressed, it assumed a more decisive approach to its social stance, becoming more self-aware but just as willing to explore real-life issues while providing some much-needed laughter.

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (10)
Black-ish

TV-14

Release Date
September 24, 2014
Cast
Anthony Anderson , Tracee Ellis Ross , Marcus Scribner , Marsai Martin , Yara Shahidi , Jenifer Lewis

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
8

Watch on Hulu

9 'Schitt's Creek' (2015 - 2020)

Creators: Eugene Levy, Dan Levy

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (11)

The quirky comedy Schitt's Creek stars Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Dan Levy, and Annie Murphy. The story revolves around the Rose clan, a formerly wealthy family forced to relocate to a remote town they purchased as a joke after losing their fortune to embezzlement.

The show went unnoticed for years before exploding during its last two seasons. Nowadays, Schitt's Creek often ranks among the best sitcoms of the new millennium, thanks to its absurd, over-the-top approach and the triumphant and heartwarming message within. Rewarding and ridiculously quotable, Schitt's Creek is a sitcom that will undoubtedly improve with age.

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (12)
Schitt's Creek

After being a victim of fraud, Johnny Rose and his family go from extremely wealthy to penniless overnight. The only asset left to them is a small, unsophisticated town: Schitt's Creek. They relocate there. Culture shock ensues.

Release Date
February 11, 2015
Cast
Eugene Levy , Catherine O'Hara , Emily Hampshire , Chris Elliott , Jennifer Robertson

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
6

Watch on Hulu

8 'Community' (2009 - 2015)

Creator: Dan Harmon

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (13)

Community stars an ensemble cast, including Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, and Ken Jeong. The plot follows a lawyer forced to go to community college, where he starts a study group to impress a pretty co-ed. However, several others also join, leading to a chaotic but surprisingly meaningful group.

Praised for its meta and self-deprecating humor, Community quickly became a cult classic. The show excels as a love letter to the numerous shows that inspired it, brought to wonderful, disruptive life by a stellar cast of underrated comedians at the top of their game. Few modern sitcoms have such a prominent place in pop culture, with Community becoming a mainstay of social media. After years of development, Community will return with a movie premiering on Peaco*ck, delighting millions of fans.

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (14)
Community

TV-14

A suspended lawyer is forced to enroll in a community college with an eccentric staff and student body.

Release Date
September 17, 2009
Cast
Joel McHale , Gillian Jacobs , Danny Pudi , Alison Brie , Jim Rash , Ken Jeong , Paget Brewster , Keith David

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
6

Watch on Netflix

7 'How I Met Your Mother' (2005 - 2014)

Creators: Carter Bays, Craig Thomas

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (15)

With a fresh and original premise and a cast of stars in the making – plus two certified TV icons – How I Met Your Mother changed television's landscape. The show revolves around Ted, who tells his children the long and winding story of how he met their mother, with his friends playing prominent roles.

Featuring a mix of fast-paced humor and a back-and-forth narrative, How I Met Your Mother stands out above its competition with quotable dialogue and many jokes that have entered pop culture's lexicon. Some of its content has aged quite badly – particularly most things concerning resident womanizer Barney Stinson – and its infamous final episode almost derailed an otherwise great series. However, How I Met Your Mother remains a fan and critical favorite and one of the new millennium's most important sitcoms.

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (16)
How I Met Your Mother

TV-14

A father recounts to his children - through a series of flashbacks - the journey he and his four best friends took leading up to him meeting their mother.

Release Date
September 19, 2005
Cast
Josh Radnor , Aedan Jayce , Aedan Jayce , Neil Patrick Harris , Jason Segel , Alyson Hannigan , Cobie Smulders , Cristin Milioti

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
9

Watch on Hulu

6 'Parks and Recreation' (2009 - 2015)

Creator: Greg Daniels, Michael Schur

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (17)

Amy Poehler stars as the idealistic and go-getter Leslie Knope in the acclaimed NCB sitcom Parks and Recreation. The show follows the misadventures of Leslie, a bureaucrat working in the Parks Department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, and her quirky co-workers and friends.

Featuring one of the best and instantly recognizable supporting casts of any show, Parks and Recreation is among the most shamelessly optimistic portrayals of government officials. The show proudly flaunted its sense of community, resulting in an overflow of goodwill that never became obnoxious or overwhelming. Launching the careers of many heavy players from the 2010s, Parks and Recreation is perhaps the most traditional and wholesome modern sitcom. Unlike many of its contemporaries, it has aged great.

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (18)
Parks and Recreation

TV-14

The absurd antics of an Indiana town's public officials as they pursue sundry projects to make their city a better place.

Release Date
April 9, 2009
Cast
Amy Poehler , Rashida Jones , Aziz Ansari , Nick Offerman , Aubrey Plaza , ​Chris Pratt2 , Adam Scott , Jim O'Heir

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
7

Watch on Peaco*ck

5 '30 Rock' (2006 - 2013)

Creator: Tina Fey

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (19)

The comedic genius of Tina Fey produced 30 Rock, based on her experiences as head writer for Saturday Night Live. The show follows Liz Lemmon, the head writer for a live sketch show, as she deals with his demanding and egocentric boss and an increasingly erratic cast of oddballs.

30 Rock dominated the comedy landscape during the second half of the 2000s. Using surreal and over-the-top humor, the show perfectly captured the chaos of live television, giving audiences a reasonably accurate yet admittedly fictionalized behind-the-scenes look at the shenanigans that unfolded. An Emmys juggernaut, winning Outstanding Comedy Series three times, 30 Rock captured the zeitgeist like few other shows could. Its humor turned out to be almost prophetic, as many of its jokes continue to ring true a decade after its ending.

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (20)
30 Rock

TV-14

Liz Lemon, head writer of the sketch-comedy show "TGS with Tracy Jordan", must deal with an arrogant new boss and a crazy new star while trying to run a successful television show without losing her mind.

Release Date
October 11, 2006
Cast
Tina Fey , Alec Baldwin , Tracy Morgan , Jack McBrayer , Scott Adsit , Judah Friedlander , Jane Krakowski , Kevin Brown

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
7

Watch on Hulu

4 'Modern Family' (2009 - 2020)

Creators: Christopher Lloyd, Steven Levitan

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (21)

ABC's mockumentary Modern Family starred a large ensemble and followed the story of a diverse family living in Los Angeles. Ed O'Neill, Sofia Vergara, Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Eric Stonestreet served as the show's main players throughout its eleven-season run.

Modern Family was highly acclaimed and commercially successful, becoming a staple of ABC. The show dominated the Emmys, winning Outstanding Comedy Series five consecutive times and earning most of its adult actors numerous nominations and accolades. The show's success and timelessness rely on its consistent humor and razor-sharp scripts, which bring the best out of its talented cast. Modern Family was an instant classic, and its reputation has only increased with the years, with many considering it among the all-time best sitcoms.

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (22)
Modern Family

TV-PG

Release Date
September 23, 2009
Cast
Ed O'Neill , Sofia Vergara , Julie Bowen , Ty Burrell , Jesse Tyler Ferguson , Eric Stonestreet , Sarah Hyland , Ariel Winter

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
11

Watch on Hulu

3 'The Office' (2005 - 2013)

Developer: Greg Daniels

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (23)

Steve Carell became a certified A-lister thanks to his outrageous performance in NBC's mockumentary sitcom The Office. The funny man played Michael Scott, the inappropriate and boundary-challenged branch manager of a successful but boring paper company, whose relationship with his employees ranges from extreme and cringe-worthy to sincere and heartwarming.

Based on the eponymous UK series and developed for a US audience by Greg Daniels, The Office was at the forefront of a new wave of shows selling the idea of the workplace as a second family. Featuring an accomplished cast, including Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, and Jenna Fischer, the show was an instant fan favorite and remains as popular today as it was during its heyday. The Office features some of modern television's most memorable sequences, cementing itself as a comedic triumph and a heartfelt tribute to a bygone era.

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (24)
The Office

TV-14

A mockumentary on a group of typical office workers, where the workday consists of ego clashes, inappropriate behavior, and tedium.

Release Date
March 24, 2005
Cast
Steve Carell , Rainn Wilson , John Krasinski , Jenna Fischer , Mindy Kaling , Craig Robinson , B.J. Novak , Creed Bratton , Angela Kinsey , Oscar Nunez , Ellie Kemper , Ed Helms

Main Genre
Sitcom

Seasons
9

Watch on Peaco*ck

2 'Abbot Elementary' (2021 - Present)

Creator: Quinta Brunson

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (25)

Quinta Brunson's ode to teaching and optimism, Abbott Elementary, will premiere its third season next year, and it's already a television icon. The mockumentary follows the lives of a group of teachers at the fictional and predominantly Black titular public school in Philadelphia.

Acclaimed for its humor and performances, Abbott Elementary finds the perfect balance between shameless optimism, hard-biting social commentary, and relatable, highly-effective humor. Enhanced by stellar writing and instantly memorable and endlessly quotable characters, the show defied the odds, proving that there's still room on modern TV for an old-fashioned sitcom as long as it has heart and purpose. Abbott Elementary is a delight, one of the few shows worthy of being called sitcom perfection.

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (26)
Abbott Elementary

TV-PG

A workplace comedy centered around a group of dedicated teachers - and an oblivious principal - in a Philadelphia public school where, despite the odds stacked against them, they are determined to help their students succeed in life.

Release Date
December 7, 2021
Cast
Quinta Brunson , Tyler James Williams , Janelle James , Lisa Ann Walter , Sheryl Lee Ralph , Chris Perfetti , William Stanford Davis , Courtney Taylor

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
3

Watch on Hulu

1 'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' (2005 - Present)

Creator: Rob McElhenney

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (27)

The subversive and pitch-black comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia stars Glenn Howerton, Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, Kaitlin Olson, and Danny DeVito. The show follows a narcissistic, manipulative, and all-around rotten group of friends called "the gang" as they spend their days plotting petty vendettas against each other and those who wrong them while tending to a mostly deserted bar called Paddy's Pub.

The longest-running sitcom in television history, Sunny has already been renewed for four additional seasons, totaling 19. Dark, acidic, subversive, politically incorrect, and often shocking, Sunny is full of unlikable characters with twisted agendas. Its unforgiving humor makes its sixteen-season run all the more impressive, proving audiences will accept politically incorrect humor as long as it has substance behind it. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a television victory, by far the most ambitious and daring sitcom in television history and one of the medium's most addictive and unique efforts.

The 15 Best Sitcoms of the 21st Century, Ranked (28)
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

TV-MA

Release Date
August 4, 2005
Cast
Charlie Day , Glenn Howerton , Rob McElhenney , Kaitlin Olson , Danny DeVito

Main Genre
Comedy

Seasons
16

Watch on Hulu

NEXT: 10 Modern Sitcoms Destined To Become Classics

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