9 CSI (CBS) Now bigger than Survivor: Africa, the most conventional TV show on this list is also one of the most consistently satisfying. Using William Petersen's increasing disdain for being likable, or even for making much effort to act, the CSI writers spent the second season making Petersen's Gil Grissom relentless: His concentration on a crime scene's bloodstains, hair follicles, and bullet trajectories gave the show an urgent energy. CSI could be re-titled SOB, but that would deny equal-star status to Marg Helgenberger, whose laser stare picks up clues to the waywardness of human perfidy better than any high-tech crime gadget.
1 THE XFL (NBC) Who can possibly forget, oh, say, the epic Feb. 11 battle of the titans, the Las Vegas Outlaws versus the Memphis Maniax? Apparently everyone in the United States. Dumb, crass, and sexist is what we would expect from a gridiron experiment conducted by World Wrestling Federation mogul Vince McMahon; what we got, however, was dull, stupid, and sexless. The fact that this great country rejected it pretty much after the first week that it aired is yet another reason to love the common sense of the average American.
2 CHAINS OF LOVE (UPN) If only the title referred to an adaptation of the works of the Marquis de Sade--that we could have either deplored or sneaked a peek at with gusto. Instead, it was a Dating Game only a locksmith could love.
3 MEN, WOMEN & DOGS (The WB) The most insultingly moronic, sniggering sitcom of the year, and I say that as someone who watched two whole episodes--probably one more than its own writers did.
4 THE GEENA DAVIS SHOW (ABC) Not as assiduously joyless as The Michael Richards Show, you say? Not as career-squeezingly unfunny as what they did to Joan Cusack in What About Joan, you protest? I respectfully disagree.
5 FAMILY GUY (FOX) Here is a worthy successor to Arli$$ as The Awful Show They Just Keep Putting on the Air, a phenomenon as inexplicable as where Larry King gets all his suspenders. As long as they keep bringing back Family Guy, a hunk of ugly animation, I'll keep using it to line the bottom of this barrel.
MOST STOMACH-CHURNING REALITY TV MOMENT The buffalo testes
MOST STOMACH-CHURNING REALITY TV MOMENT The buffalo testes chow-down on Fear Factor
SECOND MOST STOMACH-CHURNING REALITY TV MOMENT Colby's backseat tuck-in with his mama on Survivor 2
BEST EXAMPLE OF SELF-INFLICTED PUNISHMENT MTV's Jackass
BEST EXAMPLE OF INFLICTING PUNISHMENT ON OTHERS NBC's Emeril
THE IF A SERIES FALLS IN A FOREST AWARD The Lone Gunmen; Danny; Elimidate Deluxe; Wolf Lake; Men, Women & Dogs
MOST WELCOME EJECTION OF A CRIMINAL CBS' ousting of the knife-wielding Justin on Big Brother 2
LEAST WELCOME EJECTION OF A CRIMINAL The not-quite-story-line-dictated departure of Robert Downey Jr. from Ally McBeal
THE FULL HOUSE OF PAIN AWARD Bob Saget on Raising Dad, John Stamos on Thieves, the Olsen twins on So Little Time