3 (Starting October 5)
Year 2001 was a common year starting on Monday. This is the first year of SpongeBob to have a 3-month hiatus. This one was from May 5 to August 14. Other years that had 3-month hiatuses include 2002, 2003, and 2005. Shanghaied aired on March 9, 2001, but its partner episode, Gary Takes a Bath didn't air for another 2 years until July 26, 2003. 2001 was also the first year to have a premiere week of episodes, starting with Survival of the Idiots and Dumped on March 5, 2001 and ending with Shanghaied on March 9.
Strictly speaking, 2001 was the 1st year of the 3rd millennium and the 1st year of the 21st century, and the second year of the 2000's decade. In Popular terms and common usage however, the year 2001 was the 2nd year of the 2000's decade, the 2nd year of the 21st century and the 2nd year of the 3rd millennium, the first year of all three distinctions being 2000.