What are the best Showtime series?

Despite being around since the early '80s, Showtime is not necessarily the go-to premium pay cable network - HBO still reigns supreme. But it has created its own niche in TV history with shows that are more out-there and eccentric. Here is a list of the best Showtime series of all time. 

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8 solutions
  1. 18

    #1Queer as Folk

    Queer as Folk

    Queer as Folk is a Showtime Original Series by Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman. Based on the novel of the same name, it portrays the lives of homosexual men and women and it stars Gale Harold, Randy Harold, and Hal Sparks.

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    Guadalupe Sánchez
    Written on May 15, 2019
    "Queer as Folk changed TV as we know it. As a cis female, I didn't like the show at first because of the excessive amount of nudity and bluntness of its depiction of gay and lesbian sex. What won me over is the superb acting and excellent storyline. All the characters are fully fleshed out and it's just impossible not to care for them. I especially love Brian and his duplicitous nature - he's self-centered and ruthless but also capable of kindness and compassion. It's the best Showtime series and LGBT show of all time. "
  2. 15

    #2Twin Peaks: The Return

    Twin Peaks: The Return

    Twin Peaks: The Return is a Showtime Original Series created by Mark Frost and David Lynch. It is the continuation of the 1990 television series of the same title by ABC. This latest TV series stars Kyle MacLachlan. 

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    Dennis Alvarez
    Written on May 15, 2019
    "Better than the original Twin Peaks! This is probably the weirdest and most slowly-paced series on Showtime. It's also one of the most powerful and controversial. David Lynch's vision is uncompromising. Twin Peaks is the stuff of nightmares. It's surreal and bizarre in the best way possible. Greatest Showtime series ever! "
  3. 7



    Homeland is one of the best series on Showtime starring Claire Danes, Damian Lewis, and Morena Baccarin. It is based on the Israeli series, Prisoners of War. It has won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series - Drama twice.

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    Susan Barrett
    Written on May 15, 2019
    "A sophisticated thriller that portrays "good" and "bad" characters with more depth and humanity than normal. Yes, I know that recently Homeland has been marred by bad writing. Personally, I think the good stuff still outweigh the bad. The way that the show deals with the subject of terrorism is very intelligent and impartial. No one is purely evil in this world. Claire Danes gives an incredible performance worthy of all the awards that she has won. "


Showtime launched back in 1976? In 2 years after launch, it was already in various cable systems like cable boxes nationwide. Cable entertainment was much smaller back then with only a few channels to choose from. Cable provided a huge improvement over older systems. This is because it did not rely on antennas for reception. You can't talk about Showtime without talking about it's biggest rival, HBO. It launched earlier than Showtime in 1972. It was also the first cable network that gained national distribution in 1975. Both networks were experimenting with original programming as early as the 80s. Then, in the early 2000s, both had released their big original TV shows. HBO had The Sopranos and Showtime launched Queer as Folk.

After that, both networks have been competing with each other ever since. As time went on, it was becoming clear that HBO was gaining more market share than Showtime. There were many factors to this like better shows and a wider distribution among others. Then, online streaming and subscription-based services became popular. The ailing Showtime network was starting to show signs of growth. The network had a steady influx of subscribers coming in. Add to this their push toward establishing more partnership deals. Showtime Original Series was in the pipeline in the coming years. Things are looking great for the once-dominant network.

  1. 4



    Dexter is a Showtime Original Series and is one of the best shows on the network. It follows the story of Dexter Morgan, played by actor Michael C. Hall, who lives a double life as a forensic expert and a serial killer.

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    Pranav Chauhan
    Written on May 15, 2019
    "Who doesn't love Dexter? This charming little psychopath with childhood trauma has been murdering happily for 8 seasons for his and our own entertainment. It's a very addictive show and each episode is a bloody masterpiece. "
  2. 3



    Weeds is a Showtime series created by Jenji Kohan. It tells the story of Nancy Botwin, a widow who starts selling weed to support her family which further develops into the entire clan being involved in illegal activities.

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    Guillermina Salinas
    Written on May 15, 2019
    "Sweet Jesus this show is good. It's hilarious and deliciously dark with authentic dialogue that mirrors real life people. Mary Louise Parker plays Nancy Botwin brilliantly. Hey, it's not easy maintaining an upper-end suburban lifestyle when your husband just died. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Elizabeth Perkins is also phenomenal as Nancy's acerbic best friend Celia. Outrageously funny and occasionally poignant show. One of Showtime's best TV series! "
  3. 2



    Shameless is a drama-comedy TV show which debuted on Showtime and was released in 2011. The show is created by John Wells and is an adaptation of Paul Abbott's British series of the same title. It stars Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, and Ethan Cutkosky.

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    Judy Peterson
    Written on May 15, 2019
    "The American Shameless remake is shamelessly good. Personally, it's better than the original British series. Emmy Rossum is amazing! I love this show. "
  4. 2

    #7Penny Dreadful

    Penny Dreadful

    Penny Dreadful is an American-British TV series created by John Logan for Showtime. It features classic horror literary figures like Dorian Gray, Dracula, Van Helsing, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The series stars Reeve Carney, Timothy Dalton, and Eva Green. 

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    Joyce Jimenez
    Written on May 15, 2019
    "Penny Dreadful is frequently slow and dull but its gothic baroque style is stunning. Every frame drips with atmosphere and style. Eva Green is perfectly deranged as Vanessa Ives and she carries the show with ease. Josh Hartnett is kinda boring but he often takes his shirt off so all is forgiven. 😂"
  5. 1

    #8United States of Tara

    United States of Tara

    United States of Tara is a TV comedy-drama created by Diablo Cody for Showtime. The story is about Tara (Toni Collette), a housewife and mother of 2 who has dissociative identity disorder. It also stars Rosemarie DeWitt, John Corbett, and Brie Larson. 

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    $10.99- 1 month. Free trial available

    Judy Ward
    Written on May 15, 2019
    "I'm a huge fan of Toni Colette and she's criminally underrated. She has been flying under the radar in Hollywood for the longest time even though she's insanely talented and it's a disgrace. Her performance in United States of Tara is a prime example of why she has to have more projects. Her portrayal of a woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder is very convincing. an Oscar for Toni Colette! "


Best What are the best Showtime series
1Queer as FolkTV Shows 18 Paid
2Twin Peaks: The ReturnTV Shows 15 Paid
3HomelandTV Shows 7 Paid
4DexterTV Shows 4 Paid
5WeedsTV Shows 3 Paid
6ShamelessTV Shows 2 Paid
7Penny DreadfulTV Shows 2 Paid
8United States of TaraTV Shows 1 Paid

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