Best Shows on SHOWTIME

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If you have time to kill, we’ve got you covered. Big names, gripping plots and memorable characters are all available from SHOWTIME’s best shows. 

Whether you’re looking for an award-winning series or just a quick distraction, SHOWTIME has made a name for themselves with some of the most captivating TV around. 

So take a seat, grab the popcorn and let’s dive into the best shows on SHOWTIME!

How we rate the best shows on SHOWTIME

To find SHOWTIME’s best shows, we relied on the industry gold standard for television and movies: the all-important Rotten Tomato score.

But we didn’t just go with what critics are saying. We made sure to factor in bingeability. Because let’s face it, sometimes we just want something fun!

Our top-10 shows will keep you on the couch for days on end. And sometimes, that’s exactly what we need. Ok, then—let’s get to the shows!

Top 10 best shows on SHOWTIME

On Becoming a God In Central Florida (2019-)

  • Number of seasons: 1
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 85%
  • Average Audience Score: 79%

Kirsten Dunst stars in this dark comedy series about getting swept up in a Florida pyramid scheme. Dunst plays Krystal Stubbs, a water park employee whose husband works for the cultish Founders American Merchandise. After her husband dies from a freak alligator accident, Krystal navigates the financial difficulties of being a single mother while taking on Founders American Merchandise. Think Breaking Bad for pyramid schemes. There’s only one season of ten episodes right now, but the series has been renewed for a second season.

Shameless (2011-)

  • Number of seasons: 10
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 85%
  • Average Audience Score: 82%

This long-running dramedy series portrays a struggling American family that can’t catch a break. William H. Macy stars as Frank Gallagher, an alcoholic single father who consistently fails at raising his six kids. The show doesn’t take itself too seriously, and the exceptional cast keeps the story moving at a brisk pace. Watching the Gallaghers try to get through their day makes for thrilling TV, which is why the series has stuck around for so long. From the first episode, it’s easy to see why the show deserves a spot on the top 10. There’s currently ten seasons available and a new one on the way.

Homeland (2011-2020)

  • Number of seasons: 8
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 85%
  • Average Audience Score: 86%

Who doesn’t love a good spy thriller? When it comes to twisty plots and edge-of-your-seat action, “Homeland” delivers season after season of quality television. Claire Danes stars as a CIA officer with bipolar disorder. The series follows a string of stories that mostly deal with good ol’ fashioned American counter-terrorism. If you’re looking for a thriller worthy of binging, this show will do the trick. The series finale aired earlier this year, so you can watch the entire series front to back on SHOWTIME right now.

The Affair (2014-2019)

  • Number of seasons: 5
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 86%
  • Average Audience Score: 81%

This drama series offers a voyeuristic view into the world of adultery. Dominic West and Ruth Wilson star respectively as Noah Solloway and Alison Bailey, two extramarital lovers who each have their own version of events surrounding their illicit relationship with each other. The story flips back and forth between the two characters’ viewpoints, which gives viewers a fresh perspective on the complex matter of truth. The show wrapped up at the end of 2019 with a series finale, which means you can binge the whole thing on SHOWTIME.

Billions (2016-)

  • Number of seasons: 5
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 88%
  • Average Audience Score: 78%

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a billionaire hedge fund manager? Billions puts viewers in the driver’s seat for one of SHOWTIME’s best guilty pleasures. Damian Lewis plays the morally ambiguous billionaire Bobby Axelrod, who goes head-to-head against an intrepid United States Attorney played by Paul Giamatti. It’s a winner-takes-all race to the top. Now on its fifth season, this award-winning series offers a warped version of the American dream that’s an absolute thrill to watch every step of the way.  

Twin Peaks: The Return (2017)

  • Number of seasons: 1
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 94%
  • Average Audience Score: 83

In the history of broadcasting, few shows are more celebrated than David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, a surreal mystery set in small-town Washington. “Who murdered Laura Palmer?” was the question on everyone’s mind when the original two seasons of the show aired in the early 1990s. Nearly 30 years later, Kyle MacLachlan is back as Agent Dale Cooper, who’s tasked with answering more questions surrounding a certain homecoming queen’s murder. The new season features many returning cast members. Best of all, Lynch directed every one of the 18 new episodes in the series. 

Work in Progress (2019-)

  • Number of seasons: 1
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 100%
  • Average Audience Score: 68%

This series tells the loosely autobiographical tale of Abby, a gay woman who takes us through dating and depression in middle age. The show mixes heartbreak and comedy to perfection. Chicago-based comedian/actor Abby McEnany stars in and co-wrote the show in her leading-role debut.  “Weird Al” Yankovic also makes a special guest appearance as a character’s husband. The show was recently picked up for a second season, so new episodes are on the way. 

Patrick Melrose (2018)

  • Number of seasons: 1
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 90%
  • Average Audience Score: 43%

Patrick Melrose provides a window into the titular character’s decades-long struggle with addiction. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Patrick, this dark dramedy is based on the best-selling series of novels from British author Edward St Aubyn. The series offers a gripping study on how the effects of childhood trauma carryover into adulthood and was nominated for quite a few Emmys in 2018. And with just five episodes, this show is definitely bingeable. 

Penny Dreadful (2014-2016)

  • Number of seasons: 3
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 91%
  • Average Audience Score: 90%

Set in London in the late 1800s, the show is an atmospheric blend of horror and drama that brings together an ensemble cast of some big names. Eva Green, Josh Hartnett and Timothy Dalton star in the series, which borrows heavily from early gothic fiction such as Frankenstein and Dracula. Other famous characters such as Dorian Grey, Abraham Van Helsing and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde also show up in episodes. In 2020, a spinoff series titled Penny Dreadful: City of Angels kicked off, which you can also check out on SHOWTIME. 

Escape at Dannemora (2018)

  • Number of seasons: 1
  • Average TOMATOMETER: 90%
  • Average Audience Score: 88%

This limited series tells the real-life story of the 2015 Clinton Correctional Facility escape. With an all-star cast of Benicio del Toro and Paul Dano as the escaped convicts and Patricia Arquette as the prison guard who helps them, Escape at Dannemora is a blockbuster series that looks so good you’ll think you’re at the movie theater. The series is only seven episodes, so you can binge the whole thing in one sitting if you’re so inclined. Bonus fact: Ben Stiller helmed this series in his debut as a television director. 

When it comes to SHOWTIME shows, there’s plenty to choose from in any genre that fits your fancy. Hopefully our top 10 helps you decide what to watch on SHOWTIME whenever you have a chance to kick back and relax!

*Current as of October 2020

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