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The Best Showtime Original Shows 

Ranker TV
Updated May 20, 2020 2k votes 287 voters 10.8k views 68 items

List Rules Original series created by, which aired on, the Showtime network. Vote up the best Showtime original shows.

Showtime is an American premium paid cable television service that has produced a variety of well-known original series, kid’s programming, adult programming, documentaries, sports programs and even original movies. Showtime is a subsidiary of CBS and has over 28 million subscribers. What are the best Showtime original shows of all time? Vote up the shows you think are the best and see how your favorites rank!
 
Launched in 1976, Showtime has been going strong ever since, raking in award after award for best original series and movies and getting the attention of A-list Hollywood actors along the way. Showtime original series have featured some pretty famous actors, and have some incredible writers as well. The story lines of our favorite Showtime series are usually dark and dramatic in nature, but Showtime has also produced several well-known comedies.
 
This list features the best Showtime original shows, ranked as the best by the community, including, "Shameless," "Homeland," "Dexter," "Ray Donovan," and "Masters of Sex." Vote up the best Showtime original series below or add one you love that isn't already on the list.
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list ordered by
1
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

Premiered: 2006 - 2013

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Psychological thriller, Mystery, Dark comedy, Police procedural

Dexter (Showtime, 2006) is an American crime drama mystery series developed by James Manos Jr., based on the 2004 novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. When he's not doing forensic work ...more

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Dexter Morgan’s Infamous ‘Work’ Rooms, Ranked By Practicality #12 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #11 of 13 TV Shows That Would Have Been Better As Movies

2
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend

Premiered: 2011 - current

Genres (Tv): Suspense, Drama, Psychological thriller, Mystery, Thriller

Homeland (Showtime, 2011) is an American political drama thriller series developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa based on the Israeli series Hatufim, which was created by Gideon Raff. The ...more

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The Best Characters On 'Homeland' #40 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #153 of 219 The TV Shows with the Best Writing

3
Shameless is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Ethan Cutkosky

Premiered: 2011 - present

Genres (Tv): Comedy, Drama

Shameless (Showtime, 2011) is an American comedy-drama television series developed by John Wells, based on the 2004 British series. Led by drunk patriarch Frank (William H. Macy), the poor and ...more

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Every Season of 'Shameless', Ranked Best to Worst #10 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #5 of 94 The Best Dramedy TV Series

4
Ray Donovan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Liev Schreiber, Paula Malcomson, Eddie Marsan

Premiered: 2013 - present

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Family drama

Ray Donovan (Showtime, 2013) is an American drama television series created by Ann Biderman. Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber), a professional "fixer" for the rich and famous in Los ...more

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Ranking the Best Seasons of 'Ray Donovan' #137 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #273 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

5
Weeds is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish, Alexander Gould

Premiered: 2005 - 2012

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Comedy-drama, Satire

Weeds (Showtime, 2005) is an American dark comedy-drama television series created by Jenji Kohan. A suburban widow (Mary-Louise Parker) starts selling marijuana to support her family, but soon ...more

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The Best Seasons of Weeds #68 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #33 of 94 The Best Dramedy TV Series

6
Californication is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
David Duchovny, Natascha McElhone, Evan Handler

Premiered: 2007 - 2014

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Comedy-drama

Californication (Showtime, 2007) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Tom Kapinos. A writer (David Duchovny) tries to juggle his career, his relationship with his daughter ...more

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The Best Seasons of Californication #175 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #27 of 94 The Best Dramedy TV Series

7
Nurse Jackie is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Edie Falco, Merritt Wever, Paul Schulze

Premiered: 2009 - present

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Medical drama, Drama, Comedy-drama, Comedy, + more

Nurse Jackie is an American medical dark satirical comedy-drama series. It premiered on Showtime on June 8, 2009. The show's seventh and final season will premiere April 12, 2015. The show stars ...more

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The Best Seasons of Nurse Jackie #230 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #252 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

8
The Tudors is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy

Premiered: 2007 - 2010

Genres (Tv): Historical drama

The Tudors (Showtime, 2007) is a historical fiction television series created by Michael Hirst. In 16th-century England, King Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) protects his throne from enemies ...more

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#124 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #57 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #137 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

9
Episodes is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Matt LeBlanc, Tamsin Greig, Stephen Mangan

Premiered: 2011 - present

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Episodes (BBC Two/Showtime, 2011) is an American-British comedy television series created by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik. After married couple Sean (Stephen Mangan) and Beverly (Tamsin Greig) ...more
10
Penny Dreadful is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green

Premiered: 2014

Genres (Tv): Horror, Supernatural, Mystery

Penny Dreadful (Showtime, 2014) is a British-American horror drama television series created by John Logan. Explorer Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton), American gunslinger Ethan Chandler (Josh ...more

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12 Easter Eggs In 'Penny Dreadful' Designed For Brainy Viewers #151 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #102 of 341 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time

11
The Borgias is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger

Premiered: 2011 - 2013

Genres (Tv): Drama, Historical fiction

The Borgias (Showtime, 2011) is a historical-fiction drama television series created by Neil Jordan. In the fifteenth century, Pope Alexander VI (Jeremy Irons) tries to control all power in ...more

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#329 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #144 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #340 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

12
House of Lies is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Kristen Bell, Ben Schwartz, Don Cheadle

Premiered: 2012 - present

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Drama, Comedy-drama, Comedy

House of Lies is an American comedy-drama television series created by Matthew Carnahan. It follows a group of management consultants who stop at nothing to get business deals done.

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#445 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #74 of 94 The Best Dramedy TV Series #240 of 292 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time

13
How I Met Your Mother is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
big_j_pimp24 added Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders

Premiered: 2005

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Romantic comedy

How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 2005) is an American sitcom created by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays. Through a series of flashbacks, Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) recounts to his children the journey he ...more

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Legendary 'How I Met Your Mother' Fan Theories #11 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #55 of 94 The Best Dramedy TV Series

14
Dead Like Me is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Ellen Muth, Callum Blue, Jasmine Guy

Premiered: 2003 - 2004

Genres (Tv): Drama, Comedy-drama, Comedy, Fantasy

Dead Like Me (Showtime, 2003) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Bryan Fuller. After being hit on the head by a toilet seat, Georgia "George" Lass (Ellen Muth), a ...more

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#184 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #78 of 341 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time #34 of 94 The Best Dramedy TV Series

15
The Big C is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Laura Linney, Oliver Platt, Gabriel Basso

Premiered: 2010 - 2013

Genres (Tv): Comedy-drama, Comedy

The Big C is a Showtime original television series which premiered on August 16, 2010. It drew the largest audience for a Showtime original series premiere. The second season premiered on June ...more

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#65 of 94 The Best Dramedy TV Series #202 of 293 The Best Female-Led TV Shows #594 of 1,316 The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows

16
Queer as Folk is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Gale Harold, Hal Sparks, Randy Harrison

Premiered: 2000 - 2005

Genres (Tv): Soap opera, Drama, Comedy-drama

Queer as Folk is a drama television series. An American–Canadian co-production, the series ran between December 2000 and August 2005 and was produced for Showtime and Showcase by Cowlip ...more

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#237 of 292 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #326 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #156 of 174 The TV Shows Most Loved by Hipsters

17
Masters of Sex is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan, Caitlin FitzGerald

Premiered: 2013 - present

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Drama

This series is an American period drama television series that premiered on September 29, 2013, on Showtime. Set in the 1950s and 1960s, the series tells the story of Dr. William Masters and ...more

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#411 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #72 of 124 The Best TV Shows Based on Books #103 of 120 The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

18
The Outer Limits is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Bob Johnson, Ben Wright, William Douglas

Premiered: 1995 - 2002

Genres (Tv): Anthology, Anthology series, Drama, Horror Film, Science Fiction

The Outer Limits (ABC, 1963) is an American horror and speculative fiction anthology television series. The series is often compared to The Twilight Zone, but with a greater emphasis on science ...more

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#194 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #39 of 341 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Timelisted on Longest Running Sci-Fi TV Shows

19
The L Word is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey, Laurel Holloman

Premiered: 2004 - 2009

Genres (Tv): Drama

The L Word is an American/Canadian co-production television drama series portraying the lives of a group of lesbian, bisexual, straight and transgender people and their friends, connections, ...more

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#453 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #108 of 293 The Best Female-Led TV Shows #64 of 124 TV Shows with the Hottest Casts

20
United States of Tara is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Toni Collette, John Corbett, Rosemarie DeWitt

Premiered: 2009 - 2011

Genres (Tv): Drama, Comedy-drama, Comedy

United States of Tara is an American television comedy-drama created by Diablo Cody, which began airing on Showtime in 2009. The series follows the life of Tara, a suburban housewife and mother ...more

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#430 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #208 of 293 The Best Female-Led TV Shows #267 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

21
City on a Hill is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Kevin Bacon, Aldis Hodge, Kevin Chapman

Premiered: 2019

Genres (Tv): Crime drama

City on a Hill (Showtime, 2019) is an American television series created by Chuck MacLean. District Attorney Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge) and corrupt yet venerated FBI veteran Jackie Rhodes ...more

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#69 of 100 The Best Legal Drama TV Shows Ever #18 of 25 The Greatest TV Shows Set in the 1990s #17 of 42 The Best Shows Starring Movie Stars on TV in 2020

22
Black Monday is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells, Regina Hall

Premiered: 2019

Genres (Tv): History

Black Monday (Showtime, 2019) is an American comedy television series. An aspiring Wall Street stockbroker (Andrew Rannell) starts working for an eccentric veteran (Don Cheadle) who has secrets ...more

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#151 of 163 TV Shows Most Loved by African-Americans #7 of 47 The Best Black TV Shows In 2020 #31 of 42 The Best Shows Starring Movie Stars on TV in 2020

23
Penn & Teller: Bulls... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Penn Jillette, Teller, George W. Bush

Premiered: 2003 - 2010

Genres (Tv): Comedy, Documentary

Penn & Teller: Bullshit! is an American documentary television series that aired from 2003 to 2010 on the premium cable channel Showtime.

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#238 of 391 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #326 of 1,316 The Best Guilty Pleasure TV Shows #23 of 25 The Best Cryptozoology TV Shows

24
Brotherhood is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Jason Isaacs, Jason Clarke, Annabeth Gish

Premiered: 2006 - 2008

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Drama

Brotherhood is an American television drama series created by Blake Masters about the intertwining lives of the Irish-American Caffee brothers from Providence, Rhode Island: Tommy is a local ...more

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#618 of 807 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #39 of 43 The Best Shows & Movies About Gangsters & the Mafia

25
Soul Food is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Boris Kodjoe, Nicole Ari Parker, Vanessa A. Williams

Premiered: 2000 - 2004

Genres (Tv): Drama

Soul Food: The Series is a television drama that aired Wednesday nights on Showtime from June 28, 2000 to May 26, 2004. Created by filmmaker George Tillman, Jr. and developed for television by ...more