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The Best Showtime Original Shows 

Ranker TV
Updated February 14, 2020 2k votes 277 voters 10.4k views 62 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

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 80

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Suspense, + more

Dexter is an American television drama series. Set in Miami, the series centers on Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter pattern analyst for Miami Metro Police Department who also leads a secret life ...more

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

Premiered: 2011 - current

Number of Seasons: 3

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

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

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#37 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #70 of 217 The TV Shows with the Best Writing The Best Homeland Characters of All Time

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

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 36

Genres (Tv): Drama, Comedy

Shameless is an American television comedy-drama which airs on Showtime. This remake of the award-winning British series is set in Chicago's Canaryville neighborhood on the South Side, although ...more

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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

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 12

Genres (Tv): Crime, Drama, Action

Ray Donovan is an American television drama series created by Ann Biderman for Showtime. The twelve-episode first season premiered on June 30, 2013. The pilot episode broke records of ...more

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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

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 102

Genres (Tv): Black comedy, Crime Fiction, Satire, Drama, Adventure film, + more

Weeds is an American dark comedy-drama series created by Jenji Kohan and produced by Tilted Productions in association with Lionsgate Television. The central character is Nancy Botwin, a widowed ...more

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

Premiered: 2007 - 2014

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 84

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

Californication is an American comedy-drama television series created by Tom Kapinos, which aired for seven seasons on Showtime from August 13, 2007 to June 29, 2014. The show follows New Yorker ...more

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#141 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #36 of 92 The Best Dramedy TV Series The Best Seasons of Californication

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

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 56

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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#260 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #219 of 396 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate The Best Seasons of Nurse Jackie

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

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 38

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Drama, Historical fiction, Adventure film, Action

The Tudors is a British-Irish-Canadian historical fiction television series set primarily in sixteenth-century England, created by Michael Hirst and produced for the American premium cable ...more

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

Premiered: 2011 - present

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 16

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Episodes is a British/American television sitcom created by David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik and produced by Hat Trick Productions. It premiered on Showtime in the United States on 9 January 2011 ...more
10
Penny Dreadful is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green

Genres (Tv): Horror, Supernatural, Mystery

Penny Dreadful (Showtime, 2014) is a British-American horror TV series created for Showtime and Sky by John Logan, who also acts as executive producer alongside Sam Mendes. The title refers to ...more

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11
Dead Like Me is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Ellen Muth, Callum Blue, Jasmine Guy

Premiered: 2003 - 2004

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 29

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

This show is an American comedy-drama television series starring Ellen Muth and Mandy Patinkin as grim reapers who reside and work in Seattle, Washington. Filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, ...more

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#230 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #8 of 578 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

12
The Borgias is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger

Premiered: 2011 - 2013

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 29

Genres (Tv): Drama, Historical fiction

The Borgias is an historical-fiction drama television series created by Neil Jordan; it debuted in 2011 and was canceled in 2013. The series is set around the turn of the 16th century and ...more

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#270 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #124 of 396 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

13
The Big C is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Laura Linney, Oliver Platt, Gabriel Basso

Premiered: 2010 - 2013

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 13

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
14
House of Lies is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Kristen Bell, Ben Schwartz, Don Cheadle

Premiered: 2012 - present

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 24

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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15
How I Met Your Mother is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
big_j_pimp24 added Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 184

Genres (Tv): Romance Film, Sitcom, Comedy-drama, Comedy

How I Met Your Mother is an American sitcom that originally ran on CBS from September 19, 2005, to March 31, 2014. The series follows the main character, Ted Mosby, and his group of friends in ...more

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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

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 83

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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#175 of 260 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #96 of 169 The TV Shows Most Loved by Hipsters

17
The Outer Limits is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Kevin Conway, Joe Pascual

Premiered: 1995 - 2002

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 154

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

The Outer Limits is a US-Canadian television series that originally aired on Showtime, the Sci Fi Channel and in syndication between 1995 and 2002. The series is a revival of the original The ...more

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18
United States of Tara is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Toni Collette, John Corbett, Rosemarie DeWitt

Premiered: 2009 - 2011

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 13

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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19
Masters of Sex is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan, Caitlin FitzGerald

Premiered: 2013 - present

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 12

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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#1,695 of 2,298 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time #64 of 116 The Best Historical Drama TV Shows

20
Black Monday is listed (or ranked) 20 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. A rag tag group of Wall Street outsiders take on the financial industry in the wake of the 1987 stock market crash.

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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
22
Penn & Teller: Bulls... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Penn Jillette, Teller, George W. Bush

Premiered: 2003 - 2010

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 89

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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23
The L Word is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Showtime Original Shows
Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey, Laurel Holloman

Premiered: 2004 - 2009

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 70

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

Premiered: 2006 - 2008

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 29

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
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

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 74

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

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