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The Best Showtime Original Shows

Updated January 13, 2021 2.8k votes 297 voters 11.6k views76 items

List RulesOriginal 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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  • Dexter1
    87
    39

    Dexter

    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter

    Premiered2006 - 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...  more

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  • Shameless2
    72
    34

    Shameless

    Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy

    Premiered2011 - present

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Drama

    Shameless (Showtime, 2011) is an American comedy-drama television series developed by John...  more

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  • Ray Donovan3
    61
    27

    Ray Donovan

    Liev Schreiber, Paula Malcomson

    Premiered2013 - present

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama, Family drama

    Ray Donovan (Showtime, 2013) is an American drama television series created by Ann Biderman....  more
  • The Big C4
    46
    22

    The Big C

    Laura Linney, Oliver Platt

    Premiered2010 - 2013

    Genres (Tv)Comedy-drama, Comedy

    The Big C is a Showtime original television series which premiered on August 16, 2010. It drew...  more
  • United States of Tara5
    49
    29

    United States of Tara

    Toni Collette, John Corbett

    Premiered2009 - 2011

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Comedy-drama, Comedy

    United States of Tara is an American television comedy-drama created by Diablo Cody, which...  more
  • Weeds6
    47
    30

    Weeds

    Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish

    Premiered2005 - 2012

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

    Weeds (Showtime, 2005) is an American dark comedy-drama television series created by Jenji...  more

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    The Best Seasons of Weeds#203 of 443 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time

  • Californication7
    42
    27

    Californication

    David Duchovny, Natascha McElhone

    Premiered2007 - 2014

    Genres (Tv)Black comedy, Comedy-drama

    Californication (Showtime, 2007) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Tom...  more

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  • Nurse Jackie8
    39
    25

    Nurse Jackie

    Edie Falco, Merritt Wever

    Premiered2009 - present

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

    Nurse Jackie is an American medical dark satirical comedy-drama series. It premiered on...  more

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  • Homeland9
    73
    74

    Homeland

    Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin

    Premiered2011 - current

    Genres (Tv)Suspense, Drama, Thriller

    Homeland (Showtime, 2011) is an American political drama thriller series developed by Howard...  more

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  • The Tudors10
    35
    28

    The Tudors

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill

    Premiered2007 - 2010

    Genres (Tv)Historical drama

    The Tudors (Showtime, 2007) is a historical fiction television series created by Michael...  more

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    #83 of 385 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time#50 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

  • Stargate SG-111
    27
    18

    Stargate SG-1

    Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks

    Premiered1997 - 2002

    Genres (Tv)Military science fiction, Action/Adventure, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction

    Stargate SG-1 is an adventure and military science fiction television series and part of...  more
  • Penny Dreadful12
    17
    8

    Penny Dreadful

    Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton

    Premiered2014

    Genres (Tv)Horror, Supernatural, Mystery

    Penny Dreadful (Showtime, 2014) is a British-American horror drama television series created...  more

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  • Episodes13
    27
    22

    Episodes

    Matt LeBlanc, Tamsin Greig

    Premiered2011 - present

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Episodes (BBC Two/Showtime, 2011) is an American-British comedy television series created by...  more

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  • City on a Hill14
    8
    2

    City on a Hill

    Kevin Bacon, Aldis Hodge

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama

    City on a Hill (Showtime, 2019) is an American television series created by Chuck MacLean....  more

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  • How I Met Your Mother15
    21
    21

    How I Met Your Mother

    Josh Radnor, Jason Segel

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Romantic comedy

    How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 2005) is an American sitcom created by Craig Thomas and Carter...  more

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  • Queer as Folk16
    20
    25

    Queer as Folk

    Gale Harold, Hal Sparks

    Premiered2000 - 2005

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

    Queer as Folk is a drama television series. An American–Canadian co-production, the series ran...  more
  • The Borgias17
    21
    27

    The Borgias

    Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud

    Premiered2011 - 2013

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Historical fiction

    The Borgias (Showtime, 2011) is a historical-fiction drama television series created by Neil...  more

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    #348 of 640 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch#70 of 239 The Greatest TV Shows for Women

  • The L Word18
    18
    23

    The L Word

    Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey

    Premiered2004 - 2009

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    The L Word is an American/Canadian co-production television drama series portraying the lives...  more

    More The L Word 

    #130 of 338 The Best Female-Led TV Shows#87 of 253 The Best TV Shows Streaming On Hulu

  • The Chris Isaak Show19
    13
    16

    The Chris Isaak Show

    Chris Isaak, Kristin Dattilo

    Premiered2001 - 2004

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    The Chris Isaak Show is a television sitcom which follows a fictionalized version of the life...  more
  • Dead Like Me20
    19
    25

    Dead Like Me

    Ellen Muth, Callum Blue

    Premiered2003 - 2004

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

    Dead Like Me (Showtime, 2003) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Bryan...  more
  • Black Monday21
    5
    5

    Black Monday

    Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)History

    Black Monday (Showtime, 2019) is an American comedy television series. An aspiring Wall Street...  more

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  • SMILF22
    5
    6

    SMILF

    Frankie Shaw, Miguel Gomez

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Comedy

    SMILF (Showtime, 2017) is an American television comedy series based on Frankie Shaw's short...  more
  • Brotherhood23
    30
    43

    Brotherhood

    Jason Isaacs, Jason Clarke

    Premiered2006 - 2008

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

    Brotherhood is an American television drama series created by Blake Masters about the...  more
  • Penn & Teller: Bullshit!24
    14
    21

    Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

    Penn Jillette, Teller

    Premiered2003 - 2010

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Documentary

    Penn & Teller: Bullshit! is an American documentary television series that aired from 2003 to...  more
  • The Real L Word25
    11
    17

    The Real L Word

    Whitney Mixter, Alyssa Morgan

    Premiered2010 - 2012

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Reality television

    The Real L Word is an American reality television series aired on the cable station Showtime,...  more