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The Best Showtime Original Shows

Updated November 13, 2020 2.8k votes 296 voters 11.4k views73 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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  • 1
    Dexter
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    Shameless
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Ray Donovan
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 4
    The Big C
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 5
    United States of Tara
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Weeds
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Californication
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Nurse Jackie
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Homeland
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    The Tudors
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    Stargate SG-1
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    Penny Dreadful
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Episodes
    26
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    How I Met Your Mother
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    City on a Hill
    7
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    The Borgias
    21
    25

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    The L Word
    18
    21

    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    Queer as Folk
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    The Chris Isaak Show
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Dead Like Me
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Black Monday
    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 on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    SMILF
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 23
    The Real L Word
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Brotherhood
    28
    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 on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Penn & Teller: Bullshit!
    13
    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 on Wikipedia

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