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The Best Showtime Shows of All Time, Ranked

Updated November 25, 2020 11.3k votes 4.0k voters 134.6k views43 items

List RulesVote up the best original TV shows that have ever debuted on Showtime.

At their peak, the best Showtime shows and series are on par with some of the best big screen movies and HBO original series. While movies only have two or three hours to introduce characters and develop a plot, Showtime shows are given many hours to present characters and storylines. This gives the audience a stronger connection to characters that isn’t replicated in film. But that doesn’t mean all Showtime series are exactly film-quality. So to find out which original Showtime show is the best, fans have voted for their favorites below.

Though Showtime still broadcasts plenty of films, more and more people are turning to them for original series content. Shows such as Dexter and Homeland drew in millions of viewers and have had multiple seasons. In fact, Dexter is probably one of the most popular Showtime shows of all time, peaking at 3 million views for the season eight premiere.

They have no sign of slowing down, with new shows premiering and old shows returning every Fall season. Recently, their hit shows have included Ray Donovan, Shameless, Homeland, and House of Lies. Not only are they some of the best Showtime shows ever, they’re among the best TV shows ever. All three have starred actors that have won or been nominated for awards. For a more recent look at the best Showtime shows, you’ll want to check out this ranking of Showtime's current lineup.

As for the best Showtime series ever however, this list is the one to look at. Below, vote for your favorite shows that originally premiered on the Showtime network. Looking for a particular show? Use the search box at the top of the list to find it.

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  • 1
    Dexter
    1,086
    348

    Dexter

    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter

    Premiered2006

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  • 2
    Homeland
    914
    283

    Homeland

    Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin

    Premiered2011

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  • 3
    Shameless
    966
    305

    Shameless

    Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy

    Premiered2011

  • 4
    Billions
    406
    87

    Billions

    Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti

    Premiered2016

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  • 5
    Weeds
    495
    242

    Weeds

    Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish

    Premiered2005

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  • 6
    Ray Donovan
    589
    242

    Ray Donovan

    Liev Schreiber, Paula Malcomson

    Premiered2013

  • 7
    Californication
    454
    220

    Californication

    David Duchovny, Natascha McElhone

    Premiered2007

  • 8
    Penny Dreadful
    261
    133

    Penny Dreadful

    Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton

    Premiered2014

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  • 9
    Nurse Jackie
    292
    155

    Nurse Jackie

    Edie Falco, Merritt Wever

    Premiered2009

  • 10
    The Affair
    317
    183

    The Affair

    Dominic West, Ruth Wilson

    Premiered2014

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  • 11
    The Tudors
    235
    125

    The Tudors

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill

    Premiered2007

  • 12
    The Borgias
    144
    110

    The Borgias

    Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud

    Premiered2011

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  • 13
    House of Lies
    172
    124

    House of Lies

    Kristen Bell, Ben Schwartz

    Premiered2012

  • 14
    United States of Tara
    158
    117

    United States of Tara

    Toni Collette, John Corbett

    Premiered2009

  • 15
    Masters of Sex
    164
    135

    Masters of Sex

    Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan

    Premiered2013

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  • 16
    Episodes
    120
    90

    Episodes

    Matt LeBlanc, Tamsin Greig

    Premiered2011

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  • 17
    Stargate SG-1
    93
    83

    Stargate SG-1

    Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks

    Premiered1997

  • 18
    Dead Like Me
    111
    92

    Dead Like Me

    Ellen Muth, Callum Blue

    Premiered2003

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    #30 of 95 The Best Dramedy TV Series#298 of 454 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time

  • 19
    The L Word
    100
    105

    The L Word

    Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey

    Premiered2004

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  • 20
    Queer as Folk
    135
    119

    Queer as Folk

    Gale Harold, Hal Sparks

    Premiered2000

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  • 21
    The Chi
    34
    14

    The Chi

    Jason Mitchell, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine

    Premiered2018

  • 22
    Who Is America?
    0
    0

    Who Is America?

    Sacha Baron Cohen

    Premiered2018

  • 23
    Escape at Dannemora
    21
    5

    Escape at Dannemora

    Benicio del Toro, Patricia Arquette

    Premiered2018

  • 24
    Kidding
    29
    16

    Kidding

    Jim Carrey, Catherine Keener

    Premiered2018

  • 25
    City on a Hill
    23
    9

    City on a Hill

    Kevin Bacon, Aldis Hodge

    Premiered2019

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