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The Best Showtime Shows of All Time, Ranked

Updated January 13, 2021 11.9k votes 4.0k voters 137.8k views46 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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  • Dexter1
    1,114
    371

    Dexter

    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter

    Premiered2006

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  • Shameless2
    996
    326

    Shameless

    Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy

    Premiered2011

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  • Homeland3
    929
    300

    Homeland

    Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin

    Premiered2011

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  • Billions4
    421
    100

    Billions

    Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti

    Premiered2016

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  • Weeds5
    508
    251

    Weeds

    Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish

    Premiered2005

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  • Ray Donovan6
    612
    250

    Ray Donovan

    Liev Schreiber, Paula Malcomson

    Premiered2013

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  • Californication7
    470
    230

    Californication

    David Duchovny, Natascha McElhone

    Premiered2007

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  • Penny Dreadful8
    267
    148

    Penny Dreadful

    Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton

    Premiered2014

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  • Nurse Jackie9
    303
    164

    Nurse Jackie

    Edie Falco, Merritt Wever

    Premiered2009

  • The Affair10
    327
    194

    The Affair

    Dominic West, Ruth Wilson

    Premiered2014

  • The Tudors11
    241
    135

    The Tudors

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill

    Premiered2007

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  • House of Lies12
    176
    133

    House of Lies

    Kristen Bell, Ben Schwartz

    Premiered2012

  • The Borgias13
    148
    120

    The Borgias

    Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud

    Premiered2011

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  • United States of Tara14
    161
    125

    United States of Tara

    Toni Collette, John Corbett

    Premiered2009

  • Masters of Sex15
    168
    141

    Masters of Sex

    Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan

    Premiered2013

  • Episodes16
    127
    96

    Episodes

    Matt LeBlanc, Tamsin Greig

    Premiered2011

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  • Stargate SG-117
    96
    90

    Stargate SG-1

    Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Shanks

    Premiered1997

  • Dead Like Me18
    116
    98

    Dead Like Me

    Ellen Muth, Callum Blue

    Premiered2003

  • The L Word19
    102
    113

    The L Word

    Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey

    Premiered2004

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  • Queer as Folk20
    135
    129

    Queer as Folk

    Gale Harold, Hal Sparks

    Premiered2000

  • Brotherhood21
    67
    85

    Brotherhood

    Jason Isaacs, Jason Clarke

    Premiered2006

  • The Chi22
    35
    19

    The Chi

    Jason Mitchell, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine

    Premiered2018

  • Escape at Dannemora23
    24
    11

    Escape at Dannemora

    Benicio del Toro, Patricia Arquette

    Premiered2018

  • Beach Heat: Miami24
    0
    0

    Beach Heat: Miami

    Kiara Mia, Megan Hauserman

    Premiered2010

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  • On Becoming a God in Central Florida25
    22
    12

    On Becoming a God in Central Florida

    Kirsten Dunst, Théodore Pellerin

    Premiered2019