Showtime Review 2021: Everything you need to know about the streaming service

showtime logo

What is Showtime? 

Showtime is an over-the-top (OTT) premium subscription service that provides a commercial-free experience similar to HBO and Starz. Showtime has a storied history. It launched in 1976, and since then has developed into one of the most successful premium services on the market. Owned by ViacomCBS, formerly Viacom, Showtime is now one of the most popular premium channels available. 

The service benefits from ViacomCBS’ relationship with properties like Paramount Pictures. Its catalog includes a variety of content, such as movies, original series, boxing matches, stand-up comedy specials, and more. At the end of 2019, ViacomCBS reported that Showtime, combined with CBS All Access and its other video-on-demand (VOD) streaming services, had amassed over 11 million subscribers. ViacomCBS hopes to more than double those numbers to 25 million by 2022. 

Showtime’s streaming service is nearly the same as Showtime Anytime — a website that features Showtime’s content. The OTT Showtime app was designed to compete with HBO NOW. It does so with a backlog of original series as well as new and popular movies. 

Showtime plans and pricing 

A standalone Showtime subscription costs $10.99/mo. — less than HBO NOW ($14.99/mo.) and a bit more than Starz ($8.99/mo.) You can also purchase the channel as an add-on through streaming services such as Amazon Prime Video ($8.99/mo.) or Hulu ($5.99/mo.) — the price varies by provider.

Showtime also offers a free trial and a few deals you can learn more about here.

Monthly price10.99/mo.
Free trial length14 days
Number of shows and films78 shows and 550+ movies
Offline downloadsYes
Streaming quality1080p/720p

Showtime supported devices 

The Showtime app is available on nearly every major device from Amazon Fire TVs to tablets. The service is compatible with the following devices: 

What to watch on Showtime

showtime coming soon

When it comes to movies in Showtime’s catalog, you’ll find everything from Oscar winners to fan favorites. Some of the most popular titles include The Upside, Green Book, Molly’s Game, The Wind, Five Feet Apart, and Second Act. Showtime’s catalog has 78 shows and over 550 movies. Compared to Starz, which has over 150 shows and 1,250 movies, there’s no question of which service has more content. But while Showtime has a smaller overall library, it features more successful original series than Starz

All of Showtime’s content is sorted into eight major sections. 

  • Series 
  • Movies 
  • Comedy 
  • Reality/Docs 
  • Sports 
  • After Hours 
  • Live 
  • Coming Soon

Original Series on Showtime

Like HBO, Showtime produces several popular original series like Kidding, Billions, Homeland, Ray Donovan, The L Word: Generation Q, and Shameless. There are also past hits like Dexter, Californication, Nurse Jackie, Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, Stargate SG-1, Penny Dreadful, and Weeds. Cinephiles can enjoy programming like David Lynch’s third season of Twin Peaks. And reality show enthusiasts can get lost in Big Brother After Dark, a spinoff of the popular CBS series. 

Live TV on Showtime

A Showtime subscription offers live broadcasts as content airs in real-time. This includes sports, specifically boxing matches, and select PPV events. But don’t expect to get additional sports like you would on ESPN+. But there’s still plenty of sports content available on the channel, including shows like Below the Belt with Brendan Schaub, 100%: Julian Edelman, Shut Up And Dribble, and more. 

showtime live tv

Kids Movies and Shows on Showtime

When it comes to shows and movies for kids, Showtime’s catalog leaves something to be desired — the service doesn’t have many popular children’s titles. Movies in this section include The Baby-sitters Club, Charlotte’s Web, Barnyard, RV, School of Rock, and Spy Kids: All the Time in the World. There aren’t any kids shows, just a Family section with a limited selection of movies. 

Showtime features 

DVR Storage

Showtime doesn’t offer a DVR storage option like Hulu + Live TV or YouTube TV, but you can download movies and shows to watch when you’re away from Wi-Fi. To put that into perspective, you can also download content on the Starz app for offline viewing. However, HBO NOW doesn’t have any offline viewing features. 

Users and Permissions

You can log in to Showtime from up to five devices. This works well if you have a large household or like to vary how you view movies and shows. That said, you’ll only be able to stream on three devices simultaneously. Competitor HBO NOW allows you to stream on up to three devices concurrently, while Starz only lets you stream on two. 

Parental Controls

The Showtime app has parental controls that you can manage for each account. This is important as the catalog contains explicit and adult content that’s not acceptable for children. To access the parental controls, open the Showtime app, and navigate to Settings. Click on Viewing Preferences and select the maturity ratings you prefer. 

showtime after dark

The final cut

Showtime’s streaming service has a healthy collection of new movies, popular original series, sports shows, and other programming. Showtime may not have the most extensive new movie collection, but it stands out when it comes to originals like Dexter, Shameless, and Homeland. Showtime’s free trial lasts for two weeks, so you’ll have plenty of time to try things out.