The 40 Best Shows to Stream on Paramount+

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The 40 Best Shows to Stream on Paramount+Paramount


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Like the rest of the streaming world, Paramount+ has evolved through many iterations (remember CBS All Access?). These days, the streamer is finally finding its footing, and the result is an impressive catalog of television across all genres.

The platform’s strength is its homegrown franchises, from the television universe that grew from Taylor Sheridan’s mega-hit Yellowstone, all the way out to space, as Paramount is the home of every Star Trek show and movie. Paramount also continues to build out the worlds of Dexter and Billions through spin-offs. And if you find comfort in the soothing rhythms of a procedural, you can turn to the countless CSI, Chicago, FBI, and NCIS series. Furthermore, there are plenty of hidden gems on the streamer courtesy of Paramount+ merging with Showtime and its Comedy Central catalog, including some greatest hits.

Below, we’ve rounded up everything you can’t miss on Paramount+. We’ve done the same for Max and Hulu too, for your viewing pleasure.

1883

Whether you’re a fan of Yellowstone or not, 1883 may be the best entry in Taylor Sheridan’s television portfolio. Starring Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill, this origin story miniseries chronicles the Dutton family’s arduous pilgrimage across the United States to eventually settle in what would be known as the Yellowstone Ranch in Montana from the flagship series.

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1923

This prequel takes place in Prohibition-era Montana, nearly a full century before the events of Yellowstone. Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford star as the heads of this era’s Dutton family, and concurrent storylines are about a Dutton son trying to get home from abroad and a survivor of an Indigenous Residential School. 1923 is set to return for a second season.

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A Gentleman in Moscow

Based on the 2016 novel by Amor Towles, this gentle limited series stars Ewan McGregor as an aristocrat who gets stripped of his title and possessions after the October Revolution in Russia, and is forced to live in a fancy hotel’s small attic for decades.

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Bargain

Fans of Squid Game may enjoy this South Korean drama, which plays out in half-hour episodes. The story starts at an illegal auction of human organs, which gets interrupted when the hotel it’s taking place in caves in on itself, leaving the auctioneers, buyers, and victims to fight for survival in the rubble.

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Being Mary Jane

Before there was The Morning Show, Gabrielle Union starred as a television news anchor in this BET drama series by Mara Brock Akil (creator of Girlfriends). The show focuses on Union’s Pauletta navigating her career and dating life alongside her friends and family, and some of the best episodes in its five seasons were directed by Regina King.

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Billions

Drawing frequent comparisons to Succession, Billions chronicles wealth and power in the world of finance and stars Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti. Although the original series has now concluded after seven seasons, Showtime has multiple spin-offs in development, including Millions and Trillions.

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Broad City

One of the most memorable stoner-buddy comedies of the 2010s, the Amy Poehler–produced Broad City follows two 20-something best friends (Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson) and their misadventures in New York City during the rise of the meme and “yas queen.”

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Colin From Accounts

The two lead characters of this charming Australian rom-com get to know each other when they’re forced to nurse a stray dog they are both responsible for hurting. The stars are also married in real life and are co-creators of the series, leading to some great chemistry and comedic nuance about their age difference.

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Couples Therapy

Fans of Esther Perel’s work will enjoy Couples Therapy, a docu-reality series following a therapist (Orna Guralnik) who guides a small handful of couples each season as we observe through hidden cameras. We even get to see Orna consult her own therapist for advice on the thornier conflicts between the partners she’s working with. Her office is always expanding its scope, introducing a polyamorous couple in the fourth season.

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Dexter

It’s been almost two decades since Michael C. Hall took on the role of Dexter, the vigilante serial killer who hunts down his fellow murderers in his spare time away from his forensic technician day job. Hall reprises the iconic character for Dexter: New Blood, a new sequel series, with an additional prequel in development as Showtime seeks to expand the franchise.

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Dreaming Whilst Black

Created by and starring Adjani Salmon and produced by A24, Dreaming Whilst Black follows an aspiring filmmaker in London who navigates his career and dating as a working-class creative, balancing the gig economy with trying to break into the film industry.

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Elsbeth

In this episodic-procedural spin-off of The Good Wife, the iconic Elsbeth Tascioni (Carrie Preston) takes a break from practicing law in Chicago to investigate police corruption at the NYPD. In the process, she realizes she’s quite good at solving murder cases, which gives the series its the case-of-the-week structure.

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Escape at Dannemora

Based on a real story, this tense miniseries follows two inmates who escape New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility in 2015 after being helped by Tilly, a prison employee (played by Patricia Arquette) they’re both sexually involved with. The entire season is directed by Ben Stiller. (Escape at Dannemora is the last show Stiller and Arquette worked on together before Apple TV+’s Severance.)

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Evil

Evil’s squad is like no other: a priest-in-training (Mike Colter), a forensic psychologist (Katja Herbers), and a technical expert (Aasif Mandvi), hired by the Catholic Church to investigate possible demonic activity. The show, from The Good Wife’s creators, is somewhat procedural and quite spooky, but compelling and extremely well acted.

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Fellow Travelers

Based on the 2007 novel of the same name by Thomas Mallon, Fellow Travelers follows two gay men from the 1950s McCarthy-era Lavender Scare to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, a decades-long love story and political drama with very raunchy sex scenes.

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Frasier

Frasier is back! The iconic, award-winning sitcom returned for a revival in 2023, with Kelsey Grammer reprising the titular role. and a new spin on the television world that initially began with the classic ’80s sitcom Cheers—meaning this universe now spans over 40 years.

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Freaks and Geeks

Very few one-season cult classics have been as influential as this one. The teen comedy is an early Judd Apatow creation and launched the careers of Linda Cardellini, Seth Rogen, and Jason Segel, among others.

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George & Tammy

Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon star as Tammy Wynette and George Jones in this miniseries, which chronicles their real-life tumultuous love story and life as country-music singers with intertwined careers.

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Ghosts

Ghosts is reliably funny and comforting. The 20-minute episodes of this comedy series follows a married New York couple who move into an old country house—only for Sam (Rose McIver) to have an accident that leaves her clinically dead for three minutes. Upon waking up, she can see and interact with the manor’s many unique ghosts, which she has to explain to her husband (Utkarsh Ambudkar). Paramount+ also has the original British version to stream, in case you can’t get enough of the spirits and their quirks.

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Halo

Halo may not be a video-game adaptation on the level of HBO’s The Last of Us, in terms of production quality, and takes many liberties with the source material, but the Pablo Schreiber–starring series is worth the watch for any fans of the space opera genre.

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Lawmen: Bass Reeves

Yet another Taylor Sheridan miniseries, this one unrelated to the Yellowstone universe. This western is based on the real-life story of Bass Reeves (played by David Oyelowo), known as one of the first Black deputy U.S. marshals in the American West.

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Mayor of Kingstown

In this series set in a fictional town in Michigan, the members of the McLusky family are the peacekeepers dealing with gang activity, prisoners, and the police. The story, revolving around the U.S. prison system, examines corruption and inequality. Jeremy Renner plays Mike McLusky, who begins his reign as “mayor” in the pilot.

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Penny Dreadful

A powerhouse showcase for Eva Green as an actress, Penny Dreadful is a gothic horror drama that combines a handful of spooky stories with frightful ingredients from Frankenstein to Dracula (plus a few demonic possessions), with a cast that includes Josh Hartnett, Rory Kinnear, and Billie Piper.

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Queer As Folk

The blueprint for gays everywhere, Queer as Folk is based on the U.K. series of the same name created by Russell T. Davies. Following the lives of five gay men living in Pittsburgh, the American show played a large role in normalizing and increasing queer representation on television.

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Ray Donovan

Liev Schreiber played titular “fixer” Ray Donovan in this crime drama, which ran for seven seasons on Showtime, mopping up the illegal activities of his mostly celebrity clients. A feature-length film continuation of the series was released in 2022.

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Special Ops: Lioness

Recently renewed for a second season, Lioness is based on a real CIA program that recruits women as operatives to collect counterterrorism intelligence. The team is led by Joe (Zoe Saldaña), who reports to her superiors, played by Nicole Kidman, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Kelly.

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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Paramount+ has the entire Star Trek catalog, but this newer entry into the franchise has all the right ingredients for both long-standing fans and newcomers to the nearly 60-year-old universe. Strange New Worlds recaptures the nostalgia of earlier series by including well-known faces like Spock, while maintaining an entertaining episodic structure and balanced character development across the crew of the starship Enterprise.

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The Affair

The Affair broke the conventions of television drama by breaking up each episode into two distinct perspectives, showcasing both sides of an affair through the eyes of lovers Noah Solloway (Dominic West) and Alison Bailey (Ruth Wilson), with future seasons introducing the perspectives of their respective spouses.

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The Chi

One of the longest-running dramas currently airing on Showtime, The Chi takes place on the South Side of Chicago. Created by Lena Waithe, the series follows the intertwined lives of a predominantly Black community and examines class, race, and loss.

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The Curse

The Curse may have been 2023’s most unsettling show. Written, created by, and starring Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie, it follows a young couple (Fielder and Oscar winner Emma Stone) as they try to make an HGTV show about self-sufficient passive homes in Española, New Mexico.

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The Equalizer

Queen Latifah could convince us to watch anything. In this crime drama based on the 1980s show of the same name, she stars as Robyn, a divorced single mother and former CIA agent who is now a vigilante “guardian angel” of those in need.

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The Good Fight

The Good Fight is a critically acclaimed spin-off of The Good Wife, focused on Christine Baranski’s Diane Lockhart as she navigates the emotional and cultural fallout of Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. It is still a legal drama, but more serialized than the flagship series, and includes an incredible cast with some Good Wife alumni and guest appearances.

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The L Word

The L Word may be the defining lesbian series of television’s contemporary evolution. It follows a group of lesbian and bisexual women as they navigate life and relationships, with a large ensemble cast. Its sequel series, The L Word: Generation Q, is sadly unavailable on Paramount+, but a new spin-off set in New York is in development.

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Tracker

Continuing the winning streak he began with This Is Us, Justin Hartley stars in Tracker as Colter Shaw, an RV-driving survivalist who lives off of reward money from finding missing people. This procedural drama premiered in the coveted post–Super Bowl slot earlier this year.

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Twin Peaks

Television’s modern era owes a lot to David Lynch and Mark Frost’s hauntingly uncanny Twin Peaks, a mystery series that explored the impact of the murder of teen beauty Laura Palmer on a small Northwestern town, and followed straight-arrow Agent Dale Cooper of the FBI (Kyle MacLachlan) as he tried to solve an increasingly complex, otherworldly puzzle. The cult classic came back for a third, even stranger season in 2017, Twin Peaks: The Return, which can also be streamed on the platform.

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United States of Tara

Why have one Toni Colette when you could have four? Diablo Cody’s Emmy-winning dramedy explores dissociative identity disorder through the character of Tara, a suburban artist and mother, based on an idea from Steven Spielberg, who serves as executive producer.

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The Woman in the Wall

Anchored by a powerful performance by Ruth Wilson, The Woman in the Wall is a psychological mystery drama that explores the real-life implications of the Magdalene laundries in Ireland, penitentiary workhouses that institutionalized young girls and women who got pregnant out of wedlock until the late 20th century.

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Yellowjackets

Lord of the Flies for the contemporary era, Yellowjackets begins when a high school soccer team’s plane crashes in the wilderness with no sign of a rescue, while also flashing forward 25 years to follow the lives of a handful of the survivors as their past returns to haunt them.

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Yellowstone

If you haven’t caught up on Yellowstone yet, the massively popular drama series essentially made writer and director Taylor Sheridan a household name, thanks to his creation of the Dutton family, who struggle to maintain ownership of and protect a ranch in Montana.

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Ziwe

Ziwe is one of a kind. Over two seasons, her satirical late-night talk show invited guests to ask them direct and at times uncomfortable political questions, plus various games, music videos, and performances, all starring Ziwe herself.

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