Showtime has long been a close competitor of HBO and other premium networks. From its original shows to its hit movie library to its pay-per-view sporting events, Showtime forms a strong pillar of the Paramount Global conglomerate. But, with such an increased emphasis being placed on streaming these days, it can be hard to find the channel on your television guide. What channel is Showtime on DirecTV? Let’s break the answer down below.
Showtime Channel Guide
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The History of Showtime
Showtime is one of the most popular premium television networks in the game right now. From its original programming to its movie library to its sports offerings, the network is a vital asset of the Paramount Global company. The channel dates back to 1976. Media company Viacom decided to take on the increasingly popular premium cable network HBO with a network of its own. At the outset, Showtime simply couldn’t bring in the kind of subscriber numbers that HBO had. This brought on inevitable financial struggles that threatened to shut down the underdog network.
In an effort to get out of the hole, Showtime began airing exclusive movies and sporting events viewers couldn’t find on HBO. This proved to be a smart move. It gave the station the leg up that it needed to have a fighting chance against the competition. As the ‘70s gave way to the ‘80s, Showtime made another strategic move: the introduction of its first original series, Faerie Tale Theatre. Fronted by actress Shelley Duvall, the anthology series retold classic fairy tales with the help of famous directors Francis Ford Coppola, Tim Burton, and others.
The network continued to grow by implementing other original shows and films alongside its existing syndicated and sports programs. Then, in 1994, as the final piece of the puzzle, network owner Viacom merged with Paramount Communications. This officially brought Showtime into the Paramount fold. 2000s series such as Dexter, Weeds, Shameless, and Homeland helped Showtime remain a strong premium cable provider into the 21st century. Today, Showtime continues to produce hit series like Billions and The Chi as well as broadcast must-see sporting events.
Showtime Sister Stations
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Now that we know where to find Showtime on DirecTV, let’s go over some of the most engaging programming you’re likely to find airing on this block of channels. From its original scripted and unscripted programming to its library of feature and documentary films (not to mention its sporting events), Showtime has a must-watch programming catalog. Let’s take a long look at the different types of Showtime programming airing today.
Original scripted shows make up a large part of Showtime’s daily programming blocks. Today, the lineup consists of Billions — currently in its final season — alongside The Chi, Yellowjackets, and Super Pumped. Miniseries Fellow Travelers is also slated to start airing before 2023’s end. Past offerings include The Affair, Ray Donovan, Shameless, Homeland, and Dexter.
Unscripted shows make up the other side of the coin that is Showtime’s original programming. From reality programs to documentaries to talk shows, this unscripted content often proves just as successful as the scripted stuff. Current examples include All Access, The Circus, Couple’s Therapy, and the upcoming Deadlocked.
Showtime also has a variety of hit movies on its schedule. These range from new releases to classic titles from the Paramount library. Looking at the network’s daily schedule, viewers can find everything from ’90s staples like Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) and Schindler’s List (1993) to contemporary releases like 1917 (2019) and Devotion (2022), and beyond. Showtime even produces its own original films. Examples include Ray Donovan: The Movie (2022) and Meet Me in the Bathroom (2022).
Sports programming is the final piece of the Showtime puzzle. From mixed martial arts matches to Inside NASCAR, championship boxing to Headliners with Rachel Nichols, Showtime clearly loves a good premium sporting event. Its sports talk shows are more recent additions. However, its MMA and boxing matchups have been integral to the network’s success since the ’80s.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Paramount Global.