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Why Does Showtime Still Exist?

Yellowjackets on Showtime
Image via Showtime
Matthew Belloni
January 23, 2022

Talking about Showtime always begs the question: Why does Showtime still exist? Vulture’s Joe Adalian recently touched on this question, and I’ll go further: Showtime shouldn’t exist. Not as a standalone streaming service, anyway.

The Showtime content offering isn’t all that different from what’s on general-interest streamer Paramount+, the priority for ViacomCBS, which owns them both. And Showtime, which once credibly argued that it was a legit HBO competitor, has been underfunded by its parent company, often going months between high-profile premieres, and often losing A-list TV packages to the deep-pocketed streamers like Netflix, AppleTV+, Amazon and HBO Max. Showtime won only one Emmy at the 2021 televised show, and that was for a Stephen Colbert special.