27 Best Now TV shows: great Now TV shows available on Sky’s streaming box

Now TV has been a revelation for Sky. Its arrival in 2012 meant a whole host of programmes that used to be strictly tethered to a satellite dish could be enjoyed without a contract. Now anyone can now enjoy Sky, as long as you have a broadband connection that can stream movies and TV shows.

The box is cheap – really cheap. You can get one for under around £20 and it comes with a (limited) free subscription to either the service's movies, sports or TV offerings.

Sky now has two box options for Now TV. There's this Now TV box to entice you to take up its non-contract shenanigans. Or the new Now TV Smart Box that marries both non-contract streaming and Freeview channels.

We're here to tell you about the best Now TV shows available if you buy the monthly Entertainment Pass. Unlike Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video, Sky's shows tend to disappear a little quicker due to rights issues, but don't fear – we will keep this list of the best Now TV shows constantly updated so you always know what's available when you buy your monthly pass.

And if you don't fancy anything, don't forget to regularly check back as new content becomes available through the service.

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The Jack Bauer Power Hour was a revelation. when it first hit television screens back in 2001, debuting near to the attack on the World Trade Center, the show has always played on the spectre of real terrorist atrocities, but with a hyperreal edge that kept it firmly within the “entertainment” genre. A recent mini season – 24: Live Another Day – reinvigorated Kiefer Sutherland’s portrayal of Bauer but it’s unlikely we’ll see the rogue agent on TV again. Even more reason, then, to get stuck into all nine seasons of the show.

Seasons on Now TV: 9

Comedian and podcaster Adam Buxton is at his best when he does BUG. The show is achingly simple – show a bunch of music videos and talk about them, then point out the funniest YouTube comments that sit below them. Buxton manages to elevate this conceit and make it both hilarious and endlessly watchable.

Seasons on Now TV: 1

The Affair is not what it seems. At all. It starts off as a half-decent melodrama following writer Noah (Dominic West) and his family as they go on vacation to Montauk in Long Island. There Noah falls for local waitress Alison Lockhart (Ruth Wilson). She's married, he's married and, well, things spiral out of control. The reason The Affair is compelling viewing is because it holds a mirror up to the affair in question. We get differing points of view, from both Noah and Alison. The same scenes play out but clothes change, dialogue changes, even settings change as they remember their sides of same the convoluted story. The first season is essential viewing but the conceit is stretched somewhat for the second and third season – it's still great fun, though.

Seasons on Now TV: 3

Donald Glover wrote, starred and produced this superb show about the music scene in Atlanta. The first seasons charts the rise of two cousins as hip hop artists, trying make something of themselves. The show is what you should expect from Glover. It’s smart, funny and a fitting looks at being black and middle class in America. Unfortunately season 2 is going to be delayed as Glover is set to play a young Lando in the upcoming Han Solo movie. As excuses go, that’s one of the best we have heard.

Seasons on Now TV: 1

It looks like there won’t be a season 3 for Aquarius, which is a real shame as the show was just getting good. Based on the lurid true-life goings on of Charles Manson and his ‘family’ the show is part police procedural and part biopic of the cult leader. David Duchovny is great as the investigating officer – injecting humour into a show that clearly goes to dark places. The second season is where things get really good, with all of the episodes relating in some way to the Manson Family’s grizzly murders.

Seasons on Now TV: 2

It’s not often that you root for a billionaire hedge fund manager, but Damian Lewis’ likeable performance in Billions means you get behind the rich guy – even if his methods of making money may be on the dubious side. Lewis is Bobby Axelrod a hedge fund manager that is being pursued by Paul Giamatti’s Chuck Rhoades for insider trading. The whole things is an effortless watch and endlessly entertaining.

Seasons on Now TV: 1

Swearier than Delia Smith at a Norwich game, Deadwood is a show that may have been short-lived but it will linger a long time in the memory. From the golden age of HBO programming, Deadwood stars a never-bettered Ian McShane as saloon owner Al Swearengen – even his name is sweary – and Timothy Olyphant as the sheriff of Deadwood Seth Bullock. Over three seasons, and set some six months after Custer’s last stand, life (and death) in Deadwood is laid bare.

Seasons on Now TV: 3

There’s jump scares aplenty in this adaptation of the ‘true story’ of a house in London in the Seventies that was subject of a vicious haunting. The cast is pitch perfect, with Timothy Spall as the sympathetic paranormal inspector and newcomer Eleanor Worthington-Cox as one of the children affected by the poltergeist. While the show doesn’t scrimp on accusations that the hauntings were faked by the children, it does hit hard with its scares – think Paranormal Activity by way of EastEnders.

Seasons on Now TV: 1

The Flash is the best superhero show on television. Yes, that includes all of the Marvel entities. It’s the best as it’s the truest to the comic books, has a fantastic Flash in the form of Grant Gustin and scripts that add real pathos to all of the characters – even when they are fighting giant gorillas. 

Season one sets the story arcs up well, while season two intricately plots the events leading up to season 3, which start with the famous comic-book series Flashpoint.

Seasons on Now TV: 2

The most expensive Sky show in history is also one of its most divisive. Many love the slow, snow-strewn plot that keeps you guessing right till the end but others were expecting something a bit more action packed – given much of the pre hype was all about polar bears versus humans. Take it as what it is meant to be, though – a crime drama in the Scandinavian mould, sprinkled with supernatural elements – and there is a lot to love. And anything with Michael Gambon as an angry drunk man will get our attention.

Season 2 launches 26 January – once the first episodes air, all 10 episodes will available on demand.

Seasons on Now TV: 2 (as of 26 January)

The first season of Gomorrah – based on the fantastic true expose of the Sicilian Camorra crime empire by Roberto Saviano – was a brilliant, brutal look at what it means to be a gangster in Sicily. It showed a world that was far away from Godfather romanticism but never really proved a hit to audiences. The second season of the show has changed this, with Gomorrah picking up acclaim from anyone who’s seen it.It’s a show that’s just as epic in scope as The Wire and we can’t wait to see where further seasons take it.

Seasons on Now TV: 2

There’s been a glut of cult movies made into TV shows (Fargo and Psycho are also now TV favourites), but Hannibal is the best there is. The most surreal show since Twin Peaks, Hannibal weaves the mythos of Hannibal Lector effortlessly with dream-like imagery and superb acting. While Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham is a little one note, Mads Mikkelsen as Lector makes the character his own, complementing Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal rather than making you pine for it. The third and unfortunately final season delves both into Hannibal’s younger years and the exploits of the book Red Dragon – so there’s no better time to catch this superb series.

Seasons on Now TV: 2 (seasons 2 and 3)

If you like your comedy dark then Hunderby isn’t for you. If you like your comedy so black it becomes a vortex that sucks in all of time and space then Hunderby is for you. At its heart the show is a send up of period dramas, following the messed up lives of Helene and Edmund at the turn of the 19th Century. Filled with hilarious plot twists and grotesque characters, there’s good reason its creator Julia Davis won a Bafta for the show – it’s hilarious.

Seasons on Now TV: 1

Although this show suffers from diminishing returns – the third and fourth series aren’t a patch on the first two – Mad Dogs is still one of the most entertaining British dramas in years. Centred on a group of childhood friends on a visit to one of their number who’s made it big in Spain, the way the show twists and turns itself into a downward spiral is astonishing – as are some of the more surreal aspects of the story. Max Beesley, John Simm, Marc Warren and Phil Glenister are superb as the four mates who go through hell and back.

Seasons on Now TV: 4

After seven seasons of slow, brooding brilliance Mad Men is coming to a close. It’s a show that needs to be seen by all. While it takes its time to unspool its narrative, the story of ad man Don Draper is one that’s worth the wait. Creator Matthew Weiner – fresh from The Sopranos – mines great cultural events from the ’60s and ’70s to give Mad Men historical weight, but the show is at its best when it just focuses on its extremely flawed and brilliantly portrayed characters. Mad Men will be sorely missed, but at least it has been given the send off it so dearly deserves.

Seasons on Now TV: 7

Alan Partridge will always be a brilliant comic character but there was always a worry that Steve Coogan would stretch the joke too thin. Thankfully this didn't happen with the arrival of Mid Morning Matters. Instead, plot was discarded in favour of Partridge doing what he does best, presenting a radio station. The best thing about the show is that the laughs are split between Coogan and Sidekick Simon (a superb Tim Key) and each episode is short enough not to outstay its welcome. Fantastic stuff.

Seasons on Now TV: 2

Modern Family has been consistently hilarious for six seasons now, using The Simpsons’ method of showing good ol’ family values through, well, good ol’ family dysfunction. Every episode hits the spot. The writing is Emmy award-winning and the acting too, even if the central idea that the Dunphy/Pritchett family is being filmed for a documentary wears a little thin after a while. This is one of Sky’s biggest shows and for good reason, too.

Seasons on Now TV: 7

Chris O’Dowd has never been better than in this fantastic sitcom, loosely based on his life in Ireland. He stars as Sean, the imaginary friend of Martin Moone, a kid growing up in the ’80s. Filled with some fantastic comedy – mainly from Ian O’Reilly who plays Padraic in the show – and more heart and pathos than you would normally find in a 30-minute sitcom, Moone Boy is as good a coming-of-age tale as you will find anywhere.

Seasons on Now TV: 3

The Pacific’s biggest problem is that it succeeded Band of Brothers. If it didn’t then it would be rightly regarded as one of the best TV shows around. Spielberg’s second stab at WWII TV drama is a delight, focusing on US soldiers fighting in the pacific – from Iwo Jima to Okinawa. Each episode unfurls like a movie, with the budget to match.

Seasons on Now TV: 1

The last time famous characters from Victorian gothic literature got together on the screen it was for the laughable adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Even the genius words of Alan Moore couldn’t make that work. So, when Bond scribe John Logan announced he was doing a similar thing with Penny Dreadful, we were sceptical. But it really works. Everyone from Frankenstein’s monster – who is finally as poetic as he is in the novel – to Dorian Gray have been given a revisionist spin that makes this series both scary and entertaining.

Seasons on Now TV: 3

The first long trailer was ridiculed for looking like a rom com, but Supergirl has proved its critics wrong and over the course of two seasons has show itself to be one of the best superhero shows on television. Melissa Benoist is fantastic as Kara Zor-El, playing her just on the right side of innocent, while the inclusion of a certain other superhero in season 2 could have been a bad idea but it has really made Supergirl, well, fly.

Seasons on Now TV: 2

This Is Jinsy is a strange beast. It has the playfulness of the Mighty Boosh and characters akin to The League of Gentlemen and yet there is nothing like it on television at the moment. The surreal nature of the show – set on the fictional island of Jinsy – means that not all of the comedy hits but when it does it’s superb. Guest stars seem to be scrabbling to be on it, too. With the likes of Jennifer Saunders and David Tennant already sewn into the world of Jinsy, expect more talent when it comes back for season 3.

Seasons on Now TV: 1 (season 2)

Based on the books by Blake Crouch, Wayward Pines is a Twin Peaks-lite show that houses a massive mystery. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) wakes up in the town Wayward Pines after a car crash – from the off, nothing is what it seems. Although not as fun as the books, the show has a stellar cast. Matt DIllon is great as Burke, while Melissa Leo is perfectly cast as the sinister Nurse Pam. Each episode goes at such a breakneck speed, you certainly won't be bored but it's sometimes hard to keep up.
Season Two is also available but as it’s not based on the books it’s rather less successful than the first.

Seasons on Now TV: 2

Twin Peaks is the greatest, strangest season of TV spread over two seasons. The show is both beautiful and grotesque, simple and convoluted. The premise is simple: some FBI agents come to the sleepy town of Twin Peaks to investigate the murder of Laura Palmer but the way the tale is told is through dreamscapes and . Created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, the series was eventually hamstrung by annoying TV execs forcing the murderer to be revealed mid way through the second season, but this doesn’t detract from the complete brilliance of a show that was way ahead of its time.

Seasons on Now TV: 2

Aaron Sorkin’s stock as a screenwriter may be a little low at the moment, thanks to the saccharine nature of The Newsroom, but if you want to remember him at his best then The West Wing is for you. Not only does it have the best cast ever assembled for a television show – led by the fantastic Martin Sheen – it’s also a series that has influenced many programmes since. A winner of 26 Emmys, The West Wing showed that network television can be just as good as cable TV. A must watch.

Seasons on Now TV: 7

While the movie Westworld, about a theme park where robots turn against humans, was a testbed for Jurassic Park, about a theme park where genetically modified dinosaurs turn against humans, the Westworld TV show promises to be something much bigger. 

Penned by Jonathan Nolan – brother of Chris – the show expands on the ‘playing God’ mythos, teasing us with characters that could be robots and robots whose emotions and actions are more humane than the real people interacting with them. 

Seasons on Now TV: 1 (new episodes weekly)

Jude Law is in his element in The Young Pope. It’s the role of his career and he looks to be savouring every single moment of screen time. The show is a surreal, brilliant piece of television that charts the rise of a young pope who becomes the first American pope to reign. Paolo Sorrentino has gone full arthouse for this show, which won’t suit everyone but it’s glorious to watch.

Seasons on Now TV: 1

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