In the late ’90s and early aughts, there might as well only have been two cable networks creating original content: HBO and its perpetual runner-up, Showtime. As the number of original content creators has swelled, HBO has maintained its predominance—or the perception of such—while the second tier, which Showtime used to have more or less to itself, has gotten crowded, with Netflix, FX, and AMC elbowing in, and occasionally making room for buzzy series from all corners of the TV universe, including PBS, Amazon, BBC America, Starz, Cinemax, USA, and Lifetime.
A glass-half-full kind of person might note that Showtime ranks very high in the TV channel hierarchy. A glass-half-empty kind of person might note that Showtime has been stuck in the same place for a long time. The reason Showtime has never been able to separate itself from the front of […]