Updated: 25 Best Now TV shows: great Now TV shows available on Sky’s streaming box

25 best Now TV shows

Wayward Pines

Now TV has been a revelation for Sky. It’s 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 has also revealed a new Now TV box and monthly sports pass to entice you to take up its non-contract shenanigans.

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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1. 24

24

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

2. The Blacklist

25 best Now TV shows: great series available on Sky's streaming box

James Spader. That name should be enough to get you watching The Blacklist. The actor – who recently lent his voice to Avengers: Age of Ultron – is fantastic in this show. Only an actor of his calibre could portray playfulness in a character who at his heart is a cold, sadistic megalomaniac. The premise is simple: Red (Spader), one of the FBI’s Most Wanted, hands himself in with the caveat that he has information on hundreds of other criminals – information he uses to twist the FBI around his malicious little finger. While the supporting cast isn’t quite up to Spader’s magnificence, this is one of the most enjoyable shows on Sky at the moment.

Seasons on Now TV: 2

3. The Enfield Haunting

Enfield Haunting

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

4. Entourage

Entourage

Forget the terrible movie, Entourage works best on the small screen and in small chunks. The show is a larger-than-life representation of what it is like to try and make it big in Hollywood and lives and dies by the group of characters it follows. Standout is Ari Gold, Jeremy Piven’s funny but ever-irritating agent. Loosely based on the life of Mark Whalberg, this is great throwaway fun.

Seasons on Now TV: 8

5. Falling Skies

Falling Skies

Falling Skies is that rare show that never hit superstar status but was given time to breath by its network and even allowed to end on its own terms. Falling Skies starts after an alien attack has devastated the world. All that survives are a ragtag group of survivors who must live among the terror of the aliens that have invaded. Given there are a number of similarities to Waling Dead (swap out zombies for aliens). This is the perfect fix until the next season of the Undead arrives.

Seasons on Now TV: 5

6. Fortitude

Fortitude

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.

Seasons on Now TV: 1

7. Game of Thrones

25 best Now TV shows: great series available on Sky's streaming box

The fantasy genre on television was floundering before Game of Thrones came along. Prised from the George RR Martin’s towering tome, GoT is a masterpiece of storytelling. It’s part Godfather (warring families, copious bloodshed), part Tolkien (freaking dragons), and it gets better with each season. This is the crown jewel for both Sky and HBO, and is now one of the biggest shows in the world, with a budget to match. The series is now at a crucial point, as the show’s plots overtakes those in the books. Keeping avid readers sweet will be a tough challenge but for those who just know this world through the TV show, it makes for riveting television.

Seasons on Now TV: 1

8. Gomorrah

25 best Now TV shows: great series available on Sky's streaming box

This look at the “other” Italian Mafia does not shirk from showing the grime and brutality of life in the Camorra crime syndicate. Based on the fascinating book by Roberto Saviano, Gomorrah shines a stark light on the corruption that permeates the Italian city of Naples – from the fashion outlets to the drug dens, everything is connected – while ensuring interesting characters still shine through. You can tell this is a TV show based on true stories. Let’s just hope there’s many more series to tell them properly.

Seasons on Now TV: 1

9. Hannibal

25 best Now TV shows: great series available on Sky's streaming box

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: 3

10. Hunderby

Hunderby

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. Season 2 comprises two feature-length episodes and ups the macabre. Great stuff.

Seasons on Now TV: 2

11. Justified

25 best Now TV shows: great series available on Sky's streaming box

Justified has never quite matched the critical heights of The Sopranos or The Wire, but it deserves to be mentioned in the same breath. It’s extraordinary television that centres on a marshal (the excellent Timothy Olyphant) who is sent back to his home town after getting a little trigger happy on the job. The show was used as a bit of an experiment by Sky – the sixth season was only shown on demand, alongside an archive of all the seasons. We don’t know if it was a success but it does mean the whole show is available to watch through Now TV and that can only be a good thing.

Seasons on Now TV: 6

12. The Knick

the knick

When director Steven Soderbergh announced he was leaving the world of movies for television, we were a little worried that he had made the wrong choice. Then The Knick came along and completely floored us. Set in a hospital in New York in the early 1900s, the show centres on John Thackery (Clive Owen) a troubled surgeon who likes to try new and experimental ways to treat his patience, with sometimes dire consequences. This is television at its finest.

Seasons on Now TV: 1

13. The Leftovers

The Leftovers

The Leftovers is bleak. Like really bleak. It begins a little after a Rapture-like event, where a number of people in the world have simply vanished and focuses on the lives of those, well, leftover. Adapted for the screen by Lost’s Damon Lindelhof, The Leftovers may have a similar Lost-like ensemble approach to its storytelling but that’s where the similarities end. The Leftovers is much more real and while this takes time to getting used to it’s more than worth it.

Seasons on Now TV: 1

14. Mad Dogs

25 best Now TV shows: great series available on Sky's streaming box

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

15. Mad Men

25 best Now TV shows: great series available on Sky's streaming box

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

16. Modern Family

25 best Now TV shows: great series available on Sky's streaming box

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: 6

17. Moone Boy

25 best Now TV shows: great series available on Sky's streaming box

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

18. Penny Dreadful

25 best Now TV shows: great series available on Sky's streaming box

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: 1

19. Prison Break

prison break

When the whole plot of your TV show revolves around someone getting a massive back tattoo, your show deserves to fail. But Prison Break managed to rise above this rather silly plot point and deliver a series that was both entertaining and highly implausible. Wentworth Miller is the man sent into prison to help his innocent brother escape. If you don’t try and poke holes in the plot, this high-concept drama will keep you entertained.

Seasons on Now TV: 4

20. Prisoners of War

25 best Now TV shows: great series available on Sky's streaming box

Although this Israeli series was adapted into the US drama Homeland, the original remains the superior show. Where Homeland has one soldier coming back to the real world after captivity, Prisoners of War has three. Where Homeland pushes the action at the expense of the ideas, Prisoners explores how torture can change someone into something that they never thought they would become. Homeland lost its way after it stopped following Prisoners of War – which in itself shows how good this Israel-produced drama is.

Seasons on Now TV: 1

21. Sons of Anarchy

Sons of Anarchy

All seven seasons of the biker drama have hit Now TV – and the series could well be the biggest draw to the service yet. Charlie Huffman leads a cracking cast that tells the tale of Californian biker group, the Sons of Anarchy. Shakespearean in its drama, the show intertwines domestic drama with illegal goings on brilliantly and manages to bring sympathy to a ragtag group that doesn’t really deserve it. The show has now ended, so what you get on Now TV is the complete, superb series.

Seasons on Now TV: 7

22. This is Jinsy

This is Jinsy

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

23. True Blood

True Blood

True Blood was a phenomenon when it first aired back in 2008. The tales of Sookie Stackhouse were Twilight-esque books but the show found gold in the idea of a town that learns to respect vampires. The show suited HBO’s racier format, with gore and nudity aplomb but lost its way after season 5. Now TV has got all seven seasons, though, so at least you can see how the adventures of Sookie actually end.

Seasons on Now TV: 7

24. Wayward Pines

Wayward Pines

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.

Seasons on Now TV: 1

25. The West Wing

25 best Now TV shows: great series available on Sky's streaming box

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

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