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The best shows on Paramount Plus

From left, Audra McDonald as Liz Reddick; Christine Baranski as Diane Lockhart; Cush Jumbo as Lucca Quinn in "The Good Fight" on Paramount Plus.
(Image credit: ViacomCBS)

It's impossible to boil down all the best shows on Paramount+. There simply are too many of them. It's an impossible task — to say nothing of a subjective one. But it's also extremely important given that Paramount+ isn't just a rebranding of CBS All Access. It's an expansion of the entirety of what's available, pulling from the entire ViacomCBS family of networks. 

That said, we're up to the task. We absolutely can (and must!) weigh in on the best Paramount+ shows that are available today, and a few that are coming up in the future.

MORE: Our Paramount Plus review

Some you may know. Others you may not. But each absolutely is worth your time.

Paramount+ itself is the new home for some of your favorite content from the ViacomCBS family. That includes CBS proper, of course, as well as Paramount shows and films, the MTV family, the entire Star Trek universe, Nickelodeon, and a lot more. Paramount+ costs $9.99 a month at launch (current CBS All Access customers will have access with their current pricing schemes), with a $4.99-a-month plan available as of June 7, 2021. But it won't have access to the live stream of local CBS affiliates. (You should, however, still be able to get to that CBS live stream if you log in to Paramount+ with a cable subscription.)

There also is a Paramount+ free trial that you definitely should take advantage of.

You'll also find live sports on Paramount+, from the best of European football, to the National Women's Soccer League here in the United States. And, yes, you'll be able to watch the NFL on Paramount+.

And you'll can watch Paramount+ all the places you'd expect. That means Paramount+ on Roku and on Amazon Fire TV. You can watch Paramount+ on an iPhone or Android device. It's also available on other streaming platforms like Apple TV, Android TV, and the newer Google TV. You can watch on myriad smart TV platforms, and also on the web. 

(If films are more your thing, we've got you covered, too. These are the best movies on Paramount+.)

But back to the shows. These are the best of the best that you'll find on Paramount+:

Yellowstone

Beloved by critics and viewers alike, Yellowstone has been on the Paramount Network since June 2018 and is now making the leap to Paramount+. It wasn't available on CBS All Access, and so it's going to find itself in front of a lot more eyeballs. (There's also more shows coming from the Yellowstone universe, which definitely isn't going to hurt any.)

Yellowstone comprises 29 episodes over three seasons thus far, gaining in popularity with each round. (The Season 3 finale notched some 5.16 million viewers, a little less than double that of the Season 2 finale.)

Yellowstone tells the story of the Dutton family, which owns the largest ranch in the United States in its sixth generation. It's led by John Dutton (Kevin Costner), who is constantly fighting off anyone who wants to take the land. Along with Costner, Yellowstone stars Luke Grimes, Kelly Reilly, Wes Bentley, Cole Hauser, Kelsey Asbille and Brecken Merrill.

Star Trek: Discovery

Like CBS All Access before it, Paramount+ is the exclusive home of all things Star Trek. (That is, everything except the "Kelvin timeline" movies.) the If you haven't tried any of the modern-day Trek series, the first three seasons of Discovery are a brilliant watch. And the upcoming Strange New Worlds should be great.

Star Trek: Discovery is a world unto itself. Set in a time before the Original Series, Discovery follows the crew of the USS Discovery as it simultaneously causes and tries to end a war with the Klingon Empire, create an use a new kind of propulsion that could revolutionize interstellar space travel, contend with the consequences of the multi-verse, and in season 3 adapt to a world nearly 900 years in the future — and one in which the Federation is all but extinct.

It's a fascinating watch (particularly the first two seasons) and a very different take on the Trek universe. These aren't the Boy Scouts you're used to on TV. Discovery is much more real, and has a terrific cast, with Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Emily Coutts, Wilson Cruz, Michelle Yeoh, Anson Mount, David Ajala, Jason Isaacs, Ethan Peck — and a whole lot more.

The Good Fight

The Good Fight is a spinoff and sequel from the hit CBS show The Good Wife. It's made it through four seasons already and has been renewed for a fifth. The Good Fight kicks off a year after the series finale of The Good Wife and sees a financial scam wipe out the savings of Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and wreck the reputation of her mentee, Maia Rindell. They're forced out of their firm and join up with one of Diane's former employees.

The female-led show hits on a number of topics that could well have been ripped from the headlines of the past few years, including the Me Too movement, the alt-right, online abuse, and fake news.

Along with Baranski, The Good Fight stars Rose Leslie, Erica Tazel, Cush Jumbo, Delroy Lindo, Sarah Steele, Justin Bartha, Michael Boatman, Michael Sheen, Zach Grenier, Nyambi Nyambi, Audra McDonald, and John Larroquette.

Clarice

A year after we put the lotion in the basket in Silence of the Lambs, we follow Clarice Starling as she heads back into the field with the FBI. It's easy to forget that she's still a pretty new agent — something her superiors are determined not to let her forget — never mind that she captured Buffalo Bill. 

We're only in the first season, but Clarice already has the makings of an extremely strong series for CBS and for Paramount+, thanks in no small part to the performance of Rebecca Breeds (who has that southern accent down pat), Michael Cudlitz, Lucca de Oliveira, Kal Penn,and Nick Sandow.

iCarly

What do you do if you've suddenly found yourself with one of the biggest kids-and-family shows around? You reboot that sucker. And much of the gang from iCarly is back for more.

Original cast members Miranda Cosgrove, Nathan Kress and Jerry Trainor get together with new friends for a look at the present-day lives of their beloved characters.

And of course there will be plenty of adventures and hilarious mishaps.

The Real World: Homecoming: New York

Without The Real World there wouldn't be reality TV as we know it today. That means no Kardashians. That means no 90 Day Fiance. That means no Big Brother or Love Island or ... take your pick. The 1992 MTV series started it all. And 30 years later they're coming back to New York City and back to that same Manhattan loft in The Real World: Homecoming: New York.

Every single one of the original seven strangers are back. Norm Korpi. Julie Gentry. Becky Blasband. Kevin Powell. Andre Comeau. Heather Gardner. And Eric Nies. (Sort of, any. Eric only makes video appearances.)

It certainly won't be the same as the original. Back in 1992, the Internet was just a baby. There were no smartphones. No Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat and 24 hour news cycles.

But maybe that just makes the view 30 years later that much more compelling.

Younger

Darren Star's hit series Younger is moving to Paramount+ for its seventh and final season. (OK, it's premiering on Paramount+ and will be available on TV Land later this year.)

The last hurrah will comprise 12 episodes, and the previous six seasons all are available on Paramount+, as well as other streaming services.

The party line, for those who haven't watched yet, is that Younger "follows Liza Miller (Sutton Foster), a talented editor navigating the highly competitive world of publishing — while juggling the complications of mixing business with pleasure and facing the lie she created about her age to land her dream job."

No real hints yet as what to expect in the final season on Paramount+ — but it's going to have all the emotions.

Younger stars Sutton Foster, Miriam Shor, Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar and Nico Tortorella.

Phil Nickinson

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations, is the Dad part of Modern Dad, and is editor of WhatToWatch.com.