Cordcutters get all the glory these days, but there’s something to be said for the part of our population that still proudly pays for cable TV subscriptions. Of course, these days online streaming services rival cable, and some can even be used as cable logins to watch content on TV Everywhere platforms.
So even if you don’t have a cable subscription (or at least have the login information from a trusted friend or family member who does), you can still access the fine programming available.
From comedy to drama to action-packed adventures, these are the best cable TV shows out there. We didn’t include FX shows since they’re included in our Fox roundup. But here’s the best of everything else released in 2018.
10. Hollywood Darlings (Pop TV)
Cast: Christine Lakin, Beverley Mitchell, Jodie Sweetin
Three child stars from the 90s are now facing an Entourage-style Hollywood lifestyle. These Hollywood darlings are adults and face hilarious situations, often with big-name guest stars from eras past and present.
9. Brockmire (IFC)
Cast: Hank Azaria, Amanda Peet, Tyrel Jackson
Hank Azaria is one of the top comedic geniuses of modern times. In Brockmire, he provides the best show on IFC since Maron, and this one’s likely to keep making drug- and alcohol-fueled debauchery consistently entertaining, something recovering addicts always fumble.
8. The Detour (TBS)
Cast: Jason Jones, Natalia Zea, Ashley Gerasimovich
Season one was a road trip inspired by a failed whistle blow. From there, Nate Parker and his family have been on the run, with season three finding them in Alaska. It’s hard to stop watching this detour go off the rails, and check out how it ranks among the funniest TV shows of all time.
7. Better Call Saul (AMC)
Cast: Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Rhea Seehorn
This Breaking Bad spinoff (and if you haven’t seen Breaking Bad, you should) follows con-man turned lawyer Jimmy McGill six years before the events in Breaking Bad. Like its predecessor, it’s very critically acclaimed, and the accolades are definitely deserved.
6. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW)
Cast: Rachel Bloom, Vincent Rodriguez III, Donna Lynne Champlin
Rebecca Bunch has a nervous breakdown, uproots her life, and moves to West Covina, California to stalk an ex. Over the years, she finds herself in relationships with both Josh and his friends, and the musical numbers continue delivering. This underrated hit is the best musical comedy on TV.
5. Teachers (TV Land)
Cast: Caitlin Barlow, Katy Colloton, Cate Freedman, Kate Lambert, Katie O’Brien, Katheryn Renee Thomas
The Katydids brought the funniest school-based comedy of the twenty-first century to TV Land. Unfortunately it wasn’t renewed, and TV Land no longer has original programming. With any luck Netflix, Hulu, Crackle, or any of the streaming services will finance a continuation of this brilliant Chicago-based workplace comedy.
4. Queen of the South (USA)
Cast: Alice Braga, Veronica Falcon, Justina Machado
USA’s sister network runs a brilliant telenovela called La Reina del Sur that USA Network brought to American audiences as Queen of the South. Teresa Mendoza rises from poverty in Sinaloa to the top ranks of Mexico’s drug cartels. Where Weeds jumped the shark, Queen is just getting started.
Cast: Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy
Eugene Levy puts his family on screen in the best comedy about dysfunctional rich people since Arrested Development. Every season, the Rose family gets more likeable as they integrate themselves into small town life. If you’re not already watching this brilliantly hilarious show, you’re missing out.
Also check out the funniest TV shows released in 2018.
2. The Walking Dead (AMC)
Cast: Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies
One thing you can count on in AMC’s flagship post-apocalyptic horror series is nobody is safe. Zombies roam the earth, and even the human survivors aren’t much fun to deal with. The Walking Dead is so beloved by fans that it spawned spinoffs from Fear the Walking Dead to Talking Dead, and properties like games, books, and toys ensure it won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
1. Doctor Who (BBC America)
Cast: Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill
Doctor Who has been on and off the BBC since 1963, with an ever-changing cast of Doctors and companions. It also inspired spinoffs like Torchwood, K-9, The Sarah Jane Adventures, and more. The most recent Doctor for 2018 is a woman, and we’re all anxious to see how long she lasts. Her style is unique, although 13 isn’t a lucky number.