The CBS All Access streaming service started in 2014, but it wasn’t until 2017 when it began launching original and exclusive TV shows. While its list of original series isn’t nearly as large compared to other services like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video, CBS All Access does have a number of solid and acclaimed shows to stream, and more are in the works. Furthermore, if you are a Star Trek fan, you really need a subscription to the service.
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Here’s a look at all the current CBS All Access shows, along with all the upcoming exclusive shows on the service. We will mention that because this is a paid streaming service, all of the shows on CBS All Access have more adult language and deal with more mature themes compared to the shows on the main CBS broadcast network.
Best current CBS All Access shows
Editor’s Note: We will be updating this list as more CBS All Access shows debut on this service.
1. The Good Fight
The first CBS All Access exclusive series, The Good Fight is a spin-off of the acclaimed CBS network series The Good Wife. It stars Christine Baranski, who once again plays lawyer Diane Lockhart. She believes she’s about to retire but finds out her financial portfolio is nearly gone due to a Ponzi-style scam. She is forced to go back to work at an African American–owned firm in Chicago. The series currently has four seasons to stream.
2. Star Trek: Discovery
Over a decade after the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise, CBS All Access debuted the sixth live-action series based on Gene Roddenberry’s space-based sci-fi franchise. It’s set in the 23rd century, but 10 years before the events of the original series. Star Trek: Discovery focuses on Michael Burnham, played by Sonequa Martin-Green, a human who was raised by Mr. Spock’s family as an adoptive daughter. However, the first episode of the series sees Burnham make a huge decision while serving as a first officer on the USS Shenzhou, which leads her to come on board the new USS Discovery vessel.
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This show, while getting mostly high marks from TV critics, has its detractors from some long-time Star Trek fans, who feel the show doesn’t fit in with Roddenberry’s themes for the original series and its follow-ups. However, the show does have a lot of great performances and excellent visual effects. You can stream the first two seasons on CBS All Access now, with the third season due to drop in October 2020.
3. Star Trek: Below Decks
This is an adult-themed half-hour animated comedy series, set a year after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis. It centers on characters who are part of the support crew for the USS Cerritos, one of the lesser ships in Starfleet. The series, created by former Rick and Morty” head writer Mike McMahan, is in the middle of its first season, and a second season has already been approved.
4. The Twilight Zone
Rod Serling’s classic sci-fi anthology series has been revived a number of times for both TV and film, but this latest version gets extra points for snapping up Jordan Peele. The writer-director of the acclaimed horror movies Get Out and Us serves as both its executive producer its host. The 10-episode first season, like the classic series, serves up parables of current events in a sci-fi, fantasy or horror setting. There’s even a (kind-of) remake of the acclaimed original episode Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, with the remake’s title, Nightmare at 30,000 Feet, taking us even higher. In a nice feature, you can also watch the 10-episode first season in black and white, in a nice tip of the hat to the original series. The second season of The Twilight Zone is also available to stream now.
5. Strange Angel
One of the biggest early forces in the development of jets and rocketry in the US was Jack Parsons, and Strange Angel focuses on his story. Played by Jack Reynor, the series shows how Parsons helped to engineer some of the earliest high-level jets and rockets in the 1930s and later helped to found the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. However, he was also an occultist who participated in sex magic rituals. You can stream the two seasons of this odd show, based on a true story, at CBS All Access.
6. Tell Me A Story
This odd show is hard to describe, but we will try anyway. It mixes up elements of fairy tales like The Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Gretel, and Little Red Riding Hood but puts them in modern-day New York City. If you feel that kind of show is for you, here it is. You can watch two seasons of the show now.
7. No Activity
The only straight-up comedy on CBS All Access at the moment, No Activity is about two cops who are on an extended stake out of a drug cartel, and also shows some of the other low-end members on both sides of this criminal activity. The show stars Tim Meadows and Patrick Brammall as the two cops, but it features guest appearances from actors like Will Ferrell, J.K. Simmons and Jessica Alba. You can stream the three seasons of the show now.
This show may have the most interesting premise among all the CBS All Access shows, It’s based on a true story about a police investigation of a man who is accused of murdering his mother. The show’s episodes focus on separate interrogations into this case. The twist is that CBS All Access says users can watch the first nine episodes of this series in any order. Thus, viewers can feel like they are taking part in this murder investigation. The final 10th episode can then be watched after all of the previous episodes are viewed.
9. Why Women Kill
This original CBS All Access series comes from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry. Like that show, Why Women Kill is a female-centric show, but the three main characters are each in different time periods. However, all of them are linked by their desire to kill their unfaithful husbands. Ginnifer Goodin plays a housewife in 1963, while Lucy Liu plays a wife in 1984 who discovers her husband is having a gay affair. Finally, Kirby Howell-Baptiste is a woman in the present day in an “open” relationship but finds she and her husband are both attracted to the same woman.
10. Star Trek: Picard
Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Sir Patrick Stewart returns as Jean-Luc Picard in this series, set 20 years after his last appearance as the character in the movie Star Trek Nemesis. He may not be the captain of the USS Enterprise anymore, but he has a new mission after a mysterious girl shows up on his doorstep. The first season is available now, and a second season is already been confirmed for 2021.
Upcoming CBS All Access shows
As we mentioned, if you are a Star Trek fan, CBS All Access is the streaming network for you in 2020 with at least two new shows planned for the service, in addition to Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek, Picard and Star Trek: Lower Decks.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds
This is a planned spinoff of Discovery that will take place onboard the original U.S.S. Enterprise, just a few years before Captain James Kirk takes command. Anson Mount will return as Captain Christopher Pike, as well as Ethan Peck as the young Ensign Spock, and Rebecca Romijn as Number One. This show will hopefully learn from the lessons of Enterprise and Voyager, with a mix of cool new encounters combined with some nods to the TOS era. There’s no release date yet for this series.
Untitled Star Trek: Section 31 show
The third upcoming Star Trek show announced for CBS All Access is an untitled show that will focus on the Mirror Universe version of Star Trek: Discovery’s Georgiou, played by Michelle Yeoh. In Discovery, Georgiou managed to make the journey into the main Trek universe, and was recruited to join the highly secret Federation group known as Section 31. The new show will reportedly focus on her and her missions for this group. This series does not yet have a release date for CBS All Access.
Stephen King’s massive post-apocalypse novel has been adapted once before as a TV mini-series for ABC, but CBS All Access will soon begin production of a new adaptation as a 10 episode event series. King himself will write the final episode of the adaptation, which will be an all-new story set after the events of the original novel. James Marsden has been cast in the main role of Stu Redman, and Amber Heard is also confirmed for the role of Nadine Cross. It’s due sometime in December 2020.
The Man Who Fell To Earth
Based on the 1963 novel by Walter Tevis, this tale of an alien who crash lands on Earth was previously adapted in a 1976 film with the late David Bowie in the title role. Now CBS All Access is adapting the novel again as a TV series. It will be executive produced by Alex Kurtzman, who is also in charge of all of the Star Trek projects at CBS All Access. It’s due sometime in 2021.
That’s a look at the best CBS All Access shows, plus a look at what is to come. We will update this post when more projects are announced.