By Amanda Bindel,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Parent controls with no code = easy access to all content.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Ease of Play
Subscribing and canceling is easy. Viewing is intuitive.
Violence & Scariness
Many titles feature violent content, and even with restrictions set, kids will see images of blood, explosions, vampires, and zombies.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Many shows, including the "after hours" section, feature adult content. Even with restrictions set, kids can view the title and images, including shadow-covered nudity and couples kissing in bed.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents can restrict kids' viewing based on movie or TV ratings.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
After the 30-day trial, a subscription is required to watch, and shows include commercials for other Showtime programming.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drinking and drugs play into many shows significantly, and Weeds (a show about using and selling marijuana) is one of the featured titles.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the Showtime app is a subscription streaming service for Showtime shows and movies that doesn't require cable service. The monthly subscription is charged through the app store. Parents can set viewing restrictions for movies and TV, allowing TV-Y, TV-Y7, TV-G, TV-PG, TV-14, TV-MA, or unrestricted ratings for television shows and G, PG, PG-13, R, or unrestricted ratings for movies; however, it's important to note that there is no code protecting parental settings, which means anyone can change the viewing restrictions. And even with the TV-Y/G settings enabled, kids will see all the show titles and images, even for the "after-hours" programs. Much of the content is violent or scary, sexual, or drug- or crime-related. Some family-friendly movies are available, but the original television programming is not geared toward kids.
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Videos and Photos
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What’s It About?
Browse SHOWTIME programming by series, movies, sports, comedy, reality shows/documentaries, after-hours content, and coming-soon content or watch live TV from the app. Show titles are searchable, too, and users can save programs to their lists for easier viewing. From the settings, parents can restrict the ratings, and if kids try to watch a show that is outside of that rating, they'll see a message that the content is restricted. However, there is no passcode to preserve the restrictions, so anyone can change them at will. Parents also can control which devices are logged in from the settings. Viewers can share on social media what show they're watching, and they can turn on or off closed-captioning for shows while viewing.
Is It Any Good?
Since most of Showtime's content is quite mature, parents will need to keep a close eye on the use of this app. One subscription can be used on multiple devices, and viewing restrictions are tied to the account rather than the device. That means parents will have to change the restrictions if they want to watch a mature show and remember to change the restrictions back before kids watch. Also, since there are no parental gates or passwords protecting the settings, kids can easily change them. Unlike HBO Now, Showtime is best used on a passcode-protected device that only parents use.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Pricing structure: Free to try (seven-day trial then $10.99/mo.)
- Release date: July 7, 2015
- Category: Entertainment
- Publisher: iOS 7.0 or later
- Version: 1.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
- Last updated: March 13, 2019
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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