Starting today, you can watch a collection of Showtime series for free on Pluto TV. The move is an effort by ViacomCBS, which owns both services, to drum up new subscribers for Showtime by getting them hooked on its original content. Like most of Pluto’s offering, the Showtime series will be free to watch, but also contain ads. Via Variety:
The new Pluto TV channel, Showtime Selects, launches on Tuesday (Dec. 1) with about 250 hours of uncensored originals. The lineup in the linear-style channel will include sneak peeks at the first episodes of Showtime drama series “Your Honor” starring Bryan Cranston and the 11th and final season of “Shameless.” Showtime Selects also will feature select episodes of originals including “The Affair,” “Ray Donovan,” “Billions,” “The L Word” and “Californication” as well as the entire limited series “The Loudest Voice” about Fox News’ Roger Ailes and true-crime docuseries “Murder in the Bayou.”
While offering free trial periods to premium channels is common during the holiday season, Showtime Selects will be a “permanent cross-promotional vehicle” that will see its content updated on a monthly basis in an attempt to convert users to Showtime. As for Pluto TV, if you’re not familiar with the service, Uproxx’s Derrick Rossignol put together a primer on the free streaming app that emulates that old broadcast TV feel of channel surfing. It also takes away the often overwhelming task of sifting through hundreds of movies and TV shows and just enjoying whatever happens to be on, which now includes Billions and Shameless. Not bad.