12 Best Places to Watch Free TV Online

The best places to watch TV online for free

Home for the Holidays playing on a big screen TV in a white-walled room

Watching free TV online is a great way to save some money on cable/satellite and DVDs or even just catch up on your favorite shows that you may have missed.

Most of the websites below are portals to places where you can watch free TV online. The sites don't actually host the TV shows but they gather up all the links and videos to the TV shows you want to watch from all over the rest of the internet. Just think of it as all the hard work being taken care of for you.

The websites below are legal places you can watch free TV online so that you don't need to worry about breaking the law or violating anyone's copyright. Many of them also have free apps so that you can watch your favorite shows on the go.

If you like watching free TV online you might also like to find out the best places to watch free movies online, free movies for kids, where you can download free movies, and how you can rent free DVDs. Free movie channels are also an option, if you ask.

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Sony Crackle

Screenshot of a free TV show on Sony Crackle called 10 Items or Less
'10 Items or Less' TV Show.

What We Like

  • Free shows are organized into several genres

  • You can filter the free TV shows by full episodes, clips, or trailers

  • TV shows can be sorted by recently added to see what's new

  • It's the only place you can watch Crackle original TV shows

What We Don't Like

  • Has only around 90 TV shows with full episodes

  • Some shows are missing entire seasons and start midway (e.g., they might start at season three or four)

Sony Crackle provides free TV shows, similar to the other websites in this list.

You don't need to sign up with Sony Crackle to view TV episodes, so you can start watching them right away.

Sign up for RSS alerts for any TV show to get updated when new episodes are released.

Some of the free shows we've been able to find at Sony Crackle include 10 Items Or Less, The Art Of More, Chosen, Blue Mountain State, Aim High, and All In The Family.

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Screenshot of a free TV show on Tubi called Storage Wars: Texas
'Storage Wars: Texas' TV Show.

What We Like

  • Videos are high quality

  • You can watch with captions

  • A user account isn't necessary to watch the free shows

  • Recommends similar shows to the one you're watching

  • Lots of TV shows are available

What We Don't Like

  • Can't view all the TV shows on one page because they're listed in several genres

  • Videos play with ads

Tubi also has free TV shows. Some series you'll find here have lots of episodes that are organized in more than one season, while other shows have just a few episodes in a single season.

When watching a TV show at Tubi, all the available episodes are shown below the video player. This makes finding all of the free episodes much easier than searching for them.

The free shows at Tubi are broken up into categories like Crime TV, Really Real Reality, TV Comedies, TV Dramas, and Action Reality TV.

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Screenshot of a free TV show on Viewster called 10 HUMANS WITH SUPERPOWERS
'Alltime 10s Episode 258' TV Show.

What We Like

  • It's easy to view just TV shows and not movies as well

  • Lots of video quality options (often up to 720p)

  • Several ways to sort the TV shows to find what you want

  • There's an app available for lots of devices

What We Don't Like

  • Ads are sometimes long

  • Can't watch shows with subtitles

  • Subtitles that are included are hardcoded and can't be removed

  • Most shows are not in English

With categories like Drama, Comedy, and Documentary, Viewster is another free online source for TV shows, and you don't have to log in to a user account to start watching them.

Viewster's videos can be sorted by most recently added, most viewed, and best rated, as well as filtered by language.

Below each of Viewster's TV shows are related videos and more information about the video you're watching, like the cast, director, a description, etc.

Some examples of the free TV shows here include Grand Star, Flash Gordon, and Secrets of the Universe.

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Pluto TV

Screenshot of Family Feud on Pluto TV
'Family Feud' TV Show.

What We Like

  • Lots of channels to find all sorts of TV shows

  • Shows are viewed in a TV-like experience with a full channel guide

  • Works on several devices

  • No user account required

  • Lets you rewind up to the beginning of the show even if you started late

What We Don't Like

  • You can watch TV shows only if they're on "right now" (no on-demand option)

  • There aren't subtitles

Pluto TV is a unique TV streaming website because instead of letting you watch specific TV shows whenever you want, you instead flip through TV channels much like on a regular TV.

Pluto TV has a huge collection of channels so that you can watch live news, sports, and more. There are sections of channels made specifically for comedy like stand-up, gaming like Hive and CNET, entertainment like Crime Network and Classic TV, lifestyle like Food TV and People TV, curiosity like Science TV and NASA TV, and even movies and music.

You can watch Pluto TV videos from your mobile device, smart TV, or computer. If you're using the mobile app, a few TV shows are available on-demand any time you want to watch them, like Flavor of Love, Fear Factor USA, and The Cougar.

However, most of the TV shows you can find at Pluto TV are available through their live channels. See the full channel listing for a complete guide on the kind of TV shows offered by Pluto TV.

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Screenshot of a free TV show on Popcornflix called Inspector Gadget
'Inspector Gadget' TV Show.

What We Like

  • All the TV shows are listed on their own genre pages

  • Every TV show episode is the full version (no clips)

  • Lets you leave time-based comments on the videos

What We Don't Like

  • Includes only around 80 TV shows

  • Some shows have only a few episodes (sometimes even just one)

  • Unable to sort shows by date or popularity

Popcornflix is another free website that lets you watch TV shows online — there are several dozen currently available.

The Popcornflix website is very easy to navigate, making it quick and easy to read a description of an episode.

You can watch all sorts of shows at Popcornflix, including Great Chefs, Cheaters, Wild Justice, Urban Legends, Just for Laughs, Cheaters, Kathy Griffin, Pop Pranks, The Man Show, America's Dumbest Criminals, Destination Disaster, and Regenesis.

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The Roku Channel

Screenshot of a free TV show on The Roku Channel called Grounded for Life
'Grounded for Life' TV Show.

What We Like

  • High quality videos

  • Most TV shows have lots of seasons available to stream

  • Every episode is full length (you won't find clips)

  • Saves your progress so you can finish watching later

  • Most shows are well-known

  • Also lets you watch live news

What We Don't Like

  • You have to make a user account to watch the shows (the user account is free)

  • There are ads

  • Only people in the US can stream shows from their web browser

  • No search option to find TV shows by their title

  • Not very many TV show options

The Roku Channel is another way to watch free TV shows online. The best part is that even though it's built for the Roku TV and streaming player, you can watch for free right from your browser even if you don't own a Roku device.

Just make an account on the Roku website if you don't already have one, and you can watch high-def TV shows (and even movies) on your computer or mobile device by visiting the link above.

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Screenshot of a free TV show on Yidio called The Good Doctor
'The Good Doctor' TV Show.

What We Like

  • Finds free episodes from lots of TV shows all over the internet

  • Lots of ways to filter and sort the free shows

  • Also shows where you can rent or buy a TV show

What We Don't Like

  • Not every TV show you see on the site is free to watch

  • There are ads included in the videos

  • Some TV shows are streamed from other sites (not on Yidio)

  • Most series are partially free (only a few episodes are free from each season)

Yidio combines several online sources into one place so you can find free TV shows.

While you can grab TV shows from Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, and others, Yidio lets you also filter through and find just the free TV shows.

When you choose a TV show to watch, you can then select Free Sources to only reveal links that take you to free websites. The Flash, Teen Wolf, Awkward, and Arrow are some examples.

There's also a way to filter by channel, such as NBC, PBS, and FOX, among many others.

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Screenshot of The Simpsons, a free TV show at XFINITY
'The Simpsons' TV Show.

What We Like

  • You can filter the results to find only the free HD shows

  • Most of the shows have closed captions

  • The TV shows can be sorted by popularity, critic score, audience score, and recently added

  • Has free episodes for a wide variety of shows

  • Lets you adjust the playback quality and CC settings

  • Lots of keyboard shortcuts are supported to control playback

What We Don't Like

  • Most series have just a few (or even one) free episode

  • Supported by ads

The XFINITY Stream page on Xfinity's website has free TV shows and is a similar service to Hulu.

While a lot of the TV shows here are free, some will require a subscription to Comcast and certain movie channels for you to be able to watch them.

Person of Interest, New Girl, and America's Got Talent are just a few free TV shows that have popped up on Xfinity.

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Screenshot of a free TV show on Retrovison called Sergeant Preston of the Yukon
'Sergeant Preston of the Yukon' TV Show.

What We Like

  • There's a one-page list of every video on the site which includes any TV shows

What We Don't Like

  • The TV shows aren't separated well from the movies

  • There aren't newer TV shows

  • Low quality videos

  • Not a lot of options for free classic TV shows (there are mainly movies)

Retrovision is one the best places to go for free classic TV shows.

All the shows are listed on one single page, which makes finding something to watch very easy.

Also, some of the TV shows have all their episodes listed under the one you're watching. This means switching to a new episode can be done in seconds, which is really handy.

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Internet Archive

Screenshot of a Family Research Council Values Voter Summit video from the US Congress archives on archive.org
'Family Research Council Values Voter Summit' Video.

What We Like

  • Includes TV shows you probably won't find anywhere else

  • Lots of sorting options

  • Also lets you download the TV shows for free

What We Don't Like

  • Some films have nudity and aren't marked as such

  • A massive variety of videos are lumped together and can be hard to sift through

  • You won't find new shows that are on TV right now

A bit different than similar websites, Internet Archive is a collection of recorded videos, such as commercials, government records, old TV shows, and more.

There are thousands of these types of shows at Internet Archive, and some are organized in sub-collections such as Classic TV Commercials.

You're able to browse by the most viewed items, title, and the date that the video was archived.

Most if not all of the TV shows at Internet Archive can also be downloaded to your computer so you can view them offline. Videos are often instantly available as MP4 or another popular format, but also accessible via torrents.

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Screenshot of a free TV show on YouTube called Rocky and Bullwinkle
'Rocky and Bullwinkle' TV Show.

What We Like

  • Every TV show on YouTube uses the same video player, so you might get subtitles and HD video

  • Most videos support comments

What We Don't Like

  • Finding free TV shows within the other content isn't easy

YouTube may not be your first thought when you think of watching free TV online, but maybe it should be.

YouTube has full episodes of reality, comedy, drama, action, news, travel, food, nature, and sports shows. However, only paid TV shows are categorized into genres; to find free shows on YouTube, you have to do a manual search.

Another way to find free TV shows on YouTube besides searching yourself, is to use a website that's already done all the searching for you. One example is Reddit's /rfulltvshowsonyoutube sub.

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Screenshot of a free TV show on MoviesFoundOnline.com
'Derren Brown' TV Show.

What We Like

  • Includes interesting shows you might not find elsewhere

What We Don't Like

  • Pop-ups make using the site extremely difficult

  • Very few (if any) full series

  • Not many options when it comes to picking a series title

  • No filtering options

Another source for free TV shows is MoviesFoundOnline.com. You're unlikely to find full-length series here, but there are definitely full-length episodes of various shows.

Every available TV show is shown a single page, which makes it simple to find what you're looking for. This also means there's no way to filter or sort through the shows except to find the most recently added ones.

MoviesFoundOnline.com lets you turn down the lights so videos are easier to see, and you can also share TV shows with others using the share buttons below the video player.

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Watch Free TV Online With Free Trials

Screenshot of the Netflix free trial page

What We Like

  • Anyone can sign up for a free trial without paying a dime

  • There are tons of TV shows on these services

  • You have access to every TV show during the trial

What We Don't Like

  • If you're not careful, you will pay for the service automatically at the end of the trial

Here are two TV streaming websites that offer free trials of their services:

Amazon Prime: Amazon Prime offers unlimited streaming of TV shows, both in standard and high-definition quality. You can find genres such as comedy, kids and family, romance, and science fiction.

Netflix: Netflix is another online service that offers streaming of any number of TV shows. Search through crime, reality, teen, and fantasy categories among many others.

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Your Favorite Network's Website

Picture of a woman laughing and eating popcorn in front of a TV

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

What We Like

  • Lots of options

  • Most channels show recent episodes

What We Don't Like

  • You'll most likely be forced to watch ads occasionally

  • Full series are hardly available (only a few episodes)

If you have a TV show you love and you want to watch it for free because you missed it or maybe you don't get that channel, a great way to catch up on it is to visit the network's website and see if it's available for streaming.

All of the networks below show some full episodes but also clips as well.

Here are some of the popular TV networks out there that have free TV on their websites available for you to view:

  • NBC: NBC does a great job of quickly posting and keeping the free TV shows around so you have plenty of time to watch them. It's even possible for you to catch up on an entire series though the free TV shows they have on their website.
  • ABC: They have full-length videos of the latest episode of every show as well as video clips, highlights, and sneak peeks into all your favorite ABC shows.
  • CBS: At CBS you can watch free TV shows after they've aired on CBS. There are quite a few advertiser interruptions during the streaming video, but you'll know when they're coming because they are clearly marked on the screen.
  • DisneyNOW: You can watch Disney channel movies at DisneyNOW. There's a page that lists all the shows you can watch, plus category pages like 25 Days of Christmas, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and Marvel.
  • FOX: FOX posts free TV shows for you to watch one day after they've aired on TV but they remain locked so that you can watch them until eight days after they've aired.
  • The CW: The day after the CW television shows air you'll be able to watch them for free at the CW website. For those of you on the go, CW also has an app that lets you watch free TV on your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet.
  • PBS: PBS has a ton of free TV episodes online including Masterpiece Theater, PBS NewsHour, and Frontline.
  • MTV: MTV has full episodes of all your favorite MTV shows, including clips and after shows.
  • Freeform (ABC Family): The day after the TV shows on Freeform air, they are put online so that you can enjoy them.
  • A&E: Watch full episodes of shows like Bates Motel, Storage Wars, and Dog the Bounty Hunter.