You can watch free TV shows online to catch up on old favorites or new releases.

In this article, I will discuss 05 of the best sites and apps for legally watching free TV shows online. I went to each website and watched a few videos to see how the process works, what’s free, and how many ads to expect.

Where To Watch TV Shows Online Free

If you search for free TV shows online, you may end up on a dubious website. Some may try to steal your credit card information, while others offer pirated content. However, there are several websites, apps, and streaming services where you can legally watch TV shows online. CW TV, Crackle, Hoopla, and Pluto TV.

There isn’t a comprehensive list of websites where you can watch free TV shows. If you want to watch free TV shows, here are five legitimate sites to do so, most of them are with ads.

Some of these websites or apps require you to create a free account in order to access the free content. You shouldn’t have to download anything or pay anything to watch it for free online. 

You’ll find detailed information on the 05 best places to legally stream free TV shows online below.


Best For: Reality and live TV

Major Genres: Family, adventure, drama, reality, anime, sports, news

Platforms: App (Android and iOS), TV (app/casting), and computer (streaming)

There’s also the Roku Channel, which streams live TV and on-demand content for free. The Roku Channel has both TV shows and movies.

Fortunately, you don’t need a Roku to access The Roku Channels’ free content. You can use any browser or download the app for iOS, Android, or Amazon Fire TV.

I checked out The Roku Channel on my laptop. An account was created or signed in for premium subscriptions, picking up where I left off and getting personalized recommendations. No account is needed to stream content. But I had to disable my ad blocker to stream anything.

Some popular on-demand TV shows included “Downton Abbey,” “Project Runway,” and “Leave It To Beaver” at the time of writing. Others were USA Today, TMZ, The Design Network, and Now This.


Best For: Top Hollywood hit TV shows

Major Genres: Chills & thrills, comedies, romance, action & adventure, documentaries, family, sci-fi, drama

Platforms: App (Android and iOS), TV (app/casting), and computer (streaming)

A free, ad-supported streaming video resource owned by Amazon. Content is available on IMDb, Amazon Prime Video, and Fire TV. The IMDb app, IMDb website, Amazon Prime Video app, and Amazon Fire TV devices all offer free movies online.

Sign in to watch free TV shows on IMDb TV. You can create an account for free or use your Amazon, Facebook, Google, or Apple account. Once logged in, you can instantly stream free TV shows and movies. You can also save videos to a watchlist and pause them. You can watch it later or on another device.

IMDb TV videos can’t be bought or downloaded to watch offline. And there will be some commercials throughout the show. The 42-minute episode below has five commercial breaks.

In the “Recently Added” section of IMDb TV, I found “Malcolm in the Middle,” “White Collar,” and “Lost.” You’ll find IMDb TV originals and a section of “Hidden Gems” among the top TV shows and movies.


Best For: Comedy, classic shows, star-studded favorites

Major Genres: Action, classics, comedy, drama, thriller, reality

Platforms: App (Android and iOS), TV (app/casting), and computer (streaming)

Chicken Soup for the Soul and Sony Pictures Television own Crackle. This streaming service offers both original content and content acquired from other companies.

TV shows and movies are available on Crackle. Among the genres are TV shows with famous and unknown talent.

Crackle is available for free on Amazon Fire TV Stick, web browsers, Chromecast, Roku, Apple, and Android devices. Visit the website for a complete list.

No account is required to view free content, but to save TV shows for later viewing, you must log in. Still, registration is quick and free. Go to the homepage and click “Sign in”.

Whether you create a free account or not, you will have to watch some ads. So, before streaming online, disable any ad blockers. Crackle says running commercials during TV shows and movies keep the service free in the US and Australia.


Best For: Anime

Major Genres: Anime (action, adventure, comedy, drama, thriller, and more)

Platforms: App (Android and iOS), TV (app/casting), and computer (streaming)

Crunchyroll, recently acquired by Sony, streams anime in over 200 countries and territories. If you like anime, this is the place to watch it for free. Crunchyroll offers free access to both classic and new titles.

Among the hundreds of free shows, I recognized “One Piece,” “Black Clover,” “My Hero Academia,” and “Attack on Titan.” The majority of Crunchyroll’s content is in Japanese with English subtitles, but some shows are dubbed in English. The website has a list of these shows.

No account is required to access the free content on Crunchyroll. However, you will see advertisements on a free plan that will encourage viewers to get a premium membership. The paid membership allows you to watch an unlimited number of shows without ads and gets you new episodes faster. Members can also download content to view offline. You can still watch content for free online with ads. Attention: New episodes may not be available instantly.

Pluto TV

Best For: Live TV

Major Genres: Dramas, sitcoms, comedy, action, family

Platforms: App (Android and iOS), TV (app/casting), and computer (streaming)

Pluto TV is a free internet television service that offers live TV and on-demand content. There are thousands of free movies and hundreds of free TV channels to choose from.

Your computer, iOS, or Android device can access Pluto TV online. Play Pluto TV on Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, PS4, Roku, Samsung, and Vizio. I used a computer to access the website.

Start watching for free now! On the top of the screen, I could choose between “Live TV” and “On Demand”. The “On Demand” tab includes the genres listed above, as well as popular movies, TV shows, and new movies. The “Live TV” tab has hundreds of free channels.

Featured, movies, news, reality, comedy, classic, sports, kids, and more live channels can be found here. Popular TV networks like TV Land, MTV, CSI, and Comedy Central are available.