CBS All-Access: Why You Need It Right Now

Decide if CBS All-Access is worth your time with our guide to all the original programming already available and coming soon to the streaming app.

By Rick Gonzales | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

CBS All-Access is a streaming service offered by CBS, joining the ranks of the many other streaming services on the market. For a nominal fee, CBS provides its members access to all things CBS including current CBS shows, classic CBS shows, Live TV, on-demand movies, and original programming.

The archival content is nice but it’s the original programming offered which sells a streaming service. And while CBS may seem like one of the smaller players in the original streaming content space, they’re ramping up and preparing to compete directly against Netflix. CBS All-Access is already loaded with originals but n 2020 CBS All-Access will really begin to expand.

Decide if CBS All-Access is worth your time with our guide to all the original programming already available and coming soon to the streaming app.

CBS All-Access Originals Available Right Now

STAR TREK: DISCOVERY | sci-fi series

star trek discovery

Star Trek: Discovery was the very first series scripted specifically for CBS All-Access. The show stars Sonequa Martin-Green (The Walking Dead) as a disgraced commander redeeming herself and is set roughly a decade before the original Star Trek series. The first season of Discovery involved the war with the Klingons. Season two follows the crew of Discovery as it investigates seven mysterious signals and a strange figured called the “Red Angel”. The second season ended with Discovery traveling to the 32nd century, which is 900 years into their future. Season 3 is scheduled to resume in 2020.

STAR TREK: SHORT TREKS | sci-fi anthology series

Short Treks is a sort of spin-off of Star Trek: Discovery. This CBS All-Access series of shorts (8-18 minutes long) follows key characters and/or themes from the series and takes a deeper look at them. Not all of them are set in the era of Discovery, some of them aren’t even live action. The quality present in each different Short Trek varies wildly.

NO ACTIVITY | comedy series

No Activity on CBS

CBS brought over an Australian comedy and reworked it for an American audience. No Activity follows two police detectives who have spent way too much time in a car together as they are trying to bring down a major drug cartel. This CBS All-Access exclusive series is brought to the small screen by Will Ferrell’s Gary Sanchez Productions and is known for bringing some big names in comedy to the show that include Will Ferrell, Bob Odenkirk, Jake Johnson, JK Simmons and stars Patrick Brammall and Tim Meadows as the two detectives.

ONE DOLLAR | crime

One Dollar original

The premise of this CBS series is set in a small rustbelt town where there was a shocking multiple murder. As a one-dollar bill changes hands, the show follows that one dollar and the characters who own it, bringing out the deep class and cultural divide across the town and all its terrible secrets. One Dollar ran for only one season but is still available on All-Access.

STRANGE ANGEL | period drama

This CBS All-Access series has run for 2 seasons and still airs and is based on the biography by George Pendle titled Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons. Set in 1930s Los Angeles, the story follows Jack Parsons from his start as a janitor in a chemical factory where he followed his dreams that led him to the birth of American rocketry. His journey also took him into a mysterious world that involved sex magic rituals at night. He also became a disciple of Aleister Crowley the occultist.

TELL ME A STORY | fantasy series

All-Access fantasy series

This original CBS All-Access series was created by Kevin Williamson (Scream, Scream 2) and reimagines famous fairy tales, turning them into dark, twisted psychological thrillers. The first season interwove The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel and Gretel, into a tale of greed, revenge and murder. The second season, which premiered recently, is princess themed as it reimagines Beauty and the Beast, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.

THE GOOD FIGHT | legal drama

CBS legal drama

The Good Fight was All-Access’s first totally original scripted series (Discovery is based on Star Trek). It stars Christine Baranski as she brings her character over from the earlier CBS series The Good Wife. This series follows Baranski’s character as she tries to rebuild from the financial ruin at the end of The Good Wife’s series finale. The series boasts an enormous cast of well-known guest stars that include Jane Alexander, Kevin Pollak, Jason Biggs, Gary Cole, Louis Gossett Jr., and F. Murray Abraham.

THE TWILIGHT ZONE | sci-fi anthology series

The Twilight Zone on CBS

Jordan Peele brings his hot streak to the small screen with this reimagining of the Rod Serling classic series. Peele also stars, like Serling, as the series narrator. Bringing his own sense of terror and style to the series, Peele also takes turns at some of the famous episodes of The Twilight Zone’s past, giving them a unique update. It doesn’t air on the CBS Network, it’s only available on CBS All-Access.

WHY WOMEN KILL | dark dramedy

Lucy Liu

Why Women Kill is set in three different time periods but connects each woman involved. One time period is 1963, the second is 1984 and the third is present-day 2019. The women are connected by the fact that they all have lived in the same mansion and experienced infidelity in their marriages. As the infidelities progress, it causes events that lead up to each woman taking the life of another person.

BIG BROTHER LIVE FEEDS | social strategy gameshow

Social Strategy gaming

When Big Brother returns for its next season, the live feeds will be back in action. Not only will All-Accessor’s be able to watch Big Brother when it airs, but they will also be able to peek in on the houseguests 24/7 with the live feeds, available exclusively on CBS All-Access. They can follow their favorites as they navigate relationships and backstabbing at its finest any times they want with Big Brother Live Feeds.

STAR TREK: PICARD | sci-fi series

Picard returns to CBS All-Access

Picard was one of the most beloved of the Star Trek characters and here he returns after 20 years. Not much is known about the series other than it will deal with Picard still deeply affected by Data’s death in the movie Star Trek: Nemesis.

More buzz about this CBS All-Access exclusive series includes the return of many of familiar Star Trek faces including Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Jeri Ryan, and Brent Spiner. The show has yet to premiere and it’s already been renewed for a second season. Star Trek: Picard is a CBS All-Access original and won’t be available anywhere outside of the app.

Hawaii Five-0: The Final Season

The hit CBS show Hawaii Five-0 is finishing up its run on television soon with the finale airing in April. But it’s going out with a bang by bringing in Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris is set to appear in the Hawaii Five-0 series finale to roundhouse-kick ass as a retired Sergeant Major named Lee Phillips. Apparently he’s a mentor hiding his student from the cops to “protect his anonymity”. Speculation is that this is all to launch a new series starring Chuck Norris. Here’s hoping we get that lucky.

Norris hasn’t worked in television much since Walker: Texas Ranger ended its run back in 2001. He’s 79-years-old and apparently still going strong, though.

Originals Coming Soon To CBS-All Access

2020 will see CBS All-Access add a number of original series. That list includes one of the most highly anticipated series anywhere, along with a new adaptations from a classic franchise.

STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS | animated sci-fi comedy

Lower Decks all-access animation

CBS is all in when it comes to Star Trek as evidenced by this adult animated series following the support crew of one of the Starfleet’s least important ships. Built to continue the expansion of the Star Trek universe, Lower Decks is the first animated series created for All-Access and will reportedly lean toward more adult humor.


Michelle Yeoh on CBS All-Access

This is another addition to the Star Trek universe. The series, which as of yet is untitled, follows Michelle Yeoh’s Captain Philippa Georgiou from Starfleet’s Section 31 division. After a lot of rumors about its development, we’ve just learned the show got an official greenlight to go into production as of the end of January.

When asked about it Discovery and Picard showrunner Alex Kurtzman had this to say, “It’s well on its way, I can tell you that. And Erika [Lippoldt] and Bo Yeon [Kim] have written a great script and we have a writers’ room, and it’s exciting.”

Reports say the Section 31 show has been greenlit by CBS and it’ll start shooting on May 4th. They’ll be using Canadian sound stages in Mississauga, Ontario.

The new show’s writers have previous Star Trek experience. They wrote episodes of Star Trek: Discovery. Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt also co-wrote the Short Trek “The Brightest Star” which provided backstory on Commander Saru.

THE STAND | post-apocalyptic mini-series

The Stand on CBS

This will be the second go-around for Stephen King’s The Stand. This 10-part CBS All-Access exclusive series will not have the same constraints the original mini-series had, so expect it to hew more closely to the source material.

Greg Kinnear, James Marsden, and Amber Heard have been brought in to fight for the side of good while Alexander Skarsgård has been tapped to play the ultimate evil, the Dark Man, Randall Flagg. Stephen King himself has penned the final episode of this mini-series.

INTERROGATION | true-crime drama

In this true-crime drama, Interrogation takes real-life police interrogations with the intent to bring viewers in as a detective to solve the case. It is a ten-episode series, the first nine can be watched in any order with the tenth episode to be released at a later date on CBS All-Access.

THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH | sci-fi series

Alex Kurtzman, who has been influential in bringing the many iterations of Star Trek to the screen, is now bringing The Man Who Fell To Earth to CBS All-Access. Based on the 1963 Walter Tevis novel and the 1976 David Bowie movie, both of the same name, the story follows an alien who comes to earth during a turning point of human evolution. The alien determines our future by confronting his own past.


This limited event series will showcase 8 distinct moments/fights in the life of Muhammad Ali. The focus of this series is more on Ali’s drama outside the ring.


Not much is known about this upcoming series that is being created by The Good Fight creators Robert and Michelle King. Reportedly the story is about two sisters who move to Israel with their family. Israel is the only country in the world which drafts women into their military.

YOU’RE KILLING ME | comedy series

This comedy premiering on All-Access in 2020 tells the story of a young women who thinks she has an overbearing mom. But when her mother dies unexpectedly and returns to haunt her daughter, she learns what overbearing really is all about.

Future CBS All-Access Shows In Development


CBS is working on a Silence of the Lambs spinoff focused on Clarice Starling, the character most famously played by Jodie Foster in the Silence of the Lambs movie. The plan is to base it more on the character in the original Thomas Harris novel, rather than the version of Clarice played by Foster in the iconic movie. The show will, appropriately, be called Clarice.

A pilot episode of the crime drama has already been written and they have the money to film it. Once CBS receives the completed Clarice pilot they’ll make a final decision on whether to greenlight it as a full CBS series.

The show will reportedly be a period show. It’s going to be set in 1993 which means it should have a lot of the look and feel of the Silence of the Lambs movie, even if it’s going to be more based on the book. It takes place one year after the events of Silence of the Lambs and follows Clarice Starling as she pursues sexual predators and other serial killers while dealing with government politics.

If you are interested in any of these shows, CBS All-Access is the only way to watch. They offer two plans to enjoy all their content. One is a limited commercial plan for $5.99 a month or a commercial-free plan for $9.99 a month. They also offer these two plans at a yearly savings rate of $59.99 for limited commercials and $99.99 for commercial-free.