The world of spies has always been a fascinating subject for the audience. Everyone loves to watch a secret agent, working in dangerous circumstances, trying to save the country, sometimes the world, from one thing or another. ‘Homeland’ is one of the best shows in the spy genre. It has generated acclaim since its first season and has a faithful audience that waits for it, one season after another. At the centre of its story is Carrie Mathison, a CIA operative who believes that the war-hero who has returned home after years of captivity is now an enemy. After seven seasons of the run, the plotline of ‘Homeland’ has evolved miles ahead from where it started. And with the eighth season, next year, it is going to end Carrie’s story.
If you are one of the fans of the show, you could binge watch on the first seven seasons before the eighth airs. Or you can choose from this list of TV shows similar to Homeland that are our recommendations. You can stream some of these TV series like Homeland on Netflix or Hulu or Amazon Prime.
15. The Assets (2014)
Based on the book ‘Circle of Treason’ by retired CIA officers, this book tells the story of Aldrich Ames and Sandra Grimes. When a scheduled money drop between a handler and an asset goes wrong, CIA agent Sandra Grimes suspects a mole in the agency. Things get more pressing when a KGB agent calls the US Embassy to present his wish to defect.
14. X Company (2015-2017)
Set in the period of the Second World War, this show follows five young recruits who are deployed to Europe after receiving training in a secret facility called Camp X. With the already turmoiled time in Europe, the stakes in espionage are higher than ever. The agents have to use every trick in their bag to get themselves out of life threating situations and getting the job done at the same time.
13. The Baron (1966-1967)
This show tells the story of John Mannering. An American by birth, John Mannering is an antiques and art dealer. Owing to his knowledge of these things, he, sometimes, presents his services as an undercover agent to the British Diplomatic Intelligence. The show features his lifestyle as a dealer and how he juggles it with his role as an agent. It also explores his past and the backstory of several aspects of his life and character.
12. Burn Notice (2007-2013)
A burn notice is served to an agent when the intelligence agency severs all its ties with him. The same thing happens to CIA agent Michael Western. Michael was undercover in Nigeria when he is burned. He, then, finds himself in Miami without any contact, his assets frozen and him being constantly monitored. Now, he has to find a way to keep himself alive while trying to figure out the people who did this to him.
11. London Spy (2015)
Danny and Alex fall in love with each other. As their romance kindles and their lives start to take shape, Alex disappears. When his dead body is discovered, a major truth about his identity is also revealed to Danny. As it turns out, Alex was an agent for the Secret Intelligence Service. Danny decides to find the truth about Alex’s death which draws him into the world of espionage, something that he isn’t ready for.
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10. Alias (2001-2006)
This show had Jennifer Garner play the role of Sydney Bristow, a secret agent who becomes a double agent against her own organization after realising the truth about it. The show derives the name from the various aliases that Sydney has to use in her missions. As she juggles her role as a double agent, she has to keep her identity secret from the people in her life. With the progressing of the seasons, the storyline of the show became a bit slack, but its first couple of seasons are what make it a must-watch.
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9. Spooks (2002-2011)
This show followed a group of MI5 agents working from offices known as the Grid as they took on different missions. With Matthew Macfadyen in a lead role, this show added a stylistic touch to itself and showed high-octane action sequences. Fast-paced and thrilling, this show received love, both critically and commercially.
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8. Reilly, Ace of Spies (1983)
Based on the exploits of the man termed as one of the greatest spies of Britain, this show tells the story of Sidney Reilly. It derives material from the book ‘Ace of Spies’ by Reilly’s fellow agent’s son. Set in the early 20th century, it shows Reilly in different positions in different episodes. It includes instances like his infiltration of German General Staff, his almost marriage to a Russian Countess and the attempt of overthrowing the Bolsheviks.
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7. Espionage (1963-1964)
This anthology series followed the stories of various spies on their respective missions. The time era of the episodes wasn’t fixed to contemporary time but oscillated from times like Second World War to other eras. It featured the stories of spies of various nationalities working for different organizations in totally different circumstances.
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6. Game, Set and Match (1988)
Based on the books written by Len Deighton, this show followed Bernard Samson in his various quests as a secret agent. At the beginning of the series, Samson is tasked with the hunting of the mole in his organization. His missions take him from Germany to Mexico to Russia. While finding the identity of the mole, Samson himself gets caught up in a situation that renders him as a prime suspect.
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5. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979)
After a mission goes awry, George Smiley is forced into early retirement from his position as the deputy head of the Secret Intelligence Service. But, when the theory of the existence of a mole in the highest rungs of British Intelligence comes to light, no one from inside the agency can be trusted to identify the mole. So, Smiley is brought back for one last mission.
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4. Agent Carter (2015-2016)
Right from the world of ‘Avengers’ comes the story of Peggy Carter. The story begins after the events of ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’. After the presumed-death of Steve Rogers, Peggy has to go back to her life as a secret agent. The show not only added further to some critical elements in the Marvel’s Universe but also showed the origin story of some characters. For example, the struggles of Howard Stark, the role of Jarvis, and the formation of S.H.I.E.LD. Even with the critical success of the show, it was cancelled after two seasons. I hope they bring it back, because who doesn’t love Peggy Carter!
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3. The Night Manager (2016-)
If there is one kind of spy we like, it is the suave guy who can find his way into anything with his irresistible charms. And, this is exactly what we got in Jonathan Pine, played amazingly by our very favourite, Tom Hiddleston. Based on the novel by John le Carre, this show tells the story of an ex-British soldier who starts working as a night manager in a luxury hotel and becomes entangled in the world of an arms dealer.
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2. 24 (2001-2010)
Another pretty popular show in the genre, ‘24’ had Kiefer Sutherland play the role of Jack Bauer, an agent for the Counter Terrorist Unit. Each season of the show comprised of 24 episodes which took place in a real time frame, covering one day in one season. The plots of the seasons varied from stopping assassination attempts to finding a weapon of mass destruction. With every season, there came a new imminent threat. And this made ‘24’ a thrilling, tongue-in-cheek story.
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1. The Americans (2013-2018)
One of the best spy-shows of all time, ‘The Americans’ was a gripping, clever and exciting show. It centred on Elizabeth and Phillip Jennings and their two kids in the time of the Cold War. The Jennings family appears to be a normal American family. In truth, Elizabeth and Phillip are KGB agents, and their family is their cover. Things get complicated for them when an FBI agent becomes their neighbour. With its six-season run, ‘The American’ has amassed critical acclaim. The content of the show has gotten better and better with every season and the acting and the chemistry between the actors has been another feather in its cap.
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