ABC gives you free access to full-length episodes for 25 of their daytime and primetime shows. With all of these shows at the ready, there's no need to cover your ears as your friends gossip about the latest Grey's Anatomy or Ugly Betty. The site also lets you in on behind-the-scenes extras, like interviews and photos of your favorite stars and characters as well as awards season red-carpet interviews, nominee bios and winner roundups. Want even more entertainment on the go? If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, you can stream episode recaps, photo galleries and schedule information through their mobile application. Other networks that stream their shows: NBC.com, CBS.com, CWTV.com and FOX.com.
Hulu.com lets you watch TV shows for free the morning after they air. The ultimate source for pop-culture nostalgia, the site has over 1,700 TV shows (both classic and current) as well as movies. The user-friendly layout allows you to search for shows or movies by genre, popularity, name or most recently added. Check out their TV collections, which feature themed roundups like a compilation of British TV pilots or favorite moments from The Simpsons. Users can try out experimental features like Caption Search, which lets you scan TV shows and movies for your favorite lines, or their recommendation function, which suggests TV shows that you might like.
Netflix, the movie delivery company that sends DVDs right to your door, also offers a service that lets you watch your favorite shows and movies even faster. With any Netflix membership, you can stream selections from your queue onto your computer or straight to your TV (via a Netflix device) to watch them instantly. It's free as long as you have one of their four plans, which range from $4.99 to 16.99 per month. Not sure if it's for you? See if you like it with their free 2-week trial.