What is ITV, how to watch it in the US and what are the best shows to stream?

All you need to know about UK streaming giant ITV, how you can watch it in the US and which shows to download

What is ITV
(Image credit: Getty Images)

ITV is the British TV giant behind some of the biggest shows at the moment - but what is ITV and how can you watch it in the US?

With shows such as Love Island, Litvinenko and Without Sin becoming hugely popular, many are wondering if ITV is the only place you can watch such shows. With fellow streaming giants such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Hulu all showing a range of popular programmes, it's difficult to know which are exclusive to ITV - and whether they're available to watch in the US.

Just like people began asking, what time does Netflix release new episodes? people are now asking, how can I watch ITV in the US? ITV is a UK broadcaster, but if you live in America and want to watch the shows that have become such a hit in the UK, then read on to find out all about ITV and how to watch in the US.

What is ITV?

ITV is a British free-to-air public broadcast television network which was launched in 1955 as Independent Television to provide competition to BBC Television, which was established in 1936.

Now, ITV has several advertiser-funded channels; ITV1, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4, ITVBe and CITV, with ITV1 remaining the mainstream channel.

Love Island - what is ITV and how to watch in the US

(Image credit: ITV)

ITV is home to many of the UK's best crime dramas including Unforgotten, Broadchurch, Endeavour and many more. It also streams some of the UK's most popular soap operas such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale, while ITV2 brings reality TV gold as the host of Love Island UK.

And if you don't own a TV, that's not an issue because as well as being a TV channel, ITV also has a website and app, ITVx, where you can stream all of their shows and catch up on any that you've missed. You can also watch live TV on ITVx.

How to watch ITV in the US

Sadly, ITV is only available to UK residents, so you can't simply download the ITVx app if you live in the US - but there is a way around it. If you download a VPN to your device, you'll be able to access ITV as if you were in the UK and watch all those unmissable shows.

Our sister site, TechRadar, has tested all of the major VPN services and they rate ExpressVPN as the absolute best. They say, “It’s compatible with all of your devices, supports most streaming services, and ranks among the fastest. You can even install it on devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, and PlayStation. So for a one-stop-shop, you can’t go wrong with Express.”

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Ranked among one of the fastest VPN providers, this risk-free service is also compatible with all of your devices. Enjoy access to almost any streaming service, and if you don't like it there's a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you've never installed a VPN before, don't worry, it's quick and easy. Just follow these three steps:

  1. Download and install the VPN following ExpressVPN's easy-to-follow instructions.
  2. Once you've installed your VPN, open the app and select your server location as anywhere in the UK.
  3. With your VPN installed and server location set to UK, you can now watch ITVX to access ITV shows. 

VPN disclaimer

(Image credit: Future)

Best shows to stream on ITV

As previously mentioned, ITV has a range of shows available, from dramas and documentaries, to reality TV and British soap operas to choose from.

The current top picks on their website include:

  • The Twelve - a twisty thriller focusing on the jury system.
  • Superstore - a workplace comedy.
  • Love Island - the UK version of the dating reality show.
  • The Bay - a crime drama.
  • Social Media Murders - a documentary looking into Social Media's disturbing role in the murders of young people.

Other shows you can look forward to streaming on ITV in 2023 include Britain's Got Talent, I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and the summer series of Love Island. Or why not binge the hit period drama, Downton Abbey? The full box-set is available on ITVx.

So once you've got your VPN sorted, take a look on the ITV website, have a browse and get watching!

Robyn is a celebrity and entertainment journalist and editor with over eight years experience in the industry. As well as contributing regular to woman&home, she also often writes for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly and The Sun.