The Best of Premium Cable TV Series

106k votes 12k voters 756k views 148 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Premium cable refers to subscription-based channels including HBO, Showtime, Epix, Cinemax, Encore, Starz and PPV

Best cable series on premium cable includes some of the greatest TV shows in history. This list of premium cable original programming is ranked by TV fans around the world. What are the best original shows on premium cable? These are all the best cable series, past and present, that ever aired. The best premium cable series are often good enough to persuade consumers to pay extra money to watch them. Shows like Game of Thrones, The Wire, and The Newsroom have such loyal followings that single episodes can affect entertainment news cycles. For television lovers, many of these top cable series are must-see.

What are the best premium cable TV series? Vote for your favorites - comedy, sports, or drama - and for real impact on the list order, rank your own list of series or just nominate a show you think should be represented. Networks like HBO and Showtime have been churning out some of the highest rated programming in recent history, so much so that these channels have begun to sweep many of Hollywood's most prestigious award. But the only metric that really matters is your opinion. Which of the most popular premium cable shows are you willing to pay big bucks for? Vote for your favorite below!
Collection Photo: via hbo
  • 96 ReRanks
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  1. 50
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Penn Jillette, Teller, George W. Bush

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  2. 49
    + 489
    - 538


    Michael J. Anderson, Adrienne Barbeau, Clancy Brown

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  3. 48
    + 407
    - 240

    added by LanaYoshii
    Antony Starr, Ivana Milicevic, Ulrich Thomsen

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  4. 47
    + 226
    - 176

    added by MichaelTrueblood
    Louis C.K., Hadley Delany, Ursula Parker

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  5. 46
    + 241
    - 656

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor, Wallace Langham

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  6. 45
    + 462
    - 636


    Ellen Muth, Callum Blue, Jasmine Guy

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  7. 44
    + 306
    - 111

    ranked low on reranks
    Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Holly Taylor

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  8. 43
    + 355
    - 62
    No image

    ranked low on reranks & added by DonnieJohnson
    Banshee

  9. 42
    + 518
    - 768


    Bill Maher, Arianna Huffington, Andrew Sullivan

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  10. 41
    + 560
    - 607


    Edie Falco, Merritt Wever, Paul Schulze

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  11. 40
    + 422
    - 366

    added by sebbzor
    Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, John Dossett

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  12. 39
    + 488
    - 625


    Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny

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  13. 38
    + 414
    - 515


    Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden

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  14. 37
    + 300
    - 86

    added by RileyJo81
    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

    ;
  15. 36
    + 484
    - 187

    added by kattron
    Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green

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  16. 35
    + 356
    - 171

    added by kellygirlsd
    Anson Mount, Colm Meaney, Robin McLeavy

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  17. 34
    + 565
    - 484


    Hugh Ambrose, Ed Tracy

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  18. 33
    + 427
    - 135

    ranked low on reranks & added by MichaelTrueblood
    Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Taryn Manning

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  19. 32
    + 789
    - 601


    Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr.

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  20. 31
    + 788
    - 692


    Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Rob McElhenney

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  21. 30
    + 623
    - 1,033

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis

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  22. 29
    + 487
    - 118

    added by kattron
    Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Allison Tolman

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  23. 28
    + 572
    - 135

    added by kattron
    Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens, Hannah New

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  24. 27
    + 864
    - 763


    Danny McBride, Steve Little, Katy Mixon

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  25. 26
    + 711
    - 385


    Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger

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  26. 25
    + 839
    - 515


    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy

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  27. 24
    + 424
    - 219

    added by BillScrivener
    Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

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  28. 23
    + 1,454
    - 606

    ranked low on reranks
    Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Ethan Cutkosky

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  29. 22
    + 1,056
    - 870


    David Duchovny, Natascha McElhone, Evan Handler

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  30. 21
    + 594
    - 119

    ranked low on reranks & added by PatriciaSheehan
    Kevin Spacey, Michel Gill, Robin Wright

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  31. 20
    + 926
    - 737


    Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons, Lee Tergesen

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  32. 19
    + 1,149
    - 893


    Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon

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  33. 18
    + 983
    - 648


    Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

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  34. 17
    + 1,100
    - 294


    Liev Schreiber, Paula Malcomson, Eddie Marsan

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  35. 16
    + 975
    - 934


    Larry David, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Garlin

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  36. 15
    + 1,758
    - 545

    added by elise
    Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams

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  37. 14
    + 860
    - 240

    added by lemonhead
    Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies

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  38. 13
    + 1,473
    - 721


    Eric McIntire, Daniel Spink, Matthew Felker

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  39. 12
    + 1,309
    - 973

    often listed
    Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish, Alexander Gould

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  40. 11
    + 1,000
    - 193

    added by JennySobonski
    Travis Fimmel, Clive Standen, Gustaf Skarsgård

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  41. 10
    + 2,077
    - 720


    Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend

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  42. 9
    + 1,603
    - 1,263

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell

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  43. 8
    + 1,822
    - 817


    Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza

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  44. 7
    + 1,727
    - 689


    Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston

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  45. 6
    + 1,480
    - 886


    Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

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  46. 5
    + 1,476
    - 779


    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker

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  47. 4
    + 2,133
    - 907


    Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

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  48. 3
    + 2,655
    - 976


    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

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  49. 2
    + 3,115
    - 1,483


    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

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  50. 1
    + 5,286
    - 902

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington

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