Entertainment
23.7k voters

The Best of Premium Cable TV Series

Updated April 20, 2021 140.0k votes 23.7k voters 1.2m views146 items

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

The 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 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.

This list of original programs on premium cable feature the best dramas and comedies according to ratings, awards, and fan bases. Even though Showtime's crime drama series Dexter ended with a poorly received season, the overall response was mostly positive, making it high on this list. Even shows that were canceled like Penny Dreadful and Dead Like Me are found on list of the best premium cable TV series of all time.       

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!

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  • 1
    6,412
    1,569

    Game of Thrones

    Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey

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  • 2
    3,665
    1,329

    The Sopranos

    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco

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  • 3
    2,372
    917

    Band of Brothers

    Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis

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  • 4
    1,896
    691

    Vikings

    Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick

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  • 5
    1,812
    694

    Ray Donovan

    Liev Schreiber, Paula Malcomson

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  • 6
    2,920
    1,293

    The Wire

    Dominic West, Lance Reddick

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  • 7
    2,250
    919

    Shameless

    Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy

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  • 8
    2,555
    1,095

    Homeland

    Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin

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  • 9
    2,264
    901

    True Detective

    Mahershala Ali, Matthew McConaughey

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  • 10
    2,220
    1,140

    Boardwalk Empire

    Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham

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  • 11
    1,815
    938

    Spartacus: Blood and Sand

    Eric McIntire, Daniel Spink

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  • 12
    2,019
    1,220

    Deadwood

    Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane

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  • 13
    3,576
    2,252

    Dexter

    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter

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  • 14
    1,205
    448

    Westworld

    Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton

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  • 15
    1,222
    507

    Black Sails

    Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens

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  • 16
    1,563
    738

    Outlander

    Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan

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  • 17
    1,812
    1,170

    Rome

    Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson

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  • 18
    1,197
    743

    The Tudors

    Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill

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    #10 of 49 The Best Showtime Shows of All Time, Ranked#50 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

  • 19
    1,217
    885

    Oz

    Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons

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  • 20
    1,317
    891

    Six Feet Under

    Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall

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    #36 of 106 The Best Dramedy TV Series#4 of 12 The Most Emotional Final Scenes In TV Dramas

  • 21
    859
    303

    Billions

    Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti

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  • 22
    968
    545

    Penny Dreadful

    Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton

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  • 23
    1,948
    1,612

    True Blood

    Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer

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  • 24
    1,515
    1,219

    Weeds

    Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish

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  • 25
    641
    432

    Silicon Valley

    Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller

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