Best TV The Best of Premium Cable TV Series  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
171.8k votes 20.7k voters 1M views 112 items

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

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, Ranker may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

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.

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!

list ordered by

1
7,944 1,519
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke Game of Thrones (HBO, 2011) is an American fantasy drama television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, based on the series of fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin. Nine noble ...more

2
4,469 2,567
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas Dexter is an American television drama series. Set in Miami, the series centers on Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter pattern analyst for Miami Metro Police Department who also leads a secret life ...more

3
4,202 1,523
The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco The Sopranos is an American drama television series created by David Chase. Revolving around the fictional New Jersey-based Italian-American Tony Soprano, the show portrays the difficulties he ...more

4
3,351 1,486
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn The Wire is an American drama television series set and produced in and around Baltimore, Maryland. Created and primarily written by author and former police reporter David Simon, the series was ...more

5
2,326 1,438
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker Deadwood is an American western television series created, produced, and largely written by David Milch and aired on the premium cable network HBO from March 21, 2004, to August 27, 2006, ...more

6
2,697 1,309
Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza Boardwalk Empire is an American period drama television series created by Terence Winter. Airing on premium cable channel HBO, the series is set in Atlantic City, New Jersey, during the ...more

7
2,189 1,355
Rome is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker Rome is a British-American-Italian historical drama television series created by Bruno Heller, John Milius and William J. MacDonald. The show's two seasons were broadcast on HBO, BBC Two, and ...more

8
2,725 1,061
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston Band of Brothers is a 2001 American WWII drama miniseries based on historian Stephen E. Ambrose's 1992 non-fiction book of the same name. The executive producers were Steven Spielberg and Tom ...more

9
2,380 1,924
True Blood is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell True Blood is an American television drama series produced and created by Alan Ball. It is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, detailing the ...more

10
3,129 1,201
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend Homeland is an American political thriller television series developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa based on the Israeli series Hatufim, which was created by Gideon Raff. The series stars ...more

11
2,679 927
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Elise Hennigan added Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.

12
2,024 566
Vikings is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
JennySobonski added Travis Fimmel, Katheryn Winnick, Clive Standen Vikings (History, 2013) is a historical drama television series created by Michael Hirst. A farmer (Travis Fimmel) rises to fame by successful raids into England, and eventually becomes a ...more

13
1,894 1,490
Weeds is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish, Alexander Gould Weeds is an American dark comedy-drama series created by Jenji Kohan and produced by Tilted Productions in association with Lionsgate Television. The central character is Nancy Botwin, a widowed ...more

14
1,610 688
Outlander is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
lemonhead added Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies Outlander is a British-American television drama series based on the historical time travel Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Created by Ronald D. Moore and produced by Left Bank ...more

15
2,195 1,098
Spartacus: Blood and Sand is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Eric McIntire, Daniel Spink, Matthew Felker Spartacus: Blood and Sand is the title of the first and most critically acclaimed season of Spartacus, a television series that premiered on Starz on January 22, 2010. The series was inspired by ...more

16
1,530 1,381
Curb Your Enthusiasm is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Larry David, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Garlin Curb Your Enthusiasm is an American improvised comedy television series produced and broadcast by HBO, which premiered on October 15, 2000. It has aired 80 episodes over eight seasons, the last ...more

17
1,538 1,021
Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy Six Feet Under is an American drama television series created and produced by Alan Ball. It premiered on the premium cable network HBO in the United States on June 3, 2001, and ended on August ...more

18
1,423 1,081
Oz is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons, Lee Tergesen Oz is an American television drama series created by Tom Fontana, who also wrote or co-wrote all of the series' 56 episodes. It was the first one-hour dramatic television series to be produced ...more

19
2,590 943
Shameless is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Ethan Cutkosky Shameless is an American television comedy-drama which airs on Showtime. This remake of the award-winning British series is set in Chicago's Canaryville neighborhood on the South Side, although ...more

20
1,966 638
Ray Donovan is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Liev Schreiber, Paula Malcomson, Eddie Marsan Ray Donovan is an American television drama series created by Ann Biderman for Showtime. The twelve-episode first season premiered on June 30, 2013. The pilot episode broke records of ...more

21
1,659 1,370
Entourage is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon Entourage is an American comedy-drama television series that premiered on HBO on July 18, 2004 and concluded on September 11, 2011, after eight seasons. The series was created and largely ...more

22
890 222
Westworld is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Mike Berry added Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright Westworld (HBO, 2016) is an American science fiction western thriller television series created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and based on the 1973 film. In a technologically advanced Wild ...more

23
1,363 837
The Tudors is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy The Tudors is a British-Irish-Canadian historical fiction television series set primarily in sixteenth-century England, created by Michael Hirst and produced for the American premium cable ...more

24
1,535 1,272
Californication is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
David Duchovny, Natascha McElhone, Evan Handler Californication is an American comedy-drama television series created by Tom Kapinos, which aired for seven seasons on Showtime from August 13, 2007 to June 29, 2014. The show follows New Yorker ...more

25
1,260 434
Black Sails is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
kattron added Jessica Parker Kennedy, Toby Stephens, Hannah New Black Sails is an American dramatic adventure television series set on New Providence Island and a prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island. The series was created by Jonathan ...more