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List Rules 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.

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
6,864 1,207
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Game of Thrones HBO Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series created for HBO by showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. It is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin's ...more

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2
3,861 2,108
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Dexter Showtime 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
3,513 1,281
The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
The Sopranos HBO The Sopranos is an American crime drama television series created by David Chase. Revolving around the fictional New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano, the show portrays the ...more

4
2,836 1,226
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
The Wire HBO The Wire is an American crime drama television series set and produced in and around Baltimore, Maryland. Created and primarily written by author and former police reporter David Simon, the ...more

5
1,967 1,175
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Deadwood HBO 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
1,906 1,087
Rome is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Rome HBO 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

7
2,355 1,085
Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Boardwalk Empire HBO Boardwalk Empire is an American period crime 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

8
2,315 876
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Band of Brothers HBO Band of Brothers is a 2001 American war 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
2,091 1,640
True Blood is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
True Blood HBO 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
2,729 982
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Homeland Showtime 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
2,290 745
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Elise Hennigan added True Detective HBO True Detective is an American crime drama television series created and written by author Nic Pizzolatto. The series is broadcast by the premium cable network HBO in the United States, and ...more

12
1,581 382
Vikings is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
JennySobonski added Vikings History Vikings is an Irish-Canadian historical drama television series written and created by Michael Hirst for the television channel History. It premiered on 3 March 2013 in the United States and ...more

13
1,659 1,246
Weeds is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Weeds Showtime 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
1,298 481
Outlander is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
lemonhead added Outlander Starz 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
1,916 902
Spartacus: Blood and Sand is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Spartacus: Blood and Sand Starz! 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

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16
1,295 1,159
Curb Your Enthusiasm is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm HBO 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
1,294 831
Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Six Feet Under HBO 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
1,209 902
Oz is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Oz HBO 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
1,442 1,146
Entourage is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Entourage HBO 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

20
1,630 468
Ray Donovan is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Ray Donovan Showtime Ray Donovan is an American television crime 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
2,124 776
Shameless is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Shameless Showtime 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

22
1,338 1,072
Californication is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Californication Showtime 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

23
1,126 675
The Tudors is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
The Tudors British Broadcasting Corporation, Showtime, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 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
865 559
The Borgias is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
The Borgias Showtime The Borgias is an historical-fiction drama television series created by Neil Jordan; it debuted in 2011 and was canceled in 2013. The series is set around the turn of the 16th century and ...more

25
1,011 276
Black Sails is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
kattron added Black Sails Starz 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

26
831 1,303
Sex and the City is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Sex and the City HBO Sex and the City is an American television romantic sitcom created by Darren Star and produced by HBO. Broadcast from 1998 until 2004, the original run of the show had a total of 94 episodes. ...more

27
1,086 939
Eastbound & Down is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Eastbound & Down HBO Eastbound & Down is an American sports comedy television series that was broadcast on HBO, starring Danny McBride as Kenny Powers, a former professional baseball pitcher, who after an up and ...more

28
982 789
The Newsroom is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
The Newsroom HBO The Newsroom is an American television political drama series created and principally written by Aaron Sorkin that premiered on HBO on June 24, 2012, and concluded on December 14, 2014, ...more

29
761 609
The Pacific is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
The Pacific HBO The Pacific is a 2010 television series produced by HBO, Seven Network Australia, Sky Movies, Playtone and DreamWorks that premiered in the United States on 14 March 2010. The series is a ...more

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30
790 336
Penny Dreadful is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
kattron added Penny Dreadful Showtime Penny Dreadful is a British-American horror TV series created for Showtime and Sky by John Logan, who also acts as executive producer alongside Sam Mendes. The show was originally pitched to ...more

31
623 780
Big Love is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Big Love HBO Big Love is an American television drama that aired on HBO between March 2006 and March 2011. The show is about a fictional fundamentalist Mormon family in Utah that practices polygamy. Big Love ...more

32
580 496
John Adams is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
sebbzor added John Adams HBO John Adams is a 2008 American television miniseries chronicling most of U.S. President John Adams' political life and his role in the founding of the United States. Paul Giamatti portrays John ...more

33
706 359
Banshee is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
LanaYoshii added Banshee Cinemax Banshee is an American action-drama television series created by Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler originally appearing on the Cinemax network beginning on January 11, 2013. Set in the small ...more

34
409 70
Westworld is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Mike Berry added Westworld

35
578 771
Dead Like Me is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Dead Like Me Showtime Dead Like Me is an American comedy-drama television series starring Ellen Muth and Mandy Patinkin as grim reapers who reside and work in Seattle, Washington. Filmed in Vancouver, British ...more

36
754 750
Nurse Jackie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Nurse Jackie Showtime, The Movie Network, Movie Central Nurse Jackie is an American medical dark satirical comedy-drama series. It premiered on Showtime on June 8, 2009. The show's seventh and final season will premiere April 12, 2015. The show stars ...more

37
337 804
The Larry Sanders Show is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
The Larry Sanders Show British Broadcasting Corporation, HBO The Larry Sanders Show is an American television sitcom set in the office and studio of a fictional late-night talk show. The show was created by Garry Shandling and Dennis Klein and aired from ...more

38
672 1,031
Real Time with Bill Maher is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Real Time with Bill Maher HBO It's shaping up to be an interesting last few months of 2007. The price of gas keeps spiraling to record highs, while the approval ratings for the man in charge keep plummeting to record lows. ...more

39
369 186
Silicon Valley is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
theuniverse added Silicon Valley HBO Silicon Valley is an American television sitcom created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky. The series focuses on six young men who found a startup company in Silicon Valley. The ...more

40
496 200
Power is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
RyanBarber added Power Starz Power is an upcoming drama television series on Starz. It is expected to air in 2014.

41
327 205
The Leftovers is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
kattron added The Leftovers HBO The Leftovers is an American television drama series created by Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta airing on HBO. It is based on Perrotta's novel of the same name. The pilot was written by Lindelof ...more

42
451 790
Penn & Teller: Bullshit! is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Penn & Teller: Bullshit! Showtime Penn & Teller: Bullshit! is an American documentary television series that aired from 2003 to 2010 on the premium cable channel Showtime.

43
646 664
Carnivàle is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Carnivàle HBO Carnivàle is an American television series set in the United States during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. In tracing the lives of two disparate groups of people, its overarching ...more

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44
460 511
Veep is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
mark123 added Veep HBO Veep is an HBO television comedy series, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, set in the office of Selina Meyer, a fictional Vice President, and subsequent President, of the United States. The series ...more

45
464 828
Hung is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Hung HBO Hung is a comedy-drama television series which ran on HBO from June 28, 2009 to December 4, 2011. It was created by Dmitry Lipkin and Colette Burson and stars Thomas Jane as Ray Drecker, a ...more

46
315 606
Hard Knocks is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Hard Knocks HBO Hard Knocks is a reality sports documentary television series produced by NFL Films and HBO. The show was first broadcast in 2001, and the current 2014 season is the ninth. Each season, it ...more

47
332 249
Da Vinci's Demons is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
kattron added Da Vinci's Demons Starz Da Vinci's Demons is an historical fantasy drama series that presents a fictional account of Leonardo da Vinci's early life. The series was conceived by David S. Goyer and stars Tom Riley in the ...more

48
301 190
The Affair is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
MichaelTrueblood added The Affair Showtime The Affair is an American television drama series created by Sarah Treem and Hagai Levi. The series premiered on Showtime on October 12, 2014. A TV-14 version of the pilot episode was made ...more

49
325 86
Billions is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
LanaYoshii added Billions Showtime Billions (Showtime, 2016) is loosely based on the activities of crusading federal prosecutor of financial crimes Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Bobby ...more

50
191 720
Mr. Show with Bob and David is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Mr. Show with Bob and David HBO Mr. Show with Bob and David, also known as Mr. Show, is an American sketch comedy series starring and hosted by Bob Odenkirk and David Cross. It aired on HBO from November 3, 1995, to December ...more