best TV The Best of Premium Cable TV Series  

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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!

1
7,488 1,409
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Game of Thrones 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
4,210 2,388
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Dexter 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
3,934 1,428
The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
The Sopranos James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco 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
3,162 1,392
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
The Wire Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn 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
2,184 1,340
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Deadwood 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
2,081 1,259
Rome is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Rome 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

7
2,548 1,229
Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Boardwalk Empire Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza 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
2,553 999
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Band of Brothers Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston 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
2,245 1,812
True Blood is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
True Blood 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
2,965 1,122
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Homeland 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
2,507 858
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Elise Hennigan added True Detective Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology crime drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent crimes.

12
1,853 492
Vikings is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
JennySobonski added Vikings 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

The Best Sci Fi Television Series of All Time

13
1,802 1,390
Weeds is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Weeds 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
1,473 612
Outlander is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
lemonhead added Outlander 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
2,086 1,019
Spartacus: Blood and Sand is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Spartacus: Blood and Sand 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
1,441 1,299
Curb Your Enthusiasm is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Curb Your Enthusiasm 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
1,429 952
Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Six Feet Under 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

The Best Shows Currently on the Air

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1,337 1,019
Oz is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Oz 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

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2,418 877
Shameless is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Shameless 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
1,579 1,289
Entourage is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Entourage 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

21
1,829 580
Ray Donovan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Ray Donovan Liev Schreiber, Paula Malcomson, Eddie Marsan 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

22
1,459 1,190
Californication is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Californication 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

Shows with the Best Freakin' Series Finales of All Time

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1,258 783
The Tudors is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
The Tudors 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
1,154 377
Black Sails is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
kattron added Black Sails 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

25
1,208 1,055
Eastbound & Down is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Eastbound & Down Danny McBride, Steve Little, Katy Mixon 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

26
929 657
The Borgias is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
The Borgias Jeremy Irons, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger 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

27
921 1,454
Sex and the City is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis 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

The Best Fake Words From The Simpsons

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724 158
Westworld is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Mike Berry added Westworld 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

29
1,068 891
The Newsroom is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
The Newsroom Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr. 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

30
845 707
The Pacific is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
The Pacific Hugh Ambrose, Ed Tracy 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

31
909 439
Penny Dreadful is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
kattron added Penny Dreadful Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green 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

32
695 873
Big Love is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Big Love Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny 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

16 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think They Do

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668 589
John Adams is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
sebbzor added John Adams Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, John Dossett 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

34
836 438
Banshee is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
LanaYoshii added Banshee Antony Starr, Ivana Milicevic, Ulrich Thomsen 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

35
487 270
Silicon Valley is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
theuniverse added Silicon Valley Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Josh Brener 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

36
836 836
Nurse Jackie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Nurse Jackie Edie Falco, Merritt Wever, Paul Schulze 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
626 851
Dead Like Me is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Dead Like Me Ellen Muth, Callum Blue, Jasmine Guy 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

Everyday Tech That Didn't Become Mainstream Until After Y2K

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376 897
The Larry Sanders Show is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
The Larry Sanders Show Garry Shandling, Jeffrey Tambor, Wallace Langham 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

39
739 1,181
Real Time with Bill Maher is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Real Time with Bill Maher Bill Maher, Arianna Huffington, Andrew Sullivan 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

40
601 283
Power is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
RyanBarber added Power Omari Hardwick, Naturi Naughton, Kathrine Narducci Power (Starz, 2014) is an American crime drama-thriller television series created by Courtney Kemp Agboh. James St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick) struggles to balance his life as a New York City ...more

41
408 293
The Leftovers is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
kattron added The Leftovers Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston 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
495 885
Penn & Teller: Bullshit! is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Penn & Teller: Bullshit! Penn Jillette, Teller, George W. Bush Penn & Teller: Bullshit! is an American documentary television series that aired from 2003 to 2010 on the premium cable channel Showtime.

The Best Movies Based on TV Shows

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706 751
Carnivàle is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Carnivàle Michael J. Anderson, Adrienne Barbeau, Clancy Brown 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

44
504 152
Billions is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
LanaYoshii added Billions Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti, Maggie Siff 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

45
539 607
Veep is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
mark123 added Veep Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Tony Hale 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

46
506 922
Hung is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Hung Thomas Jane, Jane Adams, Charlie Saxton 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

47
210 804
Mr. Show with Bob and David is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
Mr. Show with Bob and David Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, John Ennis 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

48
363 269
The Affair is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
MichaelTrueblood added The Affair Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, Maura Tierney 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
391 262
Last Week Tonight with John Ol... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
LanaYoshii added Last Week Tonight with John Oliver John Oliver, David Kaye, Noel MacNeal Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO, 2014) is an American late-night talk and news satire television program hosted by comedian John Oliver. The half-hour-long show takes a satirical look at ...more

50
372 329
Da Vinci's Demons is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best of Premium Cable TV Series
kattron added Da Vinci's Demons Tom Riley, Gregg Chillin, Eros Vlahos 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