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The Best HBO Dramas of All Time 

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Updated June 26, 2020 8k votes 1.2k voters 21.6k views 54 items

List Rules Any drama that aired on HBO, including original HBO dramatic series

There's no denying it: HBO makes some of the best shows on TV. This list ranks the best HBO dramatic series, best to worst. With riveting storylines, grade-A acting, and high grade production value, the best HBO shows are popular favorites, even though the prime cable series costs a little extra. HBO's domination in the drama genre began in the late 1990s with prison series Oz (1997) and continued with fan-favorite mafia show The Sopranos (1999). The 2000s brought cult shows like Carnivale (2003) and Deadwood (2004) - both of which were canceled too soon - as well as long-running popular HBO dramas The Wire (2002), Big Love (2006), and True Blood (2008). More recently, fantasy series Game of Thrones (2011) has captured audiences all over the world, and the crime drama show True Detective (2014) became almost an overnight classic.

What is the best HBO drama show of all time? Vote up the series that grabbed up your attention fastest, held it the longest, and maybe even made you mad at the TV when a favorite character died.
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1
Game of Thrones is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke

Premiered: 2011

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

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2
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

Premiered: 2002

The Wire (HBO, 2002) is an American crime drama television series created and written by David Simon. The series features the Baltimore drug scene, as seen through the eyes of drug dealers and ...more

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3
The Sopranos is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

Premiered: 1999

The Sopranos (HBO, 1999) is an American crime drama television series created by David Chase. New Jersey mob boss Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) deals with personal and professional issues in ...more

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4
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Alexandra Daddario

Premiered: 2013

True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.

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5
Band of Brothers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Scott Grimes, Damian Lewis, Ron Livingston

Premiered: 2001

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

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6
Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

Premiered: 2001

Six Feet Under (HBO, 2001) is an American drama television series created and produced by Alan Ball. A dysfunctional family attempts to run an independent funeral home in Los Angeles who has a ...more

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7
Deadwood is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Timothy Olyphant, Ian McShane, Molly Parker

Premiered: 2004

Deadwood (HBO, 2004) is an American Western television series created by David Milch. In 1870s South Dakota, residents of Deadwood are involved in all sorts of corruption, crime, and secrets.

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8
Rome is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Kevin McKidd, Ray Stevenson, Polly Walker

Premiered: 2005

Rome (HBO, 2005) is a British-American-Italian historical drama television series created by John Milius, William J. MacDonald, and Bruno Heller. A down-to-earth account of the lives of both ...more

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9
Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham, Vincent Piazza

Premiered: 2010

Boardwalk Empire (HBO, 2010) is an American period crime drama television series created by Terence Winter, based on the non-fiction book by Nelson Johnson. During the 1920s Prohibition era, a ...more

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10
Oz is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Ernie Hudson, J.K. Simmons, Lee Tergesen

Premiered: 1997

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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11
True Blood is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell

Premiered: 2008

True Blood (HBO, 2008) is an American fantasy horror drama television series created by Alan Ball, based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries, a series of novels by Charlaine Harris. Telepathic ...more

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12
The Pacific is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Hugh Ambrose, Ed Tracy

Premiered: 2010

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13
John Adams is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, John Dossett

Premiered: 2008

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

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14
Carnivàle is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Michael J. Anderson, Adrienne Barbeau, Clancy Brown

Premiered: 2003

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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15
The Newsroom is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr.

Premiered: 2012

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

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16
Westworld is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright

Premiered: 2016

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

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17
Entourage is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon

Premiered: 2004

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

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18
Angels in America is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Angels in America is a 2003 HBO miniseries adapted from the play of the same name by Tony Kushner. Kushner adapted his original text for the screen, and Mike Nichols directed. Set in 1985, the ...more

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19
Big Love is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny

Premiered: 2006

Big Love (HBO, 2006) is an American television drama series created by Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer. The patriarch (Bill Paxton) of a Fundamentalist Mormon family tries to balance his ...more

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20
Sex and the City is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis

Premiered: 1998

Sex and the City (HBO, 1998) is an American romantic comedy-drama television series created by Darren Star, based on the 1997 book by Candace Bushnell. Four female New Yorkers (Sarah Jessica ...more

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21
Big Little Lies is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley
Big Little Lies (HBO, 2017) is an American dramatic miniseries created by David E. Kelley, based on the novel by Liane Moriarty. While Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) and Celeste (Nicole Kidman) ...more

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22
The Deuce is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
James Franco, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gbenga Akinnagbe

Premiered: 2017

The Deuce (HBO, 2017) is an American television drama series created by George Pelecanos and David Simon. The series centers around the legalization and the ensuing rise of the adult industry in ...more

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23
Generation Kill is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Alexander Skarsgård, James Ransone, Lee Tergesen

Premiered: 2008

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24
The Leftovers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Christopher Eccleston

Premiered: 2014

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25
Euphoria is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Zendaya, Storm Reid, Maude Apatow

Premiered: 2019

Euphoria (HBO, 2019) is an American drama television series based on the Israeli series. A look at life for a group of high school students as they grapple with issues of drugs, love, and

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