Entertainment

The Best HBO Dramas of All Time  

Ranker TV
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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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26
Looking is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
DonPhillips added Jonathan Groff, Frankie J. Alvarez, Murray Bartlett
Looking is an American comedy-drama television series about a group of gay friends living in San Francisco. It premiered on January 19, 2014, on HBO. The series' executive producers are David ...more
27
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
claudio-ruffini-castiglione added Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell
This show is an American drama television series that premiered on April 3, 2011, on AMC, based on the Danish television series Forbrydelsen. The American version was developed by Veena Sud and ...more
28
Treme is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Khandi Alexander, Rob Brown, Kim Dickens
Treme is an American television drama series created by David Simon and Eric Overmyer that aired on HBO. The series premiered on April 11, 2010, and concluded on December 29, 2013, comprising ...more
29
K Street is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
John Slattery, James Carville, Mary McCormack
K Street is a 2003 HBO television series about lobbyists and politicians in Washington, D.C. It was named for a street that is home to many lobbying and legal firms.
30
Luck is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz
Luck is an American dramatic television series created by David Milch and starring Dustin Hoffman. The pilot episode was directed by Michael Mann. The series premiered on January 29, 2012. HBO ...more
31
The Bridge is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
claudio-ruffini-castiglione added Sofia Helin, Rafael Pettersson, Dag Malmberg
The Bridge (FX, 2013) is an American drama television series developed by Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid. Two police detectives try to capture someone who is operating in both the US and Mexico ...more
32
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Ag... is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Jill Scott, Anika Noni Rose, Harish Patel
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency is a television comedy-drama series, produced by the BBC in conjunction with HBO, and based on the novels of the same name by Alexander McCall Smith. The ...more
33
From the Earth to the Moon is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Tom Hanks, Nick Searcy, Lane Smith
From the Earth to the Moon is a twelve-part HBO television miniseries co-produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer, Tom Hanks, and Michael Bostick, telling the story of the landmark Apollo ...more
34
Big Little Lies is listed (or ranked) 34 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
35
Enlightened is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Laura Dern, Diane Ladd, Sarah Burns
Enlightened is an American comedy-drama television series that premiered on HBO on October 10, 2011. The series was created by Mike White, who wrote every episode, and Laura Dern, who plays the ...more
36
John from Cincinnati is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Rebecca De Mornay, Greyson Fletcher, Willie Garson
John from Cincinnati is an American television drama, set against the surfing community of Imperial Beach, California, that aired on HBO from June 10, 2007 to August 12, 2007.
37
Sharp Objects is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Eliza Scanlen
Sharp Objects (HBO, 2018) is an American miniseries created by Marti Nixon, based on the novel by Gillian Flynn. Fresh out of a psych hospital for her years of self-harm, crime reporter Camille ...more
38
Philip Marlowe, Private Eye is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Powers Boothe
Philip Marlowe, Private Eye is an American mystery series that aired on HBO in the United States from April 16, 1983 through June 3, 1986, and on ITV in the United Kingdom. The series features ...more
39
The Leftovers is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
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
40
Euphoria is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Zendaya, Storm Reid, Maude Apatow
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
41
Parade's End is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Benedict Cumberbatch, Rebecca Hall, Rupert Everett
Parade's End is a five-part BBC/HBO/VRT television serial, which is an adaptation of the tetralogy of novels of the same name by Ford Madox Ford. It premiered on BBC Two on 24 August 2012, and ...more
42
Laurel Avenue is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Mary Alice, Mel Winkler
Laurel Avenue is an American three-hour television miniseries which aired on HBO on July 10 and 11, 1993. It is the story of an eventful weekend in the lives of an extended African American ...more
43
My Brilliant Friend is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Elisa Del Genio, Ludovica Nasti, Gaia Girace
My Brilliant Friend (HBO, 2018) is an Italian-American drama television miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Elena Ferrante. The show is framed by an older Elena (Margherita ...more
44
Tell Me You Love Me is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Ian Somerhalder, Ally Walker, Michelle Borth
Tell Me You Love Me is an American cable television drama series that premiered on HBO and on The Movie Network on September 9, 2007. The series was created by Cynthia Mort and originally ...more
45
The Mind of the Married Man is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Kate Walsh, Sonya Walger, M. Emmet Walsh
The Mind of the Married Man is a television series that ran on the HBO network for two seasons consisting of twenty episodes between September 2001 and November 2002. The story attempts to focus ...more
46
Unscripted is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Krista Allen, Frank Langella, Bryan Greenberg
Unscripted is an American comedy-drama series that aired on HBO in early 2005. Its title referred to the fact that the series was largely improvised by its performers. The series was executive ...more