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The Best HBO Dramas of All Time 

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Updated March 16, 2020 7.8k votes 1.2k voters 21.1k views 50 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

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 73

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

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 60

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

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 86

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

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 8

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

Number of Episodes: 10

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

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 63

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

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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

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 36

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

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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

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 22

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

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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

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 36

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

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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

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 56

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

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 63

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
Carnivàle is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Michael J. Anderson, Adrienne Barbeau, Clancy Brown

Premiered: 2003

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 24

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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13
The Pacific is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Hugh Ambrose, Ed Tracy

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 10

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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14
John Adams is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Paul Giamatti, Laura Linney, John Dossett

Premiered: 2008

Number of Episodes: 7

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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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

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 10

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
Entourage is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Kevin Connolly, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon

Premiered: 2004

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 96

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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17
Sex and the City is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis

Premiered: 1998

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 94

This show 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

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18
Westworld is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright

Premiered: 2016

Number of Seasons: 3

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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19
Angels in America is listed (or ranked) 19 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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20
Big Love is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Bill Paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 53

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

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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
Generation Kill is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
Alexander Skarsgård, James Ransone, Lee Tergesen

Premiered: 2008

Number of Episodes: 7

This series is a British-American seven-part television miniseries produced for HBO, based on the 2004 book of the same name by Evan Wright about his experience as an embedded reporter with the ...more

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23
Euphoria is listed (or ranked) 23 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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24
The Deuce is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best HBO Dramas of All Time
James Franco, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gbenga Akinnagbe
The Deuce (HBO, 2017) is a television drama series set in and around Times Square, New York. It tells the story of the legalization and ensuing rise of the adult industry in New York beginning ...more

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25
The Leftovers is listed (or ranked) 25 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

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