Special Report

Best HBO Shows of All Time

At the 2022 Emmy Awards on Sept. 12, no network will be better represented than HBO. The shows on the cable channel and its streaming companion HBO Max received a combined 140 nominations, more than any other channel or streaming platform.

One of the longest-operating cable channels, HBO has compiled a massive catalog of shows over the last few decades. These range from gritty crime dramas to hilarious comedies, sci-fi/fantasy epics, and everything in between – some of which now rank among the most popular and influential TV shows of all time.

To determine the best HBO shows of all time, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on audience ratings for original HBO productions from IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon. Dats is current as of July 2022. In the case of a tie, the show with more user votes was rated higher. Only shows with more than one season were considered, and miniseries were excluded. Cast data also comes from IMDb.

Click here to see the best HBO shows of all time

HBO has aired some of the most critically acclaimed shows on TV for decades, with programs on this list like “Oz” and “The Larry Sanders Show” dating back to the 1990s. Many of the current HBO series are popular as well, with hit shows like “Succession,” “Barry,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and more being among the best-reviewed shows on TV. (These are the shows with the most Emmy wins of all time.)

HBO programming also helped usher in an era of darker, grittier TV shows, as the premium cable channel could air more violent and adult content than other broadcasters. This allowed shows like “The Sopranos” to become breakout hits. (These are the best episodes of “The Sopranos.”)

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