Hollywood's 100 Favorite TV Shows: 10 HBO Shows That Made the List

10:08 AM 4/7/2016

by THR staff

'The Sopranos,' 'Game of Thrones' and 8 other shows from the pay TV service most loved by industry insiders.

SEX AND THE CITY (1998-2004)

This was the first HBO show to become a real part of the mainstream pop-culture conversation, working its way into everyday conversation in a way few shows before or since have. To wit: There were housewives in the middle of America debating if they were a Carrie, a Samantha, a Charlotte or a Miranda. And a marked increase in cosmo consumption.

Everyone has a favorite TV show. It might be the one you loved most as a kid or the one you watched with friends in a dorm room or the the one you shared with a significant other.

The Hollywood Reporter asked more than 2800 Hollywood insiders people — including 779 actors, 365 producers and 268 directors, among others — to tell us their favorites and then ranked the top 100 from Desperate Housewives (No. 100) to …..

Beyond the No.1 showTHR looked at how each network fared in the voting for the 100 favorite shows: ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and NetflixTHR also looked at the best shows by decade: 50s60s70s80s90s2000s. Here are the ten shows from HBO that made the list of Hollywood’s 100 Favorite TV Shows. 


  • True Blood (No. 86)

    A show about a telepathic waitress dealing with vampires in a small Southern town wasn't the perfect fit for Tony Soprano's channel. "It was not something that made any sense to what our definition of HBO was," says president of programming Michael Lombardo. But its creator was Alan Ball, who'd made Six Feet Under, so the network took a gamble. Blood ultimately pulled in 13 million viewers a week and, says Lombardo, "redefined what we do."

    Photos 'True Blood's' 10 Bloodiest Deaths

  • Entourage (No. 69)

    "It was just taking in stories and spitting them out," is how creator Doug Ellin, 47, wrote the pulled-from-the trades plotlines of his Hollywood satire, which sometimes hit a bit too close to home. The episode in which Jeremy Piven's Ari Gold leads a mass exodus from his agency had the character's inspiration, WME's Ari Emanuel, squirming in his seat. Says Ellin, "Ari told me he watched covering his face."

    Read more THR's 'Entourage' First Episode Review in 2004

    Photos 'Entourage' Finale: 20 Unforgettable Hollywood Cameos

  • Curb Your Enthusiasm (No. 53)

    Larry David's Seinfeld follow-up didn't require a whole lot of writing. It was almost all improv. "If you were a guest actor, you didn't get to read anything," says co-star and EP Jeff Garlin, 53. "We would just tell you what the scene is about."

  • True Detective (No. 52)

    Nic Pizzolatto's postmodern take on noir cop thrillers sparked a network bidding war that included Netflix and HBO. "I really admire Netflix," says Pizzolatto, 39. "I use it as much as anybody on the planet. In the end, though, it was the model of putting every episode out at once. Some shows are better off having a week in between to digest and anticipate."

    Read more THR's 'True Detective' Season 1 Review in 2014

  • Veep (No. 46)

    Here's the downside of playing president — or even vice president — on TV: If you're any good at it, people take you too seriously. "I'm just trying to make a funny-as-shit show," says Julia Louis-Dreyfus, 54. "But I get asked questions as if I were running for office."

    Read more THR's 'Veep' Season 1 Review in 2012

  • The Wire (No. 30)

    It's not just one of Hollywood's favorite shows but also that of a certain resident of Washington, D.C. "I'm a huge fan," President Obama said in March, when he invited creator David Simon to the White House. "I think it's one of the greatest, not just television shows, but pieces of art in the last couple of decades."

    Read more THR's 'The Wire' First Episode Review in 2002

  • Six Feet Under (No. 29)

    Every episode of the funeral home drama opened with a shocking death — getting struck by lightning, getting cut in half by an elevator — but that wasn't cable-edgy enough to satisfy HBO. Recalls creator Alan Ball, 58: "The note I got — probably my favorite note ever — was, 'It feels a little safe. Can you just make the whole thing a little more f—ed up?'"

    Read more THR's 'Six Feet Under' First Episode Review in 2001

    Photos 'Six Feet Under': Where Are They Now

  • Sex and the City (No. 12)

    What do Carrie Bradshaw and Don Draper have in common? The Mad Men pilot was shot down the hall from SATC's longtime home at Queens' Silvercup Studios, so Matthew Weiner would pay visits to the women next door. "I would sit at the table, and they would say funny shit," recalls Weiner. "[Showrunner] Michael Patrick King would say things like, 'Oh, you're here on the perfect day. We all finally got our periods in sync.'"

    Read more THR's 'Sex and the City' First Episode Review in 1999

  • The Sopranos (No. 6)

    "New Jersey is beautiful even in its industrial wasteland-ness," says creator David Chase, 70, of his epic mob drama's signature setting. "My edict was that all location filming had to take place in Jersey, not in Queens, where the soundstages were. I felt that Jersey gave the show a different look from previous organized crime [dramas]."

    Read more THR's 'Sopranos' First Episode Review in 1999

  • Game of Thrones (No. 4)

    The biggest hit in HBO history — it has surpassed this list's No. 6 The Sopranos — keeps fans hooked with the bloodiest, most shocking cliffhangers on TV (say it ain't so, Jon Snow!). But co-creator David Benioff sees the dragon-and-swords series as less a thrill ride than a sociopolitical parable. "Ultimately, it's not just about good versus evil," he says. "It's about people of good intentions who come into conflict with each other because they have very different views of the world."

    Read more THR's 'Game of Thrones' Season 1 Review in 2011

    Photos 'Game of Thrones': 25 Game-Changing Quotes