The 50 Best HBO TV Shows of All Time, According to Rotten Tomatoes

Ellen Gutoskey
Nathan Fielder in 'The Rehearsal.'
Nathan Fielder in 'The Rehearsal.' / HBO
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If you came to this list thinking it would tell you—like everyone else in your life no doubt already has—to watch The Sopranos, The Wire, and Veep, you were right. Those three series all made Rotten Tomatoes’s top 50 HBO shows, as did plenty of other classics you’ve been meaning to binge for quite a while.

You’ll also see a fair number of newer offerings that have ruled the ratings in the last few years (and that everyone in your life has probably also told you to just watch, already). There’s the Roy family dramedy Succession; I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel’s searing miniseries loosely based on her own experience with sexual assault; and The Rehearsal, Nathan Fielder’s hilariously awkward exploration of the strangeness of human connection.

But that doesn’t mean the list lacks surprises. While HBO may be best known for its blockbuster dramas, the top three spots all went to comedies. Garry Shandling’s ’90s sitcom The Larry Sanders Show landed in first place, followed by two shows that both premiered in 2019: Robin Thede’s A Black Lady Sketch Show and Los Espookys, created by Julio Torres, Ana Fabrega, and SNL alum Fred Armisen.


And it’s not all dramas, comedies, and dramedies, either—HBO has had some success in just about every genre, including documentary. Standouts include true-crime miniseries I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, based on Michelle McNamara’s investigation of the Golden State Killer murders; and The Lady and the Dale, about Elizabeth Carmichael’s 1970s fraud spree.


If the list proves anything, it’s that HBO has a very deep bench. To even make the top 50, a show had to score 89 percent or above. Game of Thrones and Big Little Lies took the last two spots; but other fan favorites, including The White Lotus, Euphoria, and The Righteous Gemstones, fell a bit short.

You can see the full list of 104 shows here.

  1. The Larry Sanders Show (1992) // 100 percent
  2. A Black Lady Sketch Show (2019) // 100 percent
  3. Los Espookys (2019) // 100 percent
  4. Somebody Somewhere (2022) // 100 percent
  5. The Defiant Ones (2017) // 100 percent
  6. Random Acts of Flyness (2018) // 100 percent
  7. The Lady and the Dale (2021) // 100 percent
  8. Painting With John (2021) // 100 percent
  9. Barry (2018) // 99 percent
  10. I May Destroy You (2020) // 98 percent
  11. High Maintenance (2016) // 98 percent
  12. Betty (2020) // 98 percent
  13. Insecure (2016) // 97 percent
  14. My Brilliant Friend (2018) // 97 percent
  15. Band of Brothers (2001) // 97 percent
  16. Sally4Ever (2018) // 97 percent
  17. Treme (2010) // 97 percent
  18. Watchmen (2019) // 96 percent
  19. Irma Vep (2022) // 96 percent
  20. I'll Be Gone in the Dark (2020) // 96 percent
  21. Mare of Easttown (2021) // 95 percent
  22. Chernobyl (2019) // 95 percent
  23. Tracey Ullman's Show (2016) // 95 percent
  24. The Crime of the Century (2021) // 95 percent
  25. Succession (2018) // 94 percent
  26. Silicon Valley (2014) // 94 percent
  27. The Wire (2002) // 94 percent
  28. Flight of the Conchords (2007) // 94 percent
  29. Veep (2012) // 93 percent
  30. The Deuce (2017) // 93 percent
  31. We Own This City (2022) // 93 percent
  32. The Rehearsal (2022) // 94 percent
  33. Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000) // 92 percent
  34. Boardwalk Empire (2010) // 92 percent
  35. The Sopranos (1999) // 92 percent
  36. Sharp Objects (2018) // 92 percent
  37. Deadwood (2004) // 92 percent
  38. Gentleman Jack (2019) // 92 percent
  39. Oz (1997) // 92 percent
  40. Da Ali G Show (2000) // 92 percent
  41. The Leftovers (2014) // 91 percent
  42. Eastbound & Down (2009) // 91 percent
  43. The Pacific (2010) // 91 percent
  44. In Treatment (2008) // 90 percent
  45. Togetherness (2015) // 90 percent
  46. Looking (2014) // 90 percent
  47. The New Pope (2020) // 90 percent
  48. We Are Who We are (2020) // 90 percent
  49. Game of Thrones (2011) // 89 percent
  50. Big Little Lies (2017) // 89 percent

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A version of this story originally ran in 2021; it has been updated for 2022.

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