List of the Best HBO Characters, Ranked: 50th Anniversary
Over the past five decades, what was once a mere slogan has become an unassailable fact: “It’s not TV. It’s HBO.
Home Box Office began broadcasting as a pay cable network 50 years ago today, and what was just a string of old movies and boxing matches has become arguably the biggest program producer quality of television history. HBO’s original programming ambitions started small with raunchy comedies like 1st & Ten and Dreambut the arrival of The Larry Sanders Show in 1992 heralded him as a serious player in the television content war. Then with the beginnings of The Sopranos in 1999, HBO took off in an era of massive success, with a critically acclaimed tidal wave (it regularly tops all networks in Emmy wins every year) and a flurry of water cooler hits. buzzing with sex and the city at game of thrones.
HBO’s pay-cable status allows its original series to push established boundaries around sex, violence, and subject matter, resulting in offbeat, thought-provoking, and often groundbreaking programming. And those shows have introduced us to a host of unforgettable characters over the years: heroes and villains, superstars and sidekicks, kings and court jesters. In celebration of HBO’s 50th anniversary, we’re naming the 50 greatest characters to ever appear in its original series and ranking them based on their fascination, complexity, and originality. Now, HBO’s exemplary production over the years has made this a truly daunting task, but we debated, we voted – and we’re pleased with the results.
Read on to see how we’ve ranked the 50 best characters HBO has ever given us – and of course we want to hear from you too: Hit the comments to tell us your favorite characters we left behind and who you would rank in your personal Top 5.