True Blood is a southern vampire series adapted from Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels. At the time of its debut in 2008, True Blood was HBO's biggest ratings success since the Sopranos. It stars Anna Paquin as the titular Sookie and Jim Moyers as her love interest Vampire Bill Compton.
Deadwood was a critically acclaimed western-style drama that sub-par ratings killed before its time. The series premiered in 2004 and was cancelled after only 2 seasons. The show starred Ian McShane as Dakota Territory businessman Al Swearengen.
Curb Your Enthusiasm is an off-the-wall situation comedy from the demented mind of Seinfeld creator Larry David. The show stars Larry David as a fictionalized version of himself.
Oft-overlooked yet critically beloved, Carnivale was a quirky drama about a traveling circus during the Dust Bowl. The freaky series premiered in 2003 only to be cancelled two years later for lagging ratings. It stars Nick Stahl as an Okie farmer who runs away with the circus.
Sex and The City was a phenomenon when it debuted. The half-hour dramady about single women living in New York City became one of HBO's earliest cultural touchstones. The series was adapted from Candace Bushnell's books by the same title and starred Sarah Jessica Parker as narrator Carrie Bradshaw.
Before Michael C. Hall was Dexter, we all knew him as mild-mannered homosexual undertaker David Fischer. Sure to be the most controversial inclusion on this list, Six Feet Under was a love-it-or-hate-it drama about a family of morticians - but it was so much more. Created by Alan Ball of True Blood fame, this show ran the gamut from morbid melodrama to zany surrealist farce. The impressive finale aired in 2005.
Oz was the original show that your parents didn't want you to watch. This violent drama gave us an inside look at the Oswald Correctional Facility and took on difficult topics like Race and the Death Penalty. It ran for 57 episodes starting in 1997 and starred Lee Tergesen as remorseful vehicular manslaughter convict Tobias Beecher.
Though it never came close to the ratings of less controversial fare like The Sopranos, The Wire was undoubtedly HBO's most thoughtful and relevant drama. The Wire explored a different aspect of inner city Baltimore every season, shining a spotlight on uncomfortable truths about the American underclass and the War on Drugs.