No network is perfect.
Any of the major networks will tell you that their success to failure ratio probably leans more toward the latter than the former. Every so often, a show comes along like "Cheers," "Seinfeld," "Friends" or "All in the Family" that experiences longevity, critical acclaim and the kind of audience that never truly goes away.
Iconic shows like that are considered by those within the industry as once in a lifetime type series. To be able to create masterpieces like those and cultivate new shows that rarely skip a beat is a tall order for any network.
Except for perhaps HBO.
The pay cable channel that stands for home box office has scored a place in the hearts and homes of plenty of eager and ample subscribers with one remarkable, memorable and classic show after another. HBO really put itself on the map with the 1999 debut of "The Sopranos," arguably the best drama to every appear within a television set.
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Having a show like "The Sopranos" would be more than enough for any network, especially one that isn't offered for free as part of cable and satellite subscriptions. But HBO hardly stopped with their unique take on mob life and instead rattled off the likes of "Sex in the City," "Curb Your Enthusiasm," "Deadwood," "The Wire" and more recently "Game of Thrones."
Even shows like "The Wire" and "Deadwood," which didn't last very long on the network, still receive plenty of acclaim and admiration from critics and fans alike even if their run was short lived. The number of seasons is rendered moot when shows like the aforementioned ones are so carefully crafted and written, with story lines and acting that are nearly untouchable as far as dramas are concerned.
"Thrones" is just the latest HBO show that is scoring impressive ratings despite being on a channel that isn't free. The season four finale of the show was watched initially by million viewers, but the show also quickly became the most pirated show in television history, suggesting those who don't have HBO somehow found a way to watch it after the initial airing.
That type of anticipation, clamoring and overwhelming response shows that HBO might know what it is doing when they're carefully choosing shows to run on their network. They're success versus fail rate bucks tradition, but then again would you expect anything less from HBO, a network that is considered a pioneer in the industry and one that truly encompassing not just watching television but experiencing it on all levels.
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