HBO, an abbreviation of Home Box Office, is a non-standard cable television network. It was founded in 1972 by Charles Dolan, who is also the founder of Cablevision. As a dedicated provider, not intermixed with broadcast television, HBO faces comparably low restrictions on content, obscenity, profanity, and other decency regulations, and uses its freedom to create television shows with a more film noir feel to them.
Examples of programming include:
- Rome - a show chronicling the rise of Augustus Caesar, from the death of Julius Caesar, to the death of Marc Anthony. The show ran two seasons to critical acclaim. Profanity, nudity, and sexuality are common.
- Big Love - a drama following the lives of a polygamist Mormon family in Utah, struggling to differentiate themselves from a family history that connects them with an abusive polygamist compound. The show, while prima facie glorifying polygamy, instead seeks to prove that it is impossible to practice in a principled manner. Profanity and sexuality are common.
- True Blood - a dramedy in which Vampires walk among humans as equals, made possible through artificial blood called "True Blood". There are also werewolves and witches. The show tries heavily to deconstruct the conservative Southern States of the USA, tools in this are sex, obsenity, profanity, murder. Christians are portrayed as moronic fanatics. In the show evolution is a fact.
- Treme - A drama portraying the problems of the people of New Orleans after the Hurricane Katrina.
- Sex and the City - the name says it all. The show has no basis other then sexual "adventures" of four New York women in their mid-thirties. Two follow-up movies were produced.
- In Treatment - a daily drama about a psychologist and its patients.
- The Sopranos - a drama about an Italian-American mobster family. Often credited for the developement of the "Quality Television Series".
- Curb Your Enthusiasm - a sitcom starring Larry David, the co-creator of Seinfeld. Profanity, nudity, and sexuality are common.
- Game of Thrones - A fantasy drama set on the fictional contents of Westeros and Essos. Known for its unpredictable plot, large cast, and violence.