'The Sopranos,' 'Larry Sanders' & more: 20 great shows from 40 years of HBO
Great dramas, comedies, concert specials and more illustrate the pay cable channel's sweep
"The Larry Sanders Show" (1992-1998)
Often imitated, never duplicated, this acidic comedy about a fictional late night talk show host had the perfect star (Garry Shandling, a virtuoso of neurosis and also a former "Tonight Show" guest host), an incredible lineup of writers (including Judd Apatow, Peter Tolan, Paul Simms and Steve Levitan, among many, many others), a deep bench of both regular characters (Rip Torn's master manipulator Artie, Jeffrey Tambor's aggrieved sidekick Hank Kingsley) and actors willing to lampoon themselves (none better than David Duchovny's psycho-sexual obsession with Larry), and an unsparing commitment to the bleak, cynical realities of the TV business. Hey now!