HBO’s recent success is often credited to the innovativeness of its programming and the effectiveness of its advertising. This claim has generated a slew of articles, both academic and journalistic, debating whether or not HBO is TV in the traditional sense. Despite the difficulty many scholars and commentators have in identifying what television in the post-network era is, they nevertheless have highlighted “qualitative” differences between pay cable and standard broadcast fare. Yet, very little commentary has directly addressed either the historical development of original programming on HBO in relation to broadcast television or explored how HBO’s unique culture of production has contributed to a series of programming and marketing strategies that position the channel (and its subscribers) in a complex and often contradictory relationship with the rest of the television universe.