Feminism The Best Female-Led TV Shows  

Logan Rapp
Originally by
16.4k votes 1.5k voters 26.7k views 225 items

List Rules Only shows with a recognizable main character who is a girl or woman.

While society has by no means reached actual equality, in the last few years television viewers have started to see an uptick in female-driven television series hitting the airwaves. These days it's easy for audiences to watch action or serious drama series with female leads in TV shows. This list ranks the best female-led television programs, both past and present - from The Mary Tyler Moore Show to Inside Amy Schumer and everything in between - and needs your votes.

Women in TV have evolved incredibly over the decades. From the dutiful housewives, damsels in distress and temptress femme fatales of yesteryear to the flawed secret agents, high-powered attorneys, and twenty-somethings figuring it all out of today, the age of the Internet has allowed us to gain access to a whole host of women-driven dramas, comedies, and action sci-fi series. This list shows off the best women in TV series, from the black-and-white era to shows that are still airing new episodes today.

Whether you enjoy the period action of Agent Carter, the noir/teen-drama of Veronica Mars, or the biting satirical comedy of Veep, this list has all the top female-led TV shows. So vote up the best female shows below and add any other good female TV series that you think all ladies (and gents!) should know about.

list ordered by

1
320 310
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Sarah Michelle Gellar, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an American television series which aired from March 10, 1997 until May 20, 2003. The series was created in 1997 by writer-director Joss Whedon under his production ...more

2
266 228
Gilmore Girls is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson Gilmore Girls is an American comedy-drama series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel. On October 5, 2000, the series debuted on the WB to widespread ...more

3
151 87
The Golden Girls is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Umberhaven added Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan The Golden Girls is an American sitcom, created by Susan Harris, that originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, 1992. Starring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and ...more

4
199 158
Charmed is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
jenndubya added Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Brian Krause Charmed is an American television series created by Constance M. Burge and produced by Aaron Spelling and his production company Spelling Television, with Brad Kern serving as showrunner. The ...more

5
193 182
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Jason Dohring Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Veronica Mars is an American mystery drama television series created by screenwriter Rob Thomas. The series is set in the fictional town of Neptune, California, and stars Kristen Bell as the ...more

6
268 160
The 100 is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Andrea Middleton added Eliza Taylor, Paige Turco, Thomas McDonell The 100 (The CW, 2014) is an American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama television series developed by Jason Rothenberg, loosely based on the book by Kass Morgan. 97 years after a nuclear ...more

7
136 130
Agent Carter is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Hayley Atwell, James D'Arcy, Enver Gjokaj Marvel's Agent Carter, or simply Agent Carter, is an American television series created for ABC. The series features the Marvel Comics character Peggy Carter, with Hayley Atwell reprising her ...more

8
172 140
Orange Is the New Black is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Taryn Manning Orange Is the New Black is an American comedy-drama series created by Jenji Kohan and first released on Netflix on July 11, 2013. The series, produced by Tilted Productions in association with ...more

9
138 119
Parks and Recreation is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman Parks and Recreation is an American television sitcom starring Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, a perky, mid-level bureaucrat in the parks department of Pawnee, a fictional town in Indiana. Created ...more

10
168 101
Jessica Jones is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Umberhaven added Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Rachael Taylor Jessica Jones (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television series created by Melissa Rosenberg, based on the Marvel Comics character. Following the tragic end of her brief superhero career, ...more

11
146 38
Gypsy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
lloydc added Naomi Watts, Billy Crudup, Sophie Cookson Gypsy is a television drama series created by Lisa Rubin for Netflix. Naomi Watts plays a therapist who begins to develop dangerous and intimate relationships with the people in her patients’

12
145 72
Supergirl is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Umberhaven added Melissa Benoist, Mehcad Brooks, Chyler Leigh Supergirl (The CW, 2015) is an American superhero action-adventure television series developed by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti, and Andrew Kreisberg, based on the DC Comics character. The adventures ...more

13
122 111
New Girl is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield New Girl is an American sitcom television series that premiered on Fox on September 20, 2011. Developed by Elizabeth Meriwether under the working title Chicks & Dicks, the series revolves ...more

14
147 98
Once Upon a Time is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
AlexandruOUAT added Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Lana Parrilla Once Upon a Time is an American fairy tale drama series that premiered on October 23, 2011, on ABC. The show takes place in the fictional seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, whose residents are ...more

15
152 131
Dollhouse is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
jenndubya added Eliza Dushku, Harry Lennix, Fran Kranz Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Dollhouse is an American science fiction television series created by writer and director Joss Whedon under Mutant Enemy Productions. It premiered on February 13, 2009, on the Fox network and ...more

16
132 69
Orphan Black is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
zoe-krainik added Tatiana Maslany, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Gavaris Orphan Black is a Canadian science fiction television series created by screenwriter Graeme Manson and director John Fawcett, starring Tatiana Maslany as several identical people who are, in ...more

17
124 85
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
jenndubya added Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is an American sitcom based on the Archie comic book series of the same name. The show premiered on September 27, 1996, on ABC to over 17 million viewers in its ...more

18
116 98
I Love Lucy is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance I Love Lucy is an American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley. The black-and-white series originally ran from October 15, 1951, to May 6, ...more

19
98 105
Desperate Housewives is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross Desperate Housewives is an American television comedy-drama-mystery series created by Marc Cherry and produced by ABC Studios and Cherry Productions. It aired Sundays at 9 P.M. Eastern/8 P.M. ...more

20
98 53
iZombie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
sandsand added Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli iZombie (The CW, 2015) is an American television series developed by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright, loosely based on the comic books by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred. A medical ...more

21
100 92
Alias is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin, Carl Lumbly Alias is an American spy-action television series created by J. J. Abrams, which was broadcast on ABC for five seasons, from September 30, 2001, to May 22, 2006. It stars Jennifer Garner as ...more

22
78 74
The Carol Burnett Show is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Carol Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman The Carol Burnett Show is an American variety/sketch comedy television show starring Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner. It originally ran on CBS from September 11, ...more

23
59 88
30 Rock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan 30 Rock is an American satirical television sitcom that ran on NBC from October 11, 2006, to January 31, 2013, and was created by Tina Fey. The series, which is loosely based on Fey's ...more

24
55 85
Ally McBeal is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Calista Flockhart, Greg Germann, Jane Krakowski Ally McBeal is an American legal comedy-drama television series, originally aired on Fox from September 8, 1997 to May 20, 2002. Created by David E. Kelley, the series stars Calista Flockhart in ...more

25
125 58
The Handmaid's Tale is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
zoe-krainik added Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu, 2017) is an American web television series created by Bruce Miller, based on the 1985 novel by Margaret Atwood. In a dystopian future where women are brutally ...more

26
128 120
Dark Angel is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
jenndubya added Jessica Alba, Michael Weatherly, Richard Gunn Dark Angel is an American biopunk/cyberpunk science fiction television series created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee and starring Jessica Alba in her breakthrough role. The show premiered ...more

27
47 91
Weeds is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish, Alexander Gould Weeds is an American dark comedy-drama series created by Jenji Kohan and produced by Tilted Productions in association with Lionsgate Television. The central character is Nancy Botwin, a widowed ...more

28
58 63
The Mary Tyler Moore Show is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod The Mary Tyler Moore Show is an American television sitcom created by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns that aired on CBS from 1970 to 1977. The program was a television breakthrough, with the ...more

29
70 47
Madam Secretary is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Umberhaven added Téa Leoni, Tim Daly, Patina Miller Madam Secretary is an American political drama television series created by Barbara Hall and executive produced by Lori McCreary and Morgan Freeman. It stars Téa Leoni as Elizabeth ...more

30
80 89
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Fringe is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. It premiered on the Fox Broadcasting network on September 9, 2008, and concluded ...more

31
54 56
Charlie's Angels is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
ColinBoddy added Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith Charlie's Angels is an American drama television series that aired on ABC from September 22, 1976 to June 24, 1981, producing five seasons and 110 episodes. The series was created by Ivan Goff ...more

32
96 89
Sex and the City is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial This show is an American television romantic sitcom created by Darren Star and produced by HBO. Broadcast from 1998 until 2004, the original run of the show had a total of 94 episodes. ...more

33
107 107
2 Broke Girls is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Kat Dennings, Beth Behrs, Garrett Morris 2 Broke Girls is an American television sitcom created for Warner Bros. Television by Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings. It premiered in the United States on CBS on September 2011, and ...more

34
65 43
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
ColinBoddy added Lynda Carter, Lyle Waggoner, Tom Kratochvil Wonder Woman is an American television series based on the DC Comics comic book superheroine of the same name. Starring Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and Lyle Waggoner as Steve ...more

35
76 33
bones is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin Bones is an American procedural comedy-drama television series that premiered on Fox in the United States on September 13, 2005. The show is based on forensic anthropology and forensic ...more

36
98 103
La Femme Nikita is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Peta Wilson, Don Francks, Eugene Robert Glazer La Femme Nikita is a Canadian action/drama television series based on the French film Nikita by Luc Besson. The series was co-produced by Jay Firestone of Fireworks Entertainment and Warner ...more

37
60 39
Outlander is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Tim Schild added Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan, Tobias Menzies Outlander is a British-American television drama series based on the historical time travel Outlander series of novels by Diana Gabaldon. Created by Ronald D. Moore and produced by Left Bank ...more

38
78 96
True Blood is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial True Blood is an American television drama series produced and created by Alan Ball. It is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, detailing the ...more

39
87 72
The Good Wife is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Josh Charles Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial The Good Wife is an American television legal and political drama that premiered on CBS on September 22, 2009. The series was created by Robert King and Michelle King. It stars Julianna ...more

40
59 42
Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
ColinBoddy added Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak This show is a television mystery series starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher. The series aired for 12 seasons with 264 episodes from 1984 to 1996 on ...more

41
89 78
How to Get Away with Murder is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Alfred Enoch This television show is an American drama television series created by Peter Nowalk. A law professor (Viola Davis) at a prestigious Philadelphia university and five of her students become ...more

42
55 20
The Nanny is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Fran Drescher, Charles Shaughnessy, Daniel Davis The Nanny is an American television sitcom originally aired on CBS from 1993 to 1999, starring Fran Drescher as Fran Fine, a Jewish Queens native who becomes the nanny of three children from the ...more

43
82 89
Bionic Woman is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
jenndubya added Michelle Ryan, Miguel Ferrer, Molly Price Bionic Woman is an American science fiction television drama that aired in 2007, which was created by David Eick, under NBC Universal Television Group, GEP Productions, and David Eick ...more

44
54 69
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend Homeland is an American political thriller television series developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa based on the Israeli series Hatufim, which was created by Gideon Raff. The series stars ...more

45
61 64
Covert Affairs is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Piper Perabo, Christopher Gorham, Kari Matchett Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Covert Affairs is a USA Network television series starring Piper Perabo and Christopher Gorham. The one-hour drama premiered on Tuesday, July 13, 2010. The show concluded its first season on ...more

46
82 70
Pretty Little Liars is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
bigcraig added Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale Pretty Little Liars is an American teen drama mystery–thriller television series loosely based on the popular book series of the same title, written by Sara Shepard. The show premiered on June ...more

47
52 24
Rizzoli & Isles is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Angie Harmon, Jordan Bridges, Bruce McGill Rizzoli & Isles is a TNT television series starring Angie Harmon as police detective Jane Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander as medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles. The one-hour drama is based on the ...more

48
52 62
Murphy Brown is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Candice Bergen, Grant Shaud, Robert Pastorelli Murphy Brown is an American situation comedy which aired on CBS from November 14, 1988, to May 18, 1998, for a total of 247 episodes. The program starred Candice Bergen as the eponymous Murphy ...more

49
43 48
Wentworth is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
ColinBoddy added Danielle Cormack, Nicole da Silva, Kate Atkinson Wentworth is an Australian television drama series. It was first broadcast on SoHo on 1 May 2013. The series serves as a contemporary reimagining of Prisoner, which ran on Network Ten from 1979 ...more

50
47 53
Don't Trust the B---- in Apart... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
ColinBoddy added Krysten Ritter, Dreama Walker, Michael Blaiklock Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 is an American sitcom created by Nahnatchka Khan that aired on ABC in the United States from April 11, 2012, to January 15, 2013. The series originally ...more