Watchworthy

The Best Female-Led TV Shows 

Logan Rapp
Originally by
Updated August 5, 2020 29.8k votes 2.5k voters 41.3k views 297 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 that you think all ladies (and gents!) should know about.

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26
How to Get Away with Mur... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Alfred Enoch

Premiered: 2014

Genres (Tv): Drama, Crime, Legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder (ABC, 2014) is an American legal thriller television series created by Peter Nowalk. A law professor (Viola Davis) at a prestigious Philadelphia university and five ...more
27
Xena: Warrior Princess ... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Craig Anderson added Lucy Lawless, Renée O'Connor, Ted Raimi

Premiered: 1995

Genres (Tv): Supernatural, Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Comedy-drama, + more

Xena: Warrior Princess is an American/New Zealand television series filmed in New Zealand. The series aired in syndication from September 4, 1995, until June 18, 2001. The series was created in ...more
28
The Carol Burnett Show ... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Carol Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman

Premiered: 1967

Genres (Tv): Sketch comedy, Variety show, Sketch, Comedy

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
29
Pretty Little Liars is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
bigcraig added Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale

Premiered: 2010

Genres (Tv): Teen drama, Mystery, Crime thriller

Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family, 2010) is an American teen drama mystery–thriller television series developed by I. Marlene King, loosely based on the novel series by Sara Shepard. When their ...more
30
Revenge is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Emily VanCamp, Madeleine Stowe, Gabriel Mann

Premiered: 2011

Genres (Tv): Soap opera, Psychological thriller, Mystery, Serial drama

Revenge (ABC, 2011) is an American drama television series created by Mike Kelley, inspired by the Alexandre Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo. An emotionally troubled young woman (Emily ...more
31
I Dream of Jeannie is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Barbara Eden, Larry Hagman, Bill Daily

Premiered: 1965

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy, Fantasy

I Dream of Jeannie is an American sitcom with a fantastical premise. The show starred Barbara Eden as a 2,000-year-old genie, and Larry Hagman as an astronaut who becomes her master, with whom ...more
32
2 Broke Girls is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Kat Dennings, Beth Behrs, Garrett Morris

Premiered: 2011

Genres (Tv): Sitcom

2 Broke Girls (CBS, 2011) is an American television sitcom created by Michael Patrick King and Whitney Cummings. Friends Max Black (Kat Dennings) and Caroline Channing (Beth Behrs) work in a ...more
33
Star Trek: Voyager is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
TobuscusHolmes added Kate Mulgrew, Robert Beltran, Roxann Dawson

Premiered: 1995

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction

Star Trek: Voyager is a science fiction television series, set in the Star Trek universe. The show takes place during the 2370s, and begins on the far side of the Milky Way galaxy, 75,000 ...more
34
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble

Premiered: 2008

Genres (Tv): Sci-fi, Supernatural drama

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Fringe (Fox, 2008) is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. An F.B.I. agent (Anna Torv) is forced to work with an ...more
35
True Blood is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell

Premiered: 2008

Genres (Tv): Fantasy, Horror, Drama

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial True Blood (HBO, 2008) is an American fantasy horror drama television series created by Alan Ball, based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries, a series of novels by Charlaine Harris. Telepathic ...more
36
Jane the Virgin is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Gina Rodriguez, Andrea Navedo, Yael Grobglas

Premiered: 2014

Genres (Tv): Comedy drama, Telenovela, Satire

Jane the Virgin (The CW, 2014) is an American satirical romantic comedy-drama telenovela developed by Jennie Snyder Urman. A working, religious young Latina virgin (Gina Rodriguez) becomes ...more
37
Madam Secretary is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Umberhaven added Téa Leoni, Tim Daly, Patina Miller

Premiered: 2014

Genres (Tv): Drama

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
38
Sister, Sister is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Jackée Harry

Premiered: 1994

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Teen situation comedy, Comedy

Sister, Sister is an American television sitcom starring identical twins Tia and Tamera Mowry. It aired from 1994 to 1999. The premise of the show was that the girls were separated and adopted ...more
39
Desperate Housewives is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross

Premiered: 2004

Genres (Tv): Soap opera, Mystery, Comedy-drama

Desperate Housewives (ABC, 2004) is an American mystery comedy-drama television series created by Marc Cherry. Secrets and truths unfold through the lives of female friends (Teri Hatcher, ...more
40
La Femme Nikita is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Peta Wilson, Don Francks, Eugene Robert Glazer

Premiered: 1997

Genres (Tv): Espionage, Action/Adventure, Spy film, Drama, Adventure film, + more

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
41
The Mary Tyler Moore Sho... is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod

Premiered: 1970

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

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
42
Charlie's Angels is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
ColinBoddy added Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith

Premiered: 1976

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Adventure film, Action

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
43
Daria is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Tracy Grandstaff, Wendy Hoopes, Julian Rebolledo

Premiered: 1997

Genres (Tv): Animation, Sitcom, Comedy, Animated series

Daria is an American animated television series created by Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis Lynn for MTV. The series focuses on Daria Morgendorffer, a smart, acerbic, and somewhat misanthropic ...more
44
Murphy Brown is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Candice Bergen, Grant Shaud, Robert Pastorelli

Premiered: 1988

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

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
45
Laverne & Shirley is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Amy Boal added Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, David L. Lander

Premiered: 1976

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Laverne & Shirley is an American television sitcom that ran on ABC from January 27, 1976 to May 10, 1983. It starred Penny Marshall as Laverne De Fazio and Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney, ...more
46
Witches of East End is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Julia Ormond, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Rachel Boston

Premiered: 2013

Genres (Tv): Supernatural drama, Suspense, Drama, Fantasy

Witches of East End (Lifetime, 2013) is an American supernatural drama series developed by Maggie Friedman, and based on the book of the same name by Melissa de la Cruz. A mother and her two ...more
47
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Claire Danes, Mandy Patinkin, Rupert Friend

Premiered: 2011

Genres (Tv): Suspense, Drama, Thriller

Homeland (Showtime, 2011) is an American political drama thriller series developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa based on the Israeli series Hatufim, which was created by Gideon Raff. A CIA ...more
48
Covert Affairs is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Piper Perabo, Christopher Gorham, Kari Matchett

Premiered: 2010

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Covert Affairs (USA, 2010) is an American drama series created by Matt Corman and Chris Ord. Fresh out of the farm, Annie Walker must adapt to the challenging life of a CIA operative under the ...more
49
Designing Women is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
ColinBoddy added Delta Burke, Dixie Carter, Annie Potts

Premiered: 1986

Genres (Tv): Sitcom, Comedy

Designing Women (CBS, 1986) is an American television sitcom created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason. The series centers around four women and their hardships of running a design firm with a quirky ...more
50
Haven is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
jenndubya added Emily Rose, Lucas Bryant

Premiered: 2010

Haven is an American/Canadian supernatural drama television series loosely based on the Stephen King novel The Colorado Kid. The show, which deals with strange events in a fictional town in ...more