Feminism The Best Female-Led TV Shows  

Logan Rapp
Originally by
21.3k votes 1.9k voters 31.8k views 240 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
365 216
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Teddy Dunn
Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Veronica Mars (UPN, The CW, 2004) is an American teen noir mystery drama television series created by screenwriter Rob Thomas. After her best friend (Amanda Seyfried) is murdered, and her father ...more
2
403 374
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 2 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
3
347 315
Gilmore Girls is listed (or ranked) 3 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
4
215 146
The Golden Girls is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
196 163
Parks and Recreation is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
247 223
Charmed is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
174 177
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
216 147
Jessica Jones is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
311 224
The 100 is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
158 128
I Love Lucy is listed (or ranked) 10 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
11
210 202
Orange Is the New Black is listed (or ranked) 11 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
12
173 101
Orphan Black is listed (or ranked) 12 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
13
168 120
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
160 157
New Girl is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
185 164
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
177 82
The Handmaid's Tale is listed (or ranked) 16 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
17
131 76
iZombie is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
178 117
Supergirl is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
133 116
Alias is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
173 143
Once Upon a Time is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
91 111
30 Rock is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
100 96
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
154 82
Gypsy is listed (or ranked) 23 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’
24
120 142
Desperate Housewives is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
148 138
Dark Angel is listed (or ranked) 25 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