best TV The Best Female-Led TV Shows  

Logan Rapp
Originally by
11.5k votes 1k voters 20.3k views 215 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
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Buffy the Vampire Slayer 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
205 155
Gilmore Girls is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Gilmore Girls 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
221 107
The 100 is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Andrea Middleton added The 100 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

4
96 42
The Golden Girls is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Umberhaven added The Golden Girls 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
158 125
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Veronica Mars 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
160 111
Charmed is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
jenndubya added Charmed 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
133 59
Jessica Jones is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Umberhaven added Jessica Jones 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

8
111 98
Agent Carter is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Agent Carter Hayley Atwell, James D'Arcy, Enver Gjokaj Marvel's Agent Carter, or simply Agent Carter, is an upcoming American television series, spinning out of the Marvel One-Shot short film of the same name.

9
113 61
Once Upon a Time is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
AlexandruOUAT added Once Upon a Time 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

10
107 43
Orphan Black is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
zoe-krainik added Orphan Black 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

11
109 46
Supergirl is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Umberhaven added Supergirl 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

12
129 105
Orange Is the New Black is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Orange Is the New Black 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

The Best Fantasy TV Shows

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Dollhouse is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
jenndubya added Dollhouse 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

14
103 89
Parks and Recreation is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Parks and Recreation 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

15
75 29
iZombie is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
sandsand added iZombie 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

16
90 82
New Girl is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
New Girl 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

17
94 62
Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
jenndubya added Sabrina, the Teenage Witch 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

The Most Annoying TV and Film Characters Ever

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I Love Lucy is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
I Love Lucy 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

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83 67
Alias is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Alias 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

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Desperate Housewives is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Desperate Housewives 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

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121 96
Dark Angel is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
jenndubya added Dark Angel 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

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52 62
30 Rock is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
30 Rock 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

TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

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The Handmaid's Tale is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
zoe-krainik added The Handmaid's Tale 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

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The Carol Burnett Show is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
The Carol Burnett Show 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

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Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
ColinBoddy added Wonder Woman 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

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La Femme Nikita is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
La Femme Nikita 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

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Sex and the City is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Sex and the City 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

The Best Movies Based on TV Shows

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Fringe is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Fringe 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

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37 33
Charlie's Angels is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
ColinBoddy added Charlie's Angels Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith Charlie's Angels is an American crime 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 ...more

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48 13
bones is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added bones Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin Bones is an American crime 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

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67 71
True Blood is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
True Blood 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

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86 79
2 Broke Girls is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
2 Broke Girls 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

The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time

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Bionic Woman is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
jenndubya added Bionic Woman 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

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40 65
Ally McBeal is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Ally McBeal 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

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43 48
The Mary Tyler Moore Show is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
The Mary Tyler Moore Show 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

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33 69
Weeds is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Weeds 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

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48 18
The Powerpuff Girls is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added The Powerpuff Girls Cathy Cavadini, Elizabeth Daily, Tara Strong The Powerpuff Girls is an American animated television series created by animator Craig McCracken and produced by Cartoon Network Studios for Cartoon Network. The show centers on Blossom, ...more

The Biggest Turn Ons in a Person

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Outlander is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Tim Schild added Outlander 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

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38 33
Don't Trust the B---- in Apart... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
ColinBoddy added Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 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

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57 44
Pretty Little Liars is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
bigcraig added Pretty Little Liars 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

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40 14
Lost Girl is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Dimos Dicoudis added Lost Girl Anna Silk, Kris Holden-Ried, Zoie Palmer Lost Girl is a Canadian supernatural drama television series that premiered on Showcase on September 12, 2010. It follows the life of a bisexual succubus named Bo, played by Anna Silk, as she ...more

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The Good Wife is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
The Good Wife 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

The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch

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Wentworth is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
ColinBoddy added Wentworth 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

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41 34
Madam Secretary is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Umberhaven added Madam Secretary 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

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38 29
Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
ColinBoddy added Murder, She Wrote Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak Murder, She Wrote is an American television mystery series starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher. The series aired for 12 seasons with 264 episodes ...more

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How to Get Away with Murder is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
How to Get Away with Murder Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Alfred Enoch How to Get Away with Murder (ABC, 2014) is an American drama television series created by Peter Nowalk. A law professor (Viola Davis) at a prestigious Philadelphia university and five of her ...more

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Murphy Brown is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Murphy Brown 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

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Covert Affairs is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Covert Affairs 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

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Designing Women is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
ColinBoddy added Designing Women Delta Burke, Dixie Carter, Annie Potts Designing Women is an American television sitcom created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason that aired on CBS from September 29, 1986, until May 24, 1993, producing seven seasons and 178 episodes. The ...more

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36 52
Homeland is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
Homeland 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