vote on everything
Watchworthy
2.6k voters

The Best Female-Led TV Shows

Updated October 20, 2020 35.7k votes 2.6k voters 43.8k views312 items

List RulesOnly 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.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    The Golden Girls is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    393
    221

    The Golden Girls

    Bea Arthur, Betty White

    Premiered1985

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    The Golden Girls is an American sitcom, created by Susan Harris, that originally aired on NBC... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    535
    337

    Veronica Mars

    Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III

    Premiered2004

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama, Mystery, Neo-noir

    Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial
  • 3
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    614
    458

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan

    Premiered1997

    Genres (Tv)Supernatural, Horror, Comedy-drama, Teen drama, Action

    Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial
  • 4
    The Handmaid's Tale is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    402
    188

    The Handmaid's Tale

    Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Dystopian fiction

    The Handmaid's Tale (Hulu, 2017) is an American web television series created by Bruce Miller,... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    The Nanny is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    164
    98

    The Nanny

    Fran Drescher, Charles Shaughnessy

    Premiered1993

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    The Nanny is an American television sitcom originally aired on CBS from 1993 to 1999, starring... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Bewitched is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    133
    70

    Bewitched

    Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York

    Premiered1964

    Genres (Tv)Soap opera, Sitcom, Comedy, Family Film, Fantasy

    Bewitched is an American TV situation comedy fantasy which was broadcast for eight seasons on... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Charmed is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    419
    327

    Charmed

    Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs

    Premiered1998

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Fantasy, Supernatural

    Charmed (The WB, 1998) is an American fantasy drama television series created by Constance M.... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Parks and Recreation is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    306
    239

    Parks and Recreation

    Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Mockumentary, Satire, Romance TV, Comedy-drama

    Parks and Recreation (NBC, 2009) is an American television sitcom created by Greg Daniels and... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    I Love Lucy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    246
    187

    I Love Lucy

    Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz

    Premiered1951

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    I Love Lucy is an American television sitcom starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance,... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    153
    99

    Murder, She Wrote

    Angela Lansbury, William Windom

    Premiered1984

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Crime, Procedural drama, Drama, Cozy mystery

    This show is a television mystery series starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Gilmore Girls is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    520
    427

    Gilmore Girls

    Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel

    Premiered2000

    Genres (Tv)Comedy-drama

    Gilmore Girls (The WB, 2000) is an American comedy-drama television series created by Amy... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    262
    188

    Sabrina, the Teenage Witch

    Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea

    Premiered1996

    Genres (Tv)Supernatural, Sitcom, Children's television series, Comedy, Fantasy television

    Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is an American sitcom based on the Archie comic book series of the... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    30 Rock is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    233
    166

    30 Rock

    Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin

    Premiered2006

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Satire

    30 Rock (NBC, 2006) is an American satirical sitcom television series created by Tina Fey.... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Once Upon a Time is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    270
    227

    Once Upon a Time

    Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Mystery, Fairy tale, Comedy-drama, Fantasy

    Once Upon a Time is an American fairy tale drama series that premiered on October 23, 2011, on... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Jessica Jones is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    328
    234

    Jessica Jones

    Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Action, Crime, Drama

    Jessica Jones (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television series created by Melissa... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Xena: Warrior Princess is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    128
    53

    Xena: Warrior Princess

    Lucy Lawless, Renée O'Connor

    Premiered1995

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

    Xena: Warrior Princess is an American/New Zealand television series filmed in New Zealand. The... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    The 100 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    413
    310

    The 100

    Eliza Taylor, Paige Turco

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Dystopian, Sci-fi, Action

    The 100 (The CW, 2014) is an American post-apocalyptic science fiction drama television series... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Agent Carter is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    266
    234

    Agent Carter

    Hayley Atwell, James D'Arcy

    Premiered2016

    Genres (Tv)Action, Adventure, Spy-Fi, Superhero

    Marvel's Agent Carter, or simply Agent Carter, is an American television series created for... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    156
    121

    Wonder Woman

    Lynda Carter, Lyle Waggoner

    Premiered1975

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

    Wonder Woman is an American television series based on the DC Comics comic book superheroine... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Alias is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    216
    162

    Alias

    Jennifer Garner, Ron Rifkin

    Premiered2001

    Genres (Tv)Action, Thriller, Espionage, Drama

    Alias (ABC, 2001) is an American action thriller television series created by J. J. Abrams.... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    How to Get Away with Murder is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    182
    139

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Viola Davis, Billy Brown

    Premiered2014

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Crime, Legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder (ABC, 2014) is an American legal thriller television series... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Dollhouse is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    236
    217

    Dollhouse

    Eliza Dushku, Harry Lennix

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Action/Adventure, Drama, Psychological thriller, Thriller, Adventure film

    Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial
  • 23
    Sex and the City is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    199
    182

    Sex and the City

    Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall

    Premiered1998

    Genres (Tv)Romantic comedy

    Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial
  • 24
    Wentworth is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    176
    119

    Wentworth

    Danielle Cormack, Nicole da Silva

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    Wentworth is an Australian television drama series. It was first broadcast on SoHo on 1 May... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Orange Is the New Black is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female-Led TV Shows
    303
    279

    Orange Is the New Black

    Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Drama

    Orange Is the New Black (Netflix, 2013) is an American comedy-drama web television series... more on Wikipedia
TV ProgramsTVEntertainmentFeminism