Entertainment
64 voters

The Best Live-Action TV Shows Starring Animals

Updated July 30, 2019 651 votes 64 voters 3.1k views25 items

List RulesVote up the best shows on television of all time that have an animal as the lead or one of the main cast members.

Actors work hard to bring characters to life. However, there are numerous live-action TV shows where the standout character isn't a human at all. In many cases, the humans get upstaged by an adorable animal that went through extensive training to perform the role well. From actual, expressive animals to puppets, many animals have graced the small screen over the years, and this is the time to honor the best of the best. Shows starring dogs, cats, horses, and much more have gone on the air and captured the hearts of millions. 

All kinds of shows starring animals have been made. Comedies will often use talking animals to get a good laugh out of the audience. Dramas will incorporate animals and pets to humanize certain characters. Children's shows will educate kids about animals And there are shows that use animals in an outside-of-the-box way that is totally unique. 

All of these shows feature animals in either a lead role or in the primary supporting cast. These shows have all come out in different eras, so people of all ages will find TV shows they/ve watched and enjoyed. These are the best shows that star animals of all time and you have the power to vote on your favorites. 

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  • Wishbone1
    28
    16

    Wishbone

    Amy Acker, Melissa Archer

    Premiered1995

    Genres (Tv)Children's television series

    Animal: Wishbone, played by Soccer; also Slugger, Shiner, Phoebe, and Bear.

    Wishbone is a half-hour children's television show that aired from 1995 to 1998 in the United...  more
  • Miami Vice2
    20
    9

    Miami Vice

    Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas

    Premiered1984

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama

    Animal: Elvis, played by the alligator of the same name.

    Miami Vice is an American television drama series created by Anthony Yerkovich and produced by...  more
  • Gentle Ben3
    19
    10

    Gentle Ben

    Burt Reynolds, Ron Howard

    Premiered1967

    Genres (Tv)Action/Adventure, Children's television series

    Animal: Ben, played by Bruno the Bear.

    Gentle Ben was a 1967 TV series based on the book Gentle Ben by Walt Morey....  more
  • Lassie4
    18
    10

    Lassie

    June Lockhart, Andy Clyde

    Premiered1954

    Genres (Tv)Action/Adventure, Drama, Children's television series, Adventure film, Action

    Animal: Lassie, played by Pal.

    Lassie is an American television series that follows the adventures of a female Rough Collie...  more
  • Flipper5
    21
    16

    Flipper

    Luke Halpin, Tommy Norden

    Premiered1964

    Genres (Tv)Action/Adventure, Children's television series

    Animal: Flipper, played by Kathy, the bottlenose dolphin.

    Flipper, from Ivan Tors Films in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Television, is an...  more
  • The Lone Ranger6
    17
    10

    The Lone Ranger

    Jay Silverheels, Clayton Moore

    Premiered1966

    Genres (Tv)Western, Action/Adventure

    Animal: Silver, the horse, played by White Cloud.

    The Lone Ranger is the central character of an American animated television series that ran 26...  more
  • The Beverly Hillbillies7
    14
    10

    The Beverly Hillbillies

    Buddy Ebsen, Donna Douglas

    Premiered1962

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Animal: Duke, played by Stretch. 

    The Beverly Hillbillies is an American sitcom originally broadcast for nine seasons on CBS...  more
  • Mister Ed8
    18
    16

    Mister Ed

    Allan Lane, Alan Young

    Premiered1961

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Animal: Mister Ed, played by Bamboo Harvester. 

    Mister Ed is an American television situation comedy produced by Filmways that first aired in...  more
  • Frasier9
    13
    11

    Frasier

    Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves

    Premiered1993

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    Animal: Eddie, played by Moose.

    Frasier (NBC, 1993) is an American sitcom television series created by David Angell, Peter...  more
  • The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin10
    13
    11

    The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin

    Lee Aaker, James Brown

    Premiered1954

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Children's television series

    Animal: Rin Tin Tin, played by a German Shepherd of the same name. 

    The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin is an American children's television program. Beginning in...  more
  • Green Acres11
    15
    19

    Green Acres

    Eddie Albert, Eva Gabor

    Premiered1965

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Animal: Mignon, played by two different dogs. 

    Green Acres is an American sitcom starring Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor as a couple who move...  more
  • Lost12
    10
    11

    Lost

    Naveen Andrews, Emilie de Ravin

    Premiered2004

    Genres (Tv)Supernatural drama, Science fiction, Mystery

    Animal: Bpo Bpo, played by a Shar Pei.

    Lost (ABC, 2004) is an American drama television series created by Jeffrey Lieber, J. J....  more
  • Sabrina, the Teenage Witch13
    17
    21

    Sabrina, the Teenage Witch

    Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea

    Premiered1996

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

    Animal: Salem Saberhagen, played by a puppet and voiced by Nick Bakay. 

    Sabrina, the Teenage Witch is an American sitcom based on the Archie comic book series of the...  more
  • 7th Heaven14
    9
    10

    7th Heaven

    Stephen Collins, Catherine Hicks

    Premiered1996

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama, Drama

    Animal: Happy, played by the dog of the same name. 

    7th Heaven is an American family drama television series, created and produced by Brenda...  more
  • Dog With a Blog15
    10
    13

    Dog With a Blog

    G. Hannelius, Blake Michael

    Premiered2012

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    Animal: Stan, played by Kuma von Clifford.

    Dog with a Blog is an American television sitcom that premiered on Disney Channel on October...  more
  • Married... with Children16
    14
    19

    Married... with Children

    Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate

    Premiered1987

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Animal: Buck, played by a Briard of the same name. 

    Married... with Children is an American sitcom that aired for 11 seasons. It featured a...  more
  • Inspector Rex17
    6
    7

    Inspector Rex

    Tobias Moretti, Karl Markovics

    Premiered1994

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Comedy

    Animal: Rex, played by Beejay; also Rhett Butler, Henry, and Nicky.

    Kommissar Rex is a German-Austrian police procedural drama originally made in Austria and...  more
  • The Addams Family18
    15
    21

    The Addams Family

    John Astin, Carolyn Jones

    Premiered1964

    Genres (Tv)Black comedy, Sitcom, Comedy, Fantasy

    Animal: Kitty-Cat, a lion, played by Zamba. 

    The Addams Family is an American television series based on the characters in Charles Addams'...  more
  • B. J. and the Bear19
    6
    9

    B. J. and the Bear

    Greg Evigan, Eric Server

    Premiered1979

    Genres (Tv)Action/Adventure, Television comedy, Drama, Comedy-drama, Comedy

    Animal: Bear, played by the chimp of the same name. 

    B. J. and the Bear is an American comedy series which aired on NBC from 1979 to 1981. Created...  more
  • Mad About You20
    6
    10

    Mad About You

    Paul Reiser, Helen Hunt

    Premiered1992

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Animal: Murray, played by Maui. 

    Mad About You is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from September 23, 1992, to May 24,...  more
  • Annie Oakley21
    6
    11

    Annie Oakley

    Gail Davis, Brad Johnson

    Premiered1954

    Genres (Tv)Western, Drama

    Animal: Target, the horse, played by Trigger.

    Annie Oakley is an American Western television series that fictionalized the life of famous...  more
  • Baretta22
    5
    10

    Baretta

    Robert Blake, Tom Ewell

    Premiered1975

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

    Animal: Fred, played by the cockatoo of the same name. 

    Baretta is an American detective television series which ran on ABC from 1975 to 1978. The...  more
  • Modern Family23
    6
    14

    Modern Family

    Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Mockumentary, Family, Comedy, Family Film

    Animal: Stella, played by Brigitte.

    Modern Family (ABC, 2009) is an American comedy television sitcom created by Francisco...  more
  • The Littlest Hobo24

    Animal: Hobo, played by London.

    The Littlest Hobo is a Canadian television series based upon a 1958 American film of the same...  more
  • Scrubs25
    2
    21

    Scrubs

    Zach Braff, Donald Faison

    Premiered2001

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Medical drama

    Animal: Rowdy, played by a taxidermied labrador retriever dog. 

    Scrubs (NBC, 2001) is an American medical comedy-drama television series created by Bill...  more