1. Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife
The cucumber-cool mother of two effortlessly balances her hectic home and work lives, hardly batting an eyelash when the scandalous stuff hits the fan.
2. Carrie Mathison, Homeland
Carrie’s a brilliant, driven force of nature who never lets her own personal demons stand in the way of her endgame. “Complex” doesn’t do her justice.
3. Abby Sciuto, NCIS
The quirky, tattooed goth girl of the NCIS crime lab is an enigma wrapped in a puzzle wrapped in black eyeliner and a studded choker. Her quick wit is matched only by her caffeine-infused energy, making her the Naval Yard’s not-so-hidden weapon.
4. Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
A true trailblazer for empowered TV heroines, Buffy Summers remains the baddest of the badasses, a snarky spitfire who’s best been described as “one hell of a woman” by one of her vampiric best buds.
5. Catwoman, Batman
Eartha Kitt’s slinking, sultry take on the Dark Knight’s iconic frenemy has been one of the most enduring. Kitt’s Catwoman played every angle with feline-esque finesse, making her a formidable foe for the Caped Crusader.
6. Dr. Joan Watson, Elementary
It takes a special kind of brain to go toe-to-toe with the world’s greatest detective. Dr. Watson keeps her sober partner’s haughty, harebrained schemes grounded, and she isn’t afraid to put him in his place at the drop of a deerstalker.
7. Captain Kathryn Janeway, Star Trek: Voyager
We wouldn’t be surprised if Kathryn Janeway had “keep calm and carry on” encoded in her very DNA. The unflinching Captain of the USS Voyager is always — always — in control, and remains unruffled regardless of the dangers that lie in deep space.
8. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, Battlestar Galactica
Starbuck evolved from a rough-and-tumble tomboy with a deathwish to one of TV’s most complex female characters, destroying gender roles with the trigger-happy tact you’d expect from a Viper pilot.
9. Agent 99, Get Smart
Brainier, bolder, and brawnier than her male partner, Agent 99 was a skilled foil to the fumbling, bumbling Maxwell Smart, and remains one of the classiest spies to ever step onto a TV set.
10. Veronica Mars, Veronica Mars
Even cancellation couldn’t keep this quick-witted detective from cracking cases. Although she easily could’ve sunk into Penny Gadget territory of the brainy behind-the-scenes crime solver, Veronica came into her own as an imitable mind with an unmatched record when it comes to sleuthing.
11. Jaime Sommers, The Bionic Woman
Despite being bonused a few chips and bolts during her Bionic-ification, professional athlete Jaime Sommers was a strong, independent entity well before her mechanical reconstruction. Faster and stronger than her six-million-dollar male counterpart, Sommers was the original robotic role model.
12. Diana Prince, Wonder Woman
The original Amazon has been one of the most enduring heroines on and off the small screen, but her famed iteration in the late-70s TV series did an incredible amount to cement Diana Prince as a pop culture hero for an entire generation of aspiring warrior princesses.
Cyber-security just got upgraded.
Lillian Strand has her work cut out for her. Overseeing a highly classified government special intelligence operation centered around Gabriel Vaughn, a brash operative with a billion-dollar chip in his brain, Lillian is a major honcho with a major responsibility.
Riley Neal, the enterprising Secret Service agent charged with protecting Gabriel, is the other tough woman on the case. Riley is constantly saving Gabriel from outside threats as well as his own unpredictable behavior.
Get your first look at your new TV heroine role models on INTELLIGENCE, Monday 10/9c, only on CBS.