When it comes to TV shows, everyone has their own unique tastes. Some are drawn to the drama, others to comedy and still others to how easy the series is to binge watch. But there’s one thing that most audiences find similarly alluring, and that’s the watchability of a show’s leading stars. Indeed, sex appeal can be a powerful tool to hook viewers in – perhaps, then, that’s why these shows capitalized on their eye-catching casts’ looks to the full. In fact, you probably won’t be able to pull your eyes from the screen while gazing at these scintillating stars.
A show centering on California lifeguards was always going to cast some of the best-looking actors in the biz. And Baywatch did just that, carving itself a place in ’90s pop culture thanks in part to the sexiness of stars like Pamela Anderson and Yasmine Bleeth. Plus, let’s face it, the female cast members’ ability to rock swimsuits in slow-mo scenes was definitely a key part of the show’s popularity.
When a show features two of the world’s most most beautiful people according to People magazine, you know it’s going to feature a fairly tantalizing cast. And besides starring title holders Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston, Friends – NBC’s megahit sitcom about buddies in New York City – also featured the dashing Matt Le Blanc as womanizer Joey. Two decades on, in fact, his catchphrase “How you doin’?” still thrills fans.
18. Gossip Girl
While it never received overwhelmingly positive reviews, Gossip Girl still drew an audience thanks to its young and good-looking cast. Indeed, easy-on-the-eye stars like Leighton Meester, Blake Lively, Chace Crawford and Taylor Momsen made the CW drama about high school cliques many people’s guilty pleasure. What do critics know, anyway?
17. The O.C.
Besides its earworm of an opening theme, teen drama The O.C. is most memorable for the beautiful actors who graced its ranks. But while main stars Benjamin McKenzie and Mischa Barton possessed classically appealing looks, it was Adam Brody who unusually proved to be the biggest draw. In fact, the actor – who played the geeky Seth Cohen – became a surprise sex symbol through his role in the show.
With the fresh-faced Emily VanCamp leading the charge, Revenge wove a tale of deception and retribution around a cast so attractive that it seemed like a crime not to keep watching. And though the series was unfortunately canceled in 2015, its cast still makes its fans’ hearts skip beats. Who would have thought getting even could look so good?
15. Modern Family
Modern Family may be one of TV’s funniest shows, but it may be fair to say that fans regularly tune in for more than just the jokes. Specifically, stars Sofia Vergara and Julie Bowen – who play glamorous moms Gloria Pritchett and Claire Dunphy, respectively – help keep ardent male viewers glued to the screen. Meanwhile, teenage fans may have found their first crush in Sarah Hyland’s Hayley Dunphy.
14. The Vampire Diaries
Like its HBO counterpart True Blood, The CW’s The Vampire Diaries plays up to the immeasurable sexiness of its titular bloodsuckers. And the show has reaped a cult following – not least because of its dashing lead Ian Somerhalder, who has received acclaim and recognition for his role as the brooding Damon Salvatore.
13. The Originals
Though The Vampire Diaries may be reaching its end, fans can still see some of their favorite characters through spinoff The Originals. And – thankfully – the show offers stars just as enticing as its parent program. Revolving around Diaries regulars Joseph Morgan and Phoebe Tonkin, The Originals also features refreshing new blood in the likes of Danielle Campbell and Leah Pipes.
12. New Girl
Not all sex symbols have to be poised and perfect. Indeed, Zooey Deschanel’s goofy and bumbling New Girl character Jess is sexy despite – or possibly because of – her flaws. And because of Deschanel, the Fox sitcom proves that geeks can be just as attractive as their less socially awkward counterparts. What’s more, Max Greenfield and Hannah Simone aren’t hard on the eyes, either.
Although we love the original Beverly Hills, 90210’s stars – especially Shannen Doherty – we have to hand it to the series’ 2008 update. After all, 90210 featured some of the hottest rising talent around, with stars like Shanae Grimes and AnnaLynne McCord adding a bit of sparkle and sex appeal to the proceedings. In fact, the show even outdid its predecessor in the hot cast stakes – no mean feat.
10. Dawson’s Creek
If you grew up in the ’90s, there’s a strong to definite chance you had a crush on one of Dawson’s Creek’s cast members. After all, besides James Van Der Beek as the rather dishy title character, the teen drama also featured the ever-attractive Michelle Williams and Katie Holmes in pre-Hollywood roles. We wonder if Tom Cruise was ever a fan…
9. Melrose Place
Though the series began airing in 1992, Melrose Place arguably reached its peak appeal during its seventh season. That was when the likes of Alyssa Milano and John Haymes Newton were added to an already attractive cast that boasted series regulars like Heather Locklear and Josie Bissett. Perhaps, though, the stars’ collective sexiness proved just too much for TV execs, as season seven was the show’s last. Eventually, though, a short-lived reboot followed in 2009.
8. Teen Wolf
Anyone who has seen Taylor Lautner in Twilight knows that werewolves are sexy in their own special way. To this end, Teen Wolf’s Tyler Posey has fans howling at the moon thanks to his own brand of animal magnetism. Meanwhile, Holland Roden and Crystal Reed make this supernatural show a hit with the boys as well as the girls.
7. Friday Night Lights
Few professionals are as attractive as athletes – a fact that Friday Night Lights plays on with its main cast of appealing yet flawed central performers. In particular, Taylor Kitsch won fans over with his troubled fullback Tim Riggins, while Minka Kelly had similar sex appeal as cheerleader Lyla.
6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer had something to please everyone; and we don’t just mean through its mix of horror, action and comedy. During its run, star Sarah Michelle Gellar was crowned the sexiest person of all time by publications like FHM and Maxim. David Boreanaz’s smouldering looks, meanwhile, even helped land his character Angel a spin-off show. And anyone who says they didn’t have a thing for silver fox Giles is definitely lying.
Undoubtedly, Charmed had the most fitting title of any TV show. That’s because, rather than feature grotesque witches, the show instead presented us with magical characters whose beauty had to be seen to be believed. Consequently, the show left fans smitten and under the spell of its stars Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan and Shannen Doherty – as well as a pre-Big Bang Theory Kaley Cuoco.
When it comes to scintillating subject matter for TV shows, international terrorism isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, that didn’t stop the makers of Quantico loading their homeland security series with more glamorous faces than a catwalk show. And while Quantico’s mixture of poise and paranoia is unorthodox, Priyanka Chopra’s glamor and allure in particular makes it hard to turn off.
3. Saved by the Bell
Saved by the Bell is not only one of the most fondly remembered series of the early ’90s, but it also featured the hottest cast to grace a teen comedy. In fact, fans constantly squabbled over who the most attractive character was: and it’s still certainly pretty hard to decide between Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s Zack and Mario Lopez’s Slater. However, there was one thing that everyone could agree on: whoever had a thing for Dustin Diamond’s character Screech was very weird indeed.
2. Pretty Little Liars
While it may not be a realistic portrayal of teenage life, Pretty Little Liars still attracts a massive fan base. And, undoubtedly, the appeal of its four main characters is part of this reason, with Ashley Benson and co. ably fleshing out its quartet of beautiful bad girls. In fact, with looks this good, who cares if they misbehave?
1. Game of Thrones
Since its 2011 debut Game of Thrones has delighted fans with its mixture of sex, high fantasy and yet more sex. And everything’s played out with a cast of beautiful characters so extensive that it’s hard to pick a favourite. Nevertheless, Kit Harrington’s Jon Snow and Emilia Clarke’s Daenerys are perennial fan choices, though Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s Jaime and Rose Leslie’s Ygritte are also on hand for those who prefer characters with a little more bite.