Live Action, Original Superheroes on TV

by alden-ash | created - 29 Mar 2012 | updated - 28 Nov 2016 | Public

What if you were given superpowers (on a typically low budget)? These are shows with characters not originally appearing in comic books.

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1. The Secret World of Alex Mack (1994–1998)

TV-Y7 | 30 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

She's Alex Mack. One minute she's walking home...the next there's a crash and she's drenched in some weird chemical! Then she gets powers...

Stars: Larisa Oleynik, Meredith Bishop, Darris Love, Michael Blakley

Votes: 4,317

2. The Greatest American Hero (1981–1983)

TV-14 | 60 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

A teacher is asked to be a superhero using a special alien suit with powers he can barely understand or control.

Stars: William Katt, Connie Sellecca, Robert Culp, Michael Paré

Votes: 4,240

3. My Secret Identity (1988–1991)

25 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

The adventures of a superpowered teen and his scientist friend.

Stars: Derek McGrath, Jerry O'Connell, Wanda Cannon, Marsha Moreau

Votes: 1,082

4. Manimal (1983)

TV-PG | 60 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

A man who can change himself into any animal fights crime.

Stars: Simon MacCorkindale, Melody Anderson, Reni Santoni, Michael D. Roberts

Votes: 1,518

5. M.A.N.T.I.S. (1994 TV Movie)

95 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A brilliant, wheelchair-bound scientist invents a form of exo-skeleton called the Mechanically Augmented Neuro Transmitter Interception System (M.A.N.T.I.S.) that turns him into a superhero... See full summary »

Director: Eric Laneuville | Stars: Carl Lumbly, Bobby Hosea, Gina Torres, Steve James

Votes: 343

6. M.A.N.T.I.S. (1994–1995)

60 min | Action, Sci-Fi

A paralyzed African-American scientist builds a powerful exo-skeleton in order to walk again, and uses his new abilities to fight crime.

Stars: Carl Lumbly, Roger Rees, Chris Gartin, Galyn Görg

Votes: 608

7. Heroes (II) (2006–2010)

TV-14 | 45 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

Common people discover that they have super powers. Their lives intertwine as a devastating event must be prevented.

Stars: Jack Coleman, Hayden Panettiere, Milo Ventimiglia, Masi Oka

Votes: 222,726

8. No Ordinary Family (2010–2011)

TV-PG | 60 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

The Powells are a typical American family living in Pacific Bay, California, whose members gain special powers after their plane crashes in the Amazon.

Stars: Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz, Kay Panabaker, Jimmy Bennett

Votes: 15,859

9. The Cape (2011)

TV-14 | 60 min | Action, Drama

Vince Faraday is a cop who has been framed for murder, leading him to fall off the grid and become the super hero known only as "The Cape."

Stars: David Lyons, Keith David, Summer Glau, James Frain

Votes: 8,159

10. Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1989 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 96 min | Action, Sci-Fi

The Bionic Woman and the Six Million Dollar Man reunite, with a few younger bionic assistants, and try to catch a bionic spy.

Director: Alan J. Levi | Stars: Lindsay Wagner, Lee Majors, Richard Anderson, Sandra Bullock

Votes: 847

11. Bionic Woman (2007)

60 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

A reimagining of the popular 1970s TV series about a female athlete who is given bionic strength.

Stars: Michelle Ryan, Miguel Ferrer, Molly Price, Lucy Hale

Votes: 7,792

12. The Bionic Woman (1976–1978)

TV-PG | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

After fully recovering from her nearly fatal bout of bionic rejection, Jaime Sommers, the first female cyborg, is assigned to spy missions of her own.

Stars: Lindsay Wagner, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks, Ford Rainey

Votes: 5,627

13. The Six Million Dollar Man (1973 TV Movie)

TV-PG | 90 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

After an astronaut and test pilot is catastrophically mutilated in a test plane crash, he is rebuilt and equipped with nuclear powered bionic limbs and implants.

Director: Richard Irving | Stars: Lee Majors, Barbara Anderson, Martin Balsam, Darren McGavin

Votes: 3,540

14. The Six Million Dollar Man (1974–1978)

TV-PG | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

After a severely injured test pilot is rebuilt with nuclear-powered bionic limbs and implants, he serves as an intelligence agent.

Stars: Lee Majors, Richard Anderson, Martin E. Brooks, Lindsay Wagner

Votes: 8,552

15. The Return of the Six-Million-Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1987 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 98 min | Action, Sci-Fi

Ten years after his retirement from the government, Colonel Steve Austin must again team up with Jaime Sommers to stop a terrorist group. Complicating matters for Austin are his estranged ... See full summary »

Director: Ray Austin | Stars: Lindsay Wagner, Lee Majors, Tom Schanley, Richard Anderson

Votes: 660

16. Chuck (2007–2012)

TV-14 | 43 min | Action, Comedy, Drama

When a twenty-something computer geek inadvertently downloads critical government secrets into his brain, the C.I.A. and the N.S.A. assign two agents to protect him and exploit such knowledge, turning his life upside down.

Stars: Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez, Vik Sahay

Votes: 123,264

17. Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (1976)

24 min | Sci-Fi

The adventures of two female superheroes.

Stars: Deidre Hall, Judy Strangis, Norman Alden, Marvin Miller

Votes: 340

18. Misfits (2009–2013)

TV-MA | 60 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A group of young offenders doing community service get struck by lightning during a storm, and begin to develop superpowers.

Stars: Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Joseph Gilgun, Iwan Rheon, Lauren Socha

Votes: 88,700

19. Jake 2.0 (2003–2004)

60 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

Jake Foley is a computer technician for the N.S.A., who secretly longs for a chance to work in the field. Circumstance puts him in a top secret laboratory, in the middle of a shoot-out ... See full summary »

Stars: Christopher Gorham, Philip Anthony-Rodriguez, Judith Scott, Keegan Connor Tracy

Votes: 3,271

20. Automan (1983–1984)

70 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

A computer-generated superhero and his human creator fight crime in the city.

Stars: Desi Arnaz Jr., Chuck Wagner, Heather McNair, Gerald S. O'Loughlin

Votes: 1,473

21. Exo-Man (1977 TV Movie)

95 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

A professor, who has been paralyzed in an attack by mob hitmen, builds a suit that enables him to walk and fight crime.

Director: Richard Irving | Stars: David Ackroyd, Anne Schedeen, A Martinez, José Ferrer

Votes: 131

pilot

22. Heat Vision and Jack (1999 TV Short)

30 min | Short, Action, Adventure

Astronaut on the run with special powers and his talking motorcycle must deal with a malevolent artificial life form that's possessing people and turning them into dust, as well as NASA's hitman and real life actor Ron Silver.

Director: Ben Stiller | Stars: Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Ron Silver, Christine Taylor

Votes: 1,482

Unaired pilot

23. Lab Rats (2012–2016)

TV-Y7 | 22 min | Action, Comedy, Family

A scrawny 14-year-old, having discovered his inventor stepdad has three bionic, super-powered teens living cloistered in a secret lab beneath their home, brings them out into the world.

Stars: William Brent, Spencer Boldman, Kelli Berglund, Tyrel Jackson Williams

Votes: 4,274

24. Intelligence (2014)

42 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

A high-tech intelligence operative, enhanced with a super-computer microchip in his brain, aids an elite government cyber-security agency in special missions.

Stars: Josh Holloway, Meghan Ory, John Billingsley, P.J. Byrne

Votes: 18,505

25. Limitless (2015–2016)

TV-14 | 42 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

An average twenty-eight-year-old man who gains the ability to use the full extent of his brain's capabilities is hired by the F.B.I. as a consultant.

Stars: Jake McDorman, Jennifer Carpenter, Hill Harper, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Votes: 58,919

26. Heroes Reborn (2015–2016)

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

A year ago, a terrorist attack in Odessa, Texas, left the city decimated. Blamed for the tragic event, those with extraordinary abilities are in hiding or on the run from those with nefarious motives.

Stars: Jack Coleman, Zachary Levi, Robbie Kay, Kiki Sukezane

Votes: 25,616

27. Heroes Reborn: Dark Matters (2015– )

5 min | Sci-Fi

Five years after the public became aware of the existence of evolved humans - or "EVOs." Said public is not entirely supportive of these EVOs. In fact, few people fall into the middle ground.

Stars: Aislinn Paul, Henry Zebrowski, Greta Onieogou, Noah Gray-Cabey

Votes: 2,621

28. The Magical World of Disney (1954–1991)
Episode: I-Man (1986)

Unrated | 96 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

When a man is exposed to an alien gas, he acquires the ability to heal instantly and survive any injury or toxin.

Director: Corey Allen | Stars: Scott Bakula, Ellen Bry, Joey Cramer, John Bloom

Votes: 266

29. The Man with the Power (1977 TV Movie)

93 min | Sci-Fi

A man whose father was an alien from another planet inherits his father's supernatural powers. He is assigned to guard a beautiful Indian princess who is on a state visit to America.

Director: Nicholas Sgarro | Stars: Bob Neill, Tim O'Connor, Vic Morrow, Persis Khambatta

Votes: 51

30. The Greatest American Hero (1981–1983)
Episode: The Greatest American Heroine (1986)

TV-14 | 46 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi

The aliens tell Ralph to find a suitable replacement for himself when his secret identity is revealed to the world. Much to Bill's disgust he selects a woman to be his successor.

Director: Tony Mordente | Stars: William Katt, Robert Culp, Connie Sellecca, Mary Ellen Stuart

Votes: 62

31. Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad (1994– )

TV-Y7 | 20 min | Animation, Family, Action

Typical teenager Sam Collins (Matthew Lawrence) and his friends secretly fight virus monsters by transporting themselves into the computer.

Stars: Glen Beaudin, Kevin Castro, Robin Mary Florence, Jayme Betcher

Votes: 485



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