The CW was created as a matter of survival as the WB and UPN realized they were better off merging than fighting against the other networks for control. For the first years, their shows were mostly aimed at teens, albeit with some hot stuff like Gossip Girl, 90210, Hellcats and others. But in the last few years, the CW has begun to win serious acclaim for giving fans of genre TV some fantastic stuff. The Vampire Diaries and The Originals do fantastic horror-themed storylines. Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow do a better job with DC Comics characters on TV than in the movies. And The 100 has been acclaimed as arguably the best sci-fi series on television right now. That’s not to mention some genre-bending comedy like Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend which lead to the CW getting serious attention as a real network.
One thing that has been constant has been the amazing bevy of fantastic actresses the network offers. Yes, many of them are chosen by looks but they end up proving themselves as terrific actresses who create compelling characters to win you over. Indeed, it’s fascinating how many of these characters started off so-so before turning awesome and the ladies playing them getting hotter as they go. There have been slews of lovelies from shows now gone like Nina Dobrev and Maggie Q but the current slate of ladies on the CW offer a stunning mix of amazing actresses who can compel you and look terrific. Here are the twenty hottest women you can currently watch on the CW and why this network is such a hit.
20 Rachel Bloom
The current critical darling, Bloom took a major chance with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, playing a woman who impulsively moves to Los Angeles, supposedly for a new start but really obsessing over her high school crush. Bloom is sensational in the role from the lavish musical numbers to various sexy outfits, a bright laugh and showing how her desires to turn life into a movie lead to funny circumstances. She may be more of a hot mess but Rebecca is a great one to watch and Bloom’s Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice-winning performance is the key to make her crazy sexy.
19 Rachel Skarsten
The actress has been a familiar face to Canadian TV viewers with roles on various series, most prominently the cult hit Lost Girl. On Reign, she takes on the challenge of playing Queen Elizabeth I and is doing it with style. She has the lovely gowns and lush looks but also shows the drive of Elizabeth, wanting to be herself while pushed by supporters to marry and battling Mary for power. Skarsten gets very sexy in scenes with lovers and a cool accent to add her to the list of actresses bringing this monarch to life. Regal yet lovely, Skarsten shows the “Virgin Queen” was one steamy sexpot to be sure.
18 Gina Rodriguez
The concept of Jane the Virgin is nutty as a virgin gets accidentally inseminated with the sperm of her old high school crush. But it’s turned into a wonderfully done emotional comedy and that’s thanks to Rodriguez’s Golden Globe-winning turn as the title character. She balances the wild comedy out nicely but also the emotional heart of Jane figuring out which man she wants to be with and handling motherhood. She has shown off sexy outfits from a mermaid to a leather wrestling costume and more and handling the insane soap opera situations of the show well. She’s not as “open” in sexual stuff as others on this list but Rodriguez is a star in the making that makes the entire series work and the hottest mother on the network by far.
17 Katrina Law
When you star on Spartacus, a series that involves massive nudity and violent fights, you’re ready to break out in a sexy way. On Arrow, Law plays Nyssa al Ghul, the daughter of infamous terrorist Ra’s al Ghul and trying to make her father proud. Law is gorgeous in the role with fantastic fighting and heart with her relationship with Sara Lance. She’s appeared a few more times with her latest appearance taking control of the League herself and showing her amazing drive off. She’ll return later this season for more antics and with her cool demeanor and perfect features yet also a fighting skill that makes her a woman worth dying over.
16 Ciara Renee
Kendra Saunders first showed up on The Flash as a barista who quickly bonded with goofy Cisco and they started dating. An attack by immortal Vandal Savage revealed that she was the reincarnation of an Egyptian princess who could spout wings on command. Now on Legends of Tomorrow, Kendra is handling the part of a heroine, doing great when clad in a tight leather outfit and masked helmet. She’s gorgeous in a fight, brawling and prone to rages and yet still trying to be human, including dealing with the death of a lover. Her long past lives offer more chances to see her in hot outfits and Renee looks to enjoy the limelight more to show Kendra a sexy presence in any time era.
15 Megan Follows
She’s older than others on this list but no less sexy in any way. Casting the former Anne of Green Gables as Catherine de’Medici on Reign sounds crazy but it works as Follows is easily the best part of the entire show. As the ruthless and brutal Catherine, she can lecture Mary on royalty one minute, order the murder of someone the next and nonchalant over violence. She’s tough as hell, handling being attacked with ease and yet also possessing a biting sense of humor that leaves you laughing out loud. She also brings the sexy big time, even under the gowns, easily seducing men half her age for some steamy hookups and showing off very nicely with a body that puts most of the other women on the show to shame. There are a lot of young and hot faces on this list but Follows is living proof that some women are far sexier with more years on them and a royal bitch you love to watch.
14 Malese Jow
Jow has been a familiar face for CW viewers for some time. She had a large recurring role on the first and third seasons of The Vampire Diaries as Anna, an innocent girl turned into a vampire herself whose ending has been cited as one of the best moments of the show. She later starred in the short-lived sci-fi series Star-Crossed to show a bit of a hotter side. Her latest role has been Linda Park, a reporter who starts dating Barry Allen on The Flash, showing a fun side with nice humor and her ethnic looks standing apart and looking hot. She’s pulled double duty this season as the Linda of an alternate Earth who’s the villainess Dr. Light and looking quite good in the costume. While the character was said to have moved out of town, word is she’s due for a return later this year and no matter which part it is, Jow is ready to showcase the nice sexiness that’s made her a lovely standout and quite the hot lady in any role.
13 Candice Accola
In the first season of The Vampire Diaries, Caroline Forbes was a background character, mostly annoying as the preppy cheerleader and not that important. But when she was turned into a vampire in season two, she suddenly morphed into one of the best parts of the show. Accola’s performance makes it work as Caroline is a woman who cares more for a school dance than the various supernatural threats going around and gets some hysterical lines. She has classic cheerleader looks with her blonde hair and smile as well as dark sides with attacking people and dealing with her mother’s death. The show has recently managed to work Accola’s pregnancy in with Caroline dealing with a magical birth and yet still looking amazing during it all and stepping up to the plate as the show’s true star and a great fashionista to boot.
12 Katerina Graham
Like other characters on The Vampire Diaries, t was just a simple high school gal until she discovered witchcraft ran in her family. Since then, she’s grown into a powerful witch in her own right, dying but coming back yet still time for some humor and growth. She’s also quite sexy when she’s casting massive spells and tossing enemies around with a wave of her hand, trapped in a hellish region but never giving up and Graham is able to turn a pair of jeans and a jacket into an outfit hotter than any skimpy dress. She’s still a major part of the series and Graham looks ready to continue working her sexy magic on viewers for a while to come.
11 Aly Michalka
Michalka was a stand-out on the short-lived CW series Hellcats as a law student turned cheerleader. She’s taken a different role on iZombie, playing Peyton, the best friend of main character Liv who spends the first season unaware of her being a zombie. When she finds out (after Liv shows her true side fighting an attacker), she leaves town but returned this year to reconcile. A District Attorney, Peyton has a sexy side in suits with now-dark hair and lovely charm which includes sleeping with baddie Blaine (unaware of his darkness) and looking great through it all. Her role can be bigger as the show goes along and a needed dose of sexy energy to make the series shine and how Aly is hotter as the D.A. than as a cheerleader, amazing as that seems.
10 Danielle Panabaker
For the most part, Caitlin Snow has been more the “lab girl” on The Flash, a worker who helps our hero out with his speed and saving lives. But Panabaker is able to make her a fun gal, looking great in her outfits and dark hair with a good humor and yet some steam in her relationship with super-powered love Ronnie. She gets to show off more now and then and TV vet Panabaker is great making it all work. A recent episode really amped up the sexiness as we got to see the Caitlin of an alternate Earth who’s the murderous Killer Frost and fantastic in a tight outfit. Whatever the role, Panabaker makes it work well and how Snow is truly hot.
9 Willa Holland
Like many other characters on Arrow, Thea Queen started off rough, a spoiled brat into drinking and drug use who didn’t work that much into the main plotlines. That shifted a bit in season two as Holland was still a fun actress with a nice beauty to her. However, in season three, she took a major step up as Thea was trained in fighting and becoming much hotter overnight. She’s now taking on her own costume as Red Arrow to aid in the crime-fighting which fits her well and Holland is terrific showing it all off nicely in various action scenes while also becoming a stronger woman in her own right. A great example of a lady who rose from so-so to truly sexy and better in costume than out.
8 Caity Lotz
Sara Lance was mentioned on the first season of Arrow as a bratty girl who slept with Oliver Queen despite the face he was with her sister Laurel and was lost in a boat sinking. In season 2, it was revealed Sara had survived for time on that same island before trained as a killer and the masked Black Canary. Lotz was a breakout from the start with the role, looking fantastic in the costume but also the drive of Sara trying to redeem herself and the revelation of a romantic past with a woman threw more shades on the character. When she was killed off in season three, the fans were outraged to the point that the producers brought her back to life. Now donning a new costume as White Canary, Sara works on Legends of Tomorrow, still facing her past and return to life but handling herself with terrific fight scenes and flirting with guys and girls alike.
7 Alycia Debnam-Carey
The second season of The 100 is when the series truly began getting awesome as we got to see the Grounders, the descendants of people who survived the nuclear apocalypse, now divided into warring tribes. Lexa is their leader and Debnam-Carey was a standout from the start as this cool but beautiful warrior, face in makeup and willing to do what it took to keep her people safe. From the start, there was a spark between her and Clarke that led to a very steamy kiss but a move by Lexa seemed to betray all that. She’s back this year to continue her work, including a fantastic fight scene and still the connection to Clarke that makes Lexa one of the most compelling characters on the network as well as one hot bad-ass.
6 Rose McIver
Based on the cult comic book, iZombie tells of Liv, a med student turned zombie who feasts on the brains of cadavers and uses their memories to solve murders. Even with white skin and hair, Rose McIver is a terrific beauty as Liv, mixing her worries about her lost humanity with helping others. Thanks to the brains she eats, she takes on personas from a sports enthusiast to a lustful lothario, a would-be superhero and more and outfits like wrapped in nothing but tape for a party. It’s pretty impressive to look this hot when you’re dead and McIver ensures that Liv is easily the sexiest zombie ever seen and more alive than when she had a life to make her various new personas all look quite alluring.
5 Katie Cassidy
Cassidy got attention as the go-to bitch on the short-lived revival of Melrose Place. At first, her portrayal of Laurel Lance on Arrow wasn’t well received as she came off judgemental and short-tempered, including a long stint drinking and despite Cassidy’s amazing beauty, the character was rough. But she improved as she was inspired to train as a crimefighter herself to become a new Black Canary and fitting the leather outfit exceptionally well. She’s now a major part of the show and better off as the long-legged Cassidy works the costumed action excellently and proving how donning a mask goes a long way to making you even hotter than ever.
4 Phoebe Tonkin
Tonkin was the best part of the sadly too-short lived witch show The Secret Circle. Thankfully, producer Julie Plec decided to give her a shot on The Vampire Diaries as Hayley, a werewolf who ended up pregnant after a one-night stand with vampire Klaus. This led her to be a regular on the spin-off The Originals, turned into a werewolf-vampire hybrid and dealing with motherhood among the magical battles. With her dark hair and bright eyes, Tonkin is a standout and has gotten hotter as things have gone along with a bloodlust and yet caring for a husband as well. She remains a major part of the show with her character ready for a supernatural war and Tonkin is going to be one hot soldier in it, showing how she’s won viewers over and in a sexy style.
3 Adelaide Kane
Reign may play fast and loose with history but it’s still a compelling show telling of the struggles of Mary Queen of Scots in the French court. Key to it has been Kane’s portrayal of Mary, learning more of the politics of the region and rising as a ruler in her own right. Her beauty is obvious and she has shown it of well in some steamy love scenes and even buried under the elaborate dresses, she is a terrific figure to admire. She’s gotten better material this year with Mary dealing with the death of her husband and the power struggles abounding but Kane makes the character relatable as well as royal and a hot one to boot.
2 Emily Bett Rickards
It’s no coincidence that Arrow began to become awesome when the producers decided to boost minor tech guru Felicity Smoak to a regular. She brought a much-needed dose of levity to the show with wisecracks and a goofy style but has also stunned people by glamming up. Rickards is terrific looking hot in a mini-skirt and blouse with glasses, not into the action stuff as much but her genius line readings win you over. A great turn was the flashbacks to Felicity as a dark Goth hacker and it’s no wonder she won Oliver’s heart by being more human than any woman he’d been with before. She’s still the best part of the series no matter her struggles (like put in a wheelchair) and a key reason it became a hit as Rickards makes Felicity the hottest nerd on TV.
1 Eliza Taylor
Just as The 100 has gone from “CW Lord of the Flies” to one of the best shows on television, so has Taylor gone from a pretty face to a stunning lead character. From the beginning, Clarke has been the de facto leader of the team of space station residents sent to inhabit a long-nuked Earth and shown herself as a tough gal willing to go to any lengths to help her people out. That was proven when she killed her own boyfriend in order to prevent a greater massacre, making the tough choices no one else can. The new season has been pushing it up more with her taking on a darker appearance, a hot love scene with another woman and still her relationship with Lexa to reveal a complex but compelling character. She’s beautiful but Taylor has made Clarke a terrific heroine in her own right and a bisexual icon to be one of the sexiest ladies, no matter how dirty she gets.