In 1999, a raunchy teen comedy called American Pie introduced the world to a concept that would become so well known– that of the hot mom. These days you can barely go a day without it showing up somewhere. Adult sites use it constantly, and you can be pretty sure that many of the shows on TV use it to explain their characters in the scripts.
It used to be that your regular TV shows didn't call much attention to how attractive a mother was. You never saw anyone gawking at Mrs. Cleaver on Leave it to Beaver. Mary Tyler Moore was one of the most beautiful women to ever be on TV, but her good looks never played into the storyline for The Dick Van Dyke Show. Plenty of people had a thing for Florence Henderson as Carol Brady on The Brady Bunch, but the show never called on her allure for a joke.
These days, pretty much every show has a hot mom on it. Sometimes their attractiveness is a part of the story, and sometimes it is just the way Hollywood tends to cast the parts. The dads can still be pretty... let's be nice and say "regular," with actors like Ed O'Neill, Louis C.K., and Kevin James playing some of the better-known dads on TV these days. Sure, you get dads like Milo Ventimiglia every now and then, but they're the exception to the rule.
When it comes to moms, you're more likely to find a hottie than a nottie on the tube. These TV moms can have seven kids, work full-time jobs, and still look like a million bucks. They are the 15 steamiest moms on TV today.
15 Sofía Vergara - Modern Family
You had to know she would be on here, right?
As Gloria on Modern Family, Sofía Vergara is a triple threat– she's a good actress, she's funny, and she's all kinds of hot. The show isn't afraid to point out Vergara's steaminess; along with being the much younger wife to Ed O'Neill, Vergara's character has also been an issue for Ty Burrell's character, Phil, who loves his wife but can't help but crush on Gloria. Can you blame him?
Gloria's son Manny has also had to deal with the problems of being a teen boy with a hot mom– namely that the other kids at school really want to come to your house, but not to hang out with you. They're more likely hoping to catch a glimpse of Gloria out by the pool.
Part of what makes Sofía Vergara's take on Sofia work so well isn't just that she's hot and she knows it. It is that she's hot, she knows it, but she doesn't throw it in people's faces to get what she wants.
14 Marisol Nichols - Riverdale
As Hermione Lodge, Marisol Nichols plays the mother to Camila Mendes' Veronica, and there could be hour-long arguments over which of them is hotter.
Nichols has been acting since the late 1990s, and while her career took some time to take off, it was her role as Nadia Yassir on 24 that helped it reach the next level. Now on Riverdale, Nichols gets to really play it up as Hermione Lodge. With her husband in prison for fraud and embezzlement, Hermione has moved back to the town she grew up in for two reasons– to get her teen daughter away from the eyes of the press, and to rekindle a romance with the boy she once loved, Fred Andrews, father of everyone's favorite teenager, Archie.
With the second season of Riverdale starting soon, and Hermione working at Fred's company, we think some fireworks are going to go off!
13 Lena Headey - Game of Thrones
As Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones, Lena Headey doesn't come off as a great mom. Two of her children were murdered and one took his own life– before any of them even hit eighteen. They were also all the product of inc*st– Cersei likes to get it on with her brother Jaime. She has a serious hate for her younger brother Tyrion, whom she blames for both the death of her mother and, for a long time, the death of her oldest son Joffrey.
The role of Cersei Lannister isn't an easy one to pull off. She could easily be played as completely evil and unsympathetic, but Headey has the skills to make us feel for Cersei, even if we don't agree with her wants or methods. With just one season left on Game of Thrones, we'll know Cersei's final fate soon enough.
12 Malin Åkerman - Billions
On Billions, Malin Åkerman plays Lara Axelrod, a former nurse who lucked out when she met, fell in love with, and married Bobby Axelrod, the manager of an amazingly successful hedge-fund. While she still maintains her nursing license, Lara is a stay-at-home mom, raising her children. Her brother, a fireman, died on 9/11 and because of that, she and Bobby take part in a number of 9/11 based charities. What Lara doesn't know is that her husband's good guy image is just a ruse to hide his illegal dealings.
While much of Åkerman's career has been spent working in comedy– she also starred on the critically acclaimed series The Comeback with Lisa Kudrow and appeared in Wanderlust with Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd– Åkerman has proven to be just as skilled at drama, more than holding her own on a series that stars Academy Award nominated and two time Golden Globe winner Paul Giamatti.
11 Mandy Moore - This is Us
It is hard to believe that Mandy Moore, who first came to provenance as a teen singer, is old enough to play a mom, but unless we've missed a plot point on the hit show This is Us, Moore's character, Rebecca Pearson, is not a teen mom.
Unlike many of the other teen idols that she came up with, Moore was able to keep her name out of the tabloids and her transition from young singer and actor to an adult actor has gone off without any major hitches. Moore was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in This is Us. The show, which averaged fourteen million viewers each week– no small accomplishment in this age of endless viewing choices– is set to return for its second season on September 26. Chances are that Moore will be appearing on the show for a long time to come.
10 Gillian Anderson - The X-Files
Like a monster that Mulder and Scully would be on the lookout for, the X-Files is a show that just won't die. After the initial run of nine seasons ended in 2002, fans were treated to a second movie that was released in 2008 (the first movie came out while the show was still on the air). With the lackluster reviews and box office for the second film, it seemed like the X-Files was done, but in 2016, it came back to TV for a tenth season, and now an eleventh season is set to air in 2018.
The role of Dana Scully, the skeptical FBI agent who works with Fox "Spooky" Mulder, turned Gillian Anderson into a star. Over the years she has won critical acclaim for her work on a number of shows, but she always comes back to Scully. Fans of the show know that Scully had two children, Emily and William.
9 Julie Bowen - Modern Family
As Claire Dunphy on Modern Family, Julie Bowen is often stuck in the straight-woman role while Ty Burrell, who plays her husband, gets all the funny bits. Claire, like her father and brother, is a serious person– a realist– who married someone is the exact opposite. While Claire is bordering on obsessive, her husband is a more "go with the flow" kind of fella. She likes quiet, he likes magic tricks. She likes drinking wine, he likes jumping on trampolines. She gets on their three kids about their homework, he brings home a duck as a pet. You get the idea.
In the hands of a lesser actor, Claire's strict and often angry demeanor could make viewers dislike the character, but Bowen knows how to play it just right. You understand why she gets annoyed by her family so often, and you know why they love her and her strict ways.
8 Mädchen Amick - Riverdale
In 1990, Mädchen Amick played Shelly Johnson, the high school dropout turned waitress, on the cult classic TV series Twin Peaks. After the series was canceled, Amick appeared in a long list of movies and TV shows, including Sleepwalkers, Gilmore Girls, and American Horror Story: Hotel. In 2017, she returned to the role of Shelly for the revival of Twin Peaks and took on the role of Alice Cooper on Riverdale.
Alice, the mother of Polly and Betty Cooper, is strict. Like, super strict. After Polly had a nervous breakdown, Alice blamed it on the boy Polly was seeing. She refuses to let Betty hang out with Archie or Veronica because they are, in her words, "rotten". When she isn't being overly demanding of her daughters, Alice spends her time spying on Archie's family.
7 Claire Danes - Homeland
Claire Danes started her rise to fame on the short-lived but much-loved My So-Called Life. These days, she is better known for her Emmy winning work on the hit series Homeland.
On the show, Danes plays Carrie Mathison, a CIA agent whose bipolar disorder makes her a great agent who will sometimes become obsessed with a mission. One mission she was obsessed with was former Al-Qaeda hostage turned Congressman Nicholas Brody, played by Damian Lewis. Carrie was pretty sure that Brody had been turned by Al-Qaeda and was now working for the terrorist organization.
Through a lot of twists and turns, Carrie ended up having Brody's child. Carrie, not really a fan of being a mom, gave her baby to her sister to take care of. She may not be a very good mom, but she's still a mom.
6 Minnie Driver - Speechless
As Maya DiMeo on Speechless, Minnie Driver is the matriarch of a family trying to live in a neighborhood outside of their income so that their son JJ, a high schooler with cerebral palsy, can get a good education from a school that can handle his needs.
Working hard to make sure that JJ and her other son Ray have everything she wants them to have, Driver's character tends to rub people the wrong way, including the staff at JJ's school. Still, she is well-meaning in her aggressiveness and her three kids and husband know that.
Driver, who previously played a TV mom in About a Boy, has been the focus of many crushes since the late 1990s when she appeared in Good Will Hunting with Matt Damon and Grosse Pointe Blank with John Cusack.
5 Pamela Adlon - Better Things
Pamela Adlon's career started when she was just a kid and she appeared in Grease 2 with Michelle Pfeiffer. For years, she worked on a variety of shows and movies, with much of her work was lending her voice to cartoons like Rugrats, King of the Hill, and Recess.
It was the role of Marcy Runkle on Californication that brought Adlon to the attention of the general public (even though she already had an Emmy win under her belt well before then). She regularly appeared on Louis C.K.'s critically acclaimed series Louie before getting her own series, Better Things.
On Better Things, Adlon plays Sam Fox, a divorced working actress raising three daughters on her own. After just one season, Better Things has already racked up a fair amount of award nominations, including an Emmy nomination for Adlon's acting. The series won a Peabody Award in 2016, which is no small feat.
4 Essence Atkins - Marlon
Essence Atkins started her career by appearing in two episodes of The Cosby Show in the late 80s. In 2002, she took on the role of Dee Dee Thorne on the UPN sitcom Half & Half. The series ran for four years and Atkins was nominated for a NAACP Image Award for her part in it.
In 2013, Atkins played Kisha Davis in the horror comedy A Haunted House. The movie, made for under three million dollars, went on to gross sixty million. The sequel, which Atkins was also in, didn't do as well, making just twenty-four million.
Clearly, Atkins and her A Haunted House co-star Marlon Waynes liked working together; today they play husband and wife on the NBC sitcom Marlon. The show, which is loosely based on Marlon Waynes' own life, finished its first season but has not been renewed for a second season yet.
3 Claire Foy - The Crown
By playing Queen Elizabeth II on the Netflix series The Crown, Claire Foy is taking part in a pretty ambitious show. The goal of the series is to cover the life of Queen Elizabeth II over six seasons, with new actors taking over the roles ever two seasons as the series moves forward in time.
Foy is the first actress to play the Queen on the series, and for her work she has been both praised by critics and given some of the biggest awards an actor can get, including a Golden Globe. She was also nominated for an Emmy.
As a young Queen Elizabeth II, Foy has portrayed one of history's most famous women during the start of her reign after the death of her father as she tries to work with Winston Churchill, as played by John Lithgow.
2 Maggie Gyllenhaal - The Deuce
On the new HBO series The Deuce, Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Eileen 'Candy' Merrell, a prost*tute who is trying to take care of her son. Unlike the usual story, at least so far (we are only two episodes in - don't spoil anything in the comments!), Gyllenhaal's character doesn't seem to be trying to get out of her line of work so much as she is looking to better profit off it.
Unlike the other girls working the streets of Manhattan in 1971, Candy doesn't work for a p*mp, choosing to do things her own way. She has also shown an interest in how adult films are made, and it looks like she's planning to make a few of her own to sell. We're only guessing, but we imagine one of James Franco's characters– he plays twins– will get involved with that sooner or later.
1 Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep
As Selina Meyer on Veep, Julia Louis-Dreyfus has pulled off something the rest of the cast of Seinfeld couldn't; she starred in another hit series.
Veep centers around the rise and fall of Selina Meyer, a Maryland Senator turned Vice President of the United States, turned President, turned election loser and political pariah. And with all the things going on in her life, one thing Selina has little time for is her daughter Catherine– that is, unless Catherine can be used for something Selina wants.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus has won universal acclaim for her role on the endlessly hilarious series. This year, she made history by winning her record-breaking sixth Emmy. She has also won the Golden Globe five times in a row. Veep is ending with the next season, and chances are Julia Louis-Dreyfus will take home a few more awards.