TV That Inspires Empathy

Developing character strengths and life skills is essential to kids' overall growth and success. These TV shows help kids learn the value of putting themselves in someone else's shoes to understand the feelings and perspective of another person.The character strength of empathy surfaces in these titles by being intrinsic to the story, being repeated several times in the actions of a lead character, and "wins" over character flaws such as focusing only on their own needs. (See even more movies and TV shows that inspire empathy.)

Browse TV That Inspires Empathy

 
Clangers TV Poster Image
Endearing remake of classic has a galaxy's worth of charm.
Network: Sprout
(2015)
(2015)
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Curious George TV Poster Image
Notorious monkey amuses and teaches preschoolers.
Network: PBS Kids
(2006)
(2006)
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Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood TV Poster Image
Excellent lessons from Mister Rogers' next generation.
Network: PBS Kids
(2012)
(2012)
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Franny's Feet TV Poster Image
Girl's magical travels teach about other cultures.
Network: PBS Kids, Kids Central
(2006)
(2006)
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Maya the Bee TV Poster Image
Gentle animated show has lessons about nature, friendship.
Network: Sprout
(2015)
(2012)
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Nina's World TV Poster Image
Strong diversity, community, family themes in superb series.
Network: Sprout
(2015)
(2015)
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Super Wings TV Poster Image
Friendly planes' world travels teach kids multiculturalism.
Network: Sprout
(2015)
(2015)
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Ruby's Studio: The Friendship Show Movie Poster Image
Insightful, gentle lessons teach kids about relationships.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2013)
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Tinga Tinga Tales TV Poster Image
African folk tales feed kids' curiosity, teach good lessons.
Network: Disney Channel
(2011)
(2011)
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True and the Rainbow Kingdom TV Poster Image
Whimsical world's heroine helps her friends solve problems.
Network: Netflix
(2017)
(2017)
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Wishenpoof! TV Poster Image
Sweet magical series illustrates joys of helping others.
Network: Amazon Prime Video
(2015)
(2014)
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Maya & Miguel TV Poster Image
Engaging cartoon teaches cultural diversity.
Network: PBS
(2005)
(2004)
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Invisible Sister TV Poster Image
Funny, feel-good movie has excellent messages for kids.
Network: Disney Channel
(2015)
(2015)
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Kid President: Declaration of Awesome TV Poster Image
Viral-video star brings inspiring messages to fun TV series.
Network: Discovery Family Channel
(2014)
(2014)
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Ronja, the Robber's Daughter TV Poster Image
Beautiful book adaptation with exceptional female lead.
Network: Amazon Prime Video
(2017)
(2017)
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Good Witch TV Poster Image
Family-friendly series centers on charming, helpful witch.
Network: Hallmark Channel
(2015)
(2015)
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Star Trek: The Next Generation TV Poster Image
Still going boldly, updated series is fun for all.
Network: Syndicated
(2006)
(1987)
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Star Trek: The Original Series TV Poster Image
A cultural icon that's lived long and prospered.
Network: G4, Syndicated, TV Land
(2005)
(1966)
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The Specials TV Poster Image
Webby-winning reality show encourages respect for diversity.
Network: OWN
(2014)
(2014)
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Andi Mack TV Poster Image
Heartwarming, diverse coming-of-age story best for tweens.
Network: Disney Channel
(2017)
(2017)
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Black-ish TV Poster Image
Race is tackled gently in fresh family friendly sitcom.
Network: ABC
(2014)
(2014)
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Nick News with Linda Ellerbee TV Poster Image
A must-see news program for teens and tweens.
Network: Nickelodeon
(2005)
(1992)
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All in the Family TV Poster Image
Landmark '70s sitcom lightens bias with humor.
Network: Syndicated, TV Land
(2004)
(1971)
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Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. TV Poster Image
Informative docu uncovers family history and ancestry.
Network: PBS
(2012)
(2012)
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How to Dance in Ohio Movie Poster Image
Inspirational, heartwarming doc about living with autism.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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I Am Jazz TV Poster Image
Transgender teen's reality show is positive, poignant.
Network: TLC
(2015)
(2015)
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Quantum Leap TV Poster Image
Classic sci-fi series hops and skips through time.
Network: Syfy
(2005)
(1989)
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Degrassi: Next Class TV Poster Image
An edgier Degrassi for the digital age still has heart.
Network: Netflix
(2016)
(2016)
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If You Really Knew Me TV Poster Image
Sobering reality series digs deep to bust up stereotypes.
Network: MTV
(2010)
(2010)
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It Gets Better TV Poster Image
Honest accounts of LGBTQ life inspire hope for teens.
Network: Logo, MTV
(2012)
(2012)
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Taxi TV Poster Image
Classic 1970s ensemble comedy is witty but gritty.
Network: ABC
(2010)
(1978)
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Degrassi TV Poster Image
Superb, socially conscious drama deals with tough issues.
Network: TeenNick
(2005)
(2001)
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Edge of Eighteen TV Poster Image
Autobiographical docuseries raises issues relevant to teens.
Network: Al Jazeera America
(2014)
(2014)
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Humans of New York: The Series TV Poster Image
Insightful, artistic docu series has some mature themes.
Network: Facebook Watch
(2017)
(2017)
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The Fosters TV Poster Image
Heartwarming drama about foster teens and their two moms.
Network: Freeform
(2013)
(2013)
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Freaks and Geeks TV Poster Image
Stellar teen dramedy explores angst, experimentation.
Network: Syndicated
(2011)
(1999)
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Glee TV Poster Image
Edgy-but-quirky comedy's music, message will win teens over.
Network: Fox
(2009)
(2009)
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My So-Called Life TV Poster Image
Mature teen angst at its best.
Network: TeenNick
(2005)
(1994)
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This American Life TV Poster Image
Compelling true stories from all walks of life.
Network: Showtime
(2007)
(2007)
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Will & Grace TV Poster Image
Fun show about a strong friendship; rude jokes, sex, pills.
Network: NBC, Syndicated
(2005)
(1998)
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World of Jenks TV Poster Image
Docu offers thoughtful insight into the world of others.
Network: MTV
(2010)
(2010)
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30 Days TV Poster Image
Opening minds, one month at a time. Teens and up.
Network: FX, Planet Green
(2006)
(2005)
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The Book of Negroes Movie Poster Image
Riveting slavery epic is artful, sobering, and inspiring.
On DVD/Streaming
(Release Year: 2015)
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Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word TV Poster Image
Intense interviews with transgender youth promote empathy.
Network: Logo, MTV
(2014)
(2014)
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Our America With Lisa Ling TV Poster Image
Docuseries is both sympathetic and informative.
Network: OWN
(2011)
(2011)
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True Life TV Poster Image
Gritty -- but provoking -- reality show.
Network: MTV
(2005)
(1998)
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