The Best TV Detectives Fictional Characters
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The Best TV Detectives

List Criteria: TV crime solvers only. No movies or books.

This list of the best TV detectives includes some of the greatest crime-solving sleuths in television history. TV is full of amazing detectives with lots of different kinds of skills. Supernatural, intuitive, or just plain brilliant... it's like comparing apples to oranges in some ways. But you have to pick. Which one would you want following the clues that would bring your murderer to justice? Vote for your favorite detectives, psychics, cops, or scientists, and rerank your own version if you want. Feel free to add anyone who's missing!

Many of the TV detectives listed here are part of some of the best serial cop dramas and legal dramas of all time. They are fierce, intelligent, and dogged in their determination to solve some of the most complex fictional crimes on television.

Who would you want investigating your murder? Choose carefully, because obviously you'll want the TV detective with the best skill set to uncover the clues that will bring your killer to justice. And keep in mind that looks and mannerisms can be deceiving: Adrian Monk is certainly a little goofy and neurotic, but he gets the job done. Columbo can be disarmingly bumbling, but he's sharp as a tack. Sometimes, being cleverly disarming can make all the difference in solving crimes.
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  1. 1
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    the people's #1 & most listed Sherlock

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  2. 3
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    Fox Mulder & Dana Scully The X-Files

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  3. 4
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    Monk

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    Agatha Christie Universe

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    The Mentalist

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks CSI

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  7. 8
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    Mangum P.I.

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  8. 9
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    Castle

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  9. 10
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    Law & Order: SVU

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  10. 11
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    The Rockford Files

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  11. 12
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    Bones

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  12. 13
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    Law & Order: SVU

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    The Scooby Gang Scooby Doo

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  14. 15
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    Veronica Mars

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  15. 16
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    often listed Murder, She Wrote

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  16. 17
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    Castle

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  17. 18
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    Psych

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  18. 19
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    ranked low on reranks & added by willyboymcoy NCIS

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  19. 20
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    Dexter

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    Hawaii Five-O

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    Bones

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  22. 23
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    Kojak

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  23. 24
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    ranked low on reranks & added by Scott Klingaman Columbo Columbo

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    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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    Remington Steele & Laura Holt Remington Steele

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  26. 27
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    Burn Notice

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  27. 28
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    added by clash1977 Law & Order

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  28. 29
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    Dragnet

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  29. 30
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    added by willyboymcoy Rizzoli & Isles

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  30. 31
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    added by MadisonJeannineWallace NCIS

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  31. 32
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks CSI: Miami

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  32. 33
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    Charlie's Angels Charlie's Angels

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  33. 34
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    added by clash1977 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

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  34. 35
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    added by joekoomen Perry Mason

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  35. 36
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    ranked low on reranks NCIS

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  36. 37
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    NYPD Blue

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    Starsky & Hutch Starsky & Hutch

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  38. 39
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    Mike Hammer

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    Mannix

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  40. 41
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    Twin Peaks

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    ranked low on reranks & added by MadisonJeannineWallace NCIS NCIS 

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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Cagney & Lacey Cagney & Lacey

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    ranked low on reranks & added by LiliaLoewenberg Criminal Minds

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  44. 45
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    often listed & added by wiabux Fringe

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  45. 46
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    added by LiliaLoewenberg Criminal Minds

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  46. 47
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    added by LiliaLoewenberg Criminal Minds

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  47. 48
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    David Addison and Maddie Hayes Moonlighting

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  48. 49
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    ranked low on reranks & added by MadisonJeannineWallace NCIS NCIS

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  49. 50
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    Crockett & Tubbs Miami Vice

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  50. 51
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    Barnaby Jones Barnaby Jones

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