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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  4. 5
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    Agatha Christie Universe

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    The Mentalist

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  6. 7
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks CSI

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  7. 8
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    ranked low on reranks Castle

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  8. 9
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    Law & Order: SVU

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  9. 10
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    Mangum P.I.

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  10. 11
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    Law & Order: SVU

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  11. 12
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    Bones

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  12. 13
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    Veronica Mars

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  13. 14
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    The Scooby Gang Scooby Doo

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  14. 15
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    The Rockford Files

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  15. 16
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    Castle

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  16. 17
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    Murder, She Wrote

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  17. 18
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    Psych

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  18. 19
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    Dexter

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  19. 20
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    Hawaii Five-O

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    Bones

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  21. 22
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    Kojak

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  22. 23
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    ranked low on reranks & added by willyboymcoy NCIS

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  23. 24
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    Burn Notice

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  24. 25
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    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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  25. 26
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    Remington Steele & Laura Holt Remington Steele

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  26. 27
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    Dragnet

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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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    added by willyboymcoy Rizzoli & Isles

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  29. 30
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    ranked low on reranks & added by Scott Klingaman Columbo Columbo

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  30. 31
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    CSI: Miami

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  31. 32
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks NYPD Blue

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  32. 33
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    added by clash1977 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

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  33. 34
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    Charlie's Angels Charlie's Angels

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  34. 35
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    ranked low on reranks & added by MadisonJeannineWallace NCIS

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  35. 36
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    added by joekoomen Perry Mason

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  36. 37
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Cagney & Lacey Cagney & Lacey

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  37. 38
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    ranked low on reranks NCIS

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  38. 39
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Twin Peaks

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  39. 40
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    added by LiliaLoewenberg Criminal Minds

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  40. 41
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    Starsky & Hutch Starsky & Hutch

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    added by LiliaLoewenberg Criminal Minds

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    added by LiliaLoewenberg Criminal Minds

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    Mannix

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  44. 45
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    added by wiabux Fringe

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  45. 46
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    ranked low on reranks & added by MadisonJeannineWallace NCIS NCIS 

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  46. 47
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    The Shield

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  47. 48
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    The Closer

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  48. 49
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    Mike Hammer

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  49. 50
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    David Addison and Maddie Hayes Moonlighting

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  50. 51
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    ranked low on reranks & added by MadisonJeannineWallace NCIS NCIS

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