The Best TV Detectives Fictional Characters
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43  reranks 18,315 votes 1,645 voters 49,614 views more info

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 fully 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 detective/psychic/cop/scientist, and rank your own version if you want. Feel free to add anyone that'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 clues that will bring your killer to justice. And keep in mind that looks and mannerisms can be decieving: Adrian Monk is certainly more than 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.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 43 ReRanks
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 469
    Down 242

    the people's #1 &most listed
    Sherlock Holmes

    Sherlock, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes More
    100
  2. 3
    Up 288
    Down 211

    Fox Mulder & Dana Scully

    The X-Files More
    88
  3. 4
    Up 315
    Down 201
    Monk More
    86
  4. 5
    Up 201
    Down 191

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Hercule Poirot

    Agatha Christie Universe More
    81
  5. 6
    Up 333
    Down 220
    The Mentalist More
    81
  6. 7
    Up 191
    Down 195

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Gil Grissom

    CSI More
    80
  7. 8
    Up 207
    Down 150
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit More
    79
  8. 9
    Up 239
    Down 145
    Mangum P.I. More
    79
  9. 10
    Up 484
    Down 274
    Castle More
    78
  10. 11
    Up 224
    Down 138
    The Rockford Files More
    76
  11. 12
    Up 221
    Down 151
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Special Victims ... More
    76
  12. 13
    Up 183
    Down 165
    Murder, She Wrote More
    75
  13. 14
    Up 222
    Down 144

    The Scooby Gang

    Scooby Doo More
    75
  14. 15
    Up 242
    Down 178
    Bones More
    74
  15. 16
    Up 275
    Down 188
    Veronica Mars More
    74
  16. 17
    Up 505
    Down 347
    Castle More
    74
  17. 18
    Up 154
    Down 148
    Hawaii Five-O More
    72
  18. 19
    Up 212
    Down 175
    Psych, Psych More
    71
  19. 20
    Up 209
    Down 211
    Dexter More
    71
  20. 21
    Up 197
    Down 162
    Bones More
    70
  21. 22
    Up 145
    Down 124
    Kojak More
    69
  22. 23
    Up 157
    Down 70

    ranked low on reranks
    Leroy Jethro Gibbs

    NCIS, NCIS More
    67
    added by: willyboymcoy
    NCIS
  23. 24
    Up 167
    Down 156
    Burn Notice More
    64
  24. 25
    Up 176
    Down 146
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffyverse More
    63
  25. 26
    Up 135
    Down 140

    Remington Steele & Laura Holt

    Remington Steele More
    62
  26. 27
    Up 136
    Down 139
    Dragnet, Dragnet, Dragnet More
    61
  27. 28
    Up 129
    Down 98
    Law & Order More
    60
    added by: clash1977
  28. 29
    Up 94
    Down 71
    59
    added by: willyboymcoy
    Rizzoli & Isles
  29. 30
    Up 136
    Down 179
    CSI: Miami More
    54
  30. 31
    Up 93
    Down 132
    NYPD Blue More
    52
  31. 32
    Up 114
    Down 105
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit More
    52
    added by: clash1977
  32. 33
    Up 102
    Down 146

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Charlie's Angels

    Charlie's Angels More
    50
  33. 34
    Up 54
    Down 29

    ranked low on reranks
    Anthony DiNozzo

    NCIS, NCIS More
    50
    added by: MadisonJeannineWallace
    NCIS
  34. 35
    Up 59
    Down 38
    Perry Mason, Perry Mason: The Case of the Lady in the Lake, Perry Mason: ... More
    49
    added by: joekoomen
  35. 36
    Up 71
    Down 47
    Criminal Minds More
    49
    added by: LiliaLoewenberg
  36. 37
    Up 59
    Down 60
    Fringe More
    48
    added by: wiabux
  37. 38
    Up 92
    Down 116
    Mannix More
    48
  38. 39
    Up 66
    Down 45
    Criminal Minds More
    47
    added by: LiliaLoewenberg
  39. 40
    Up 63
    Down 128

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Dale Cooper

    Twin Peaks More
    47
  40. 41
    Up 56
    Down 53
    Criminal Minds More
    46
    added by: LiliaLoewenberg
  41. 42
    Up 78
    Down 117

    Cagney & Lacey

    Cagney & Lacey More
    45
  42. 43
    Up 67
    Down 72
    No image

    Starsky @ Hutch

    45
  43. 44
    Up 67
    Down 144
    The Shield More
    44
  44. 45
    Up 59
    Down 103
    Mike Hammer More
    44
  45. 48
    Up 79
    Down 106

    David Addison and Maddie Hayes

    Moonlighting More
    43
  46. 49
    Up 50
    Down 33
    NCIS More
    42
  47. 50
    Up 50
    Down 28
    NCIS More
    42
    added by: MadisonJeannineWallace
    NCIS 
  48. 52
    Up 73
    Down 125
    Ghost Whisperer More
    41
  49. 53
    Up 66
    Down 111

    Barnaby Jones

    Barnaby Jones More
    40
  50. 54
    Up 74
    Down 128

    Emily Thorne (born Amanda Clarke)

    Revenge More
    40
  51. 80 +

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