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The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows 

Ranker TV
Updated June 14, 2019 2.7k votes 583 voters 29k views 40 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite crime dramas that aired on TV in the '70s

These are the best 1970s crime drama TV shows, ranked by user votes. There are some good 70s crime drama series that followed cops hot on the trail of criminals, there were some more focused on lawyers and trials, and still there were some others about top secret special agents! There was really something for everybody in the 70s. What are the top 1970s crime shows in your opinion? Vote up your favorites!

What shows will you find on this best 1970s crime drama TV shows list? Crime fighting women were all the rage in the 1970s with Charlie's Angels and The Mod Squad leading the pack. Starsky and Hutch was also a popular 70s crime series. Fun Fact: Starsky and Hutch was adapted into a 2004 film starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.

Throughout the 1970s, Peter Falk starred as the incomparable homicide detective Columbo on the TV series of the same name. Other good shows that appear on this top 1970s crime drama TV shows list include Ironside, The Streets of San Francisco and Police Story.

Which 70s crime drama show is your favorite? Vote the best series up to the top of this list and share your opinion in the comments section.
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1
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan

Premiered: 1968

Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The character and show, created by William Link and Richard Levinson, ...more

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2
The Rockford Files is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
bobwhitley3 added James Garner, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Santos

Premiered: 1974

The Rockford Files is an American television drama series starring James Garner that aired on the NBC network between September 13, 1974, and January 10, 1980, and has remained in syndication to ...more

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#353 of 806 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #88 of 289 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #130 of 214 The TV Shows with the Best Writing

3
Hawaii Five-O is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Jack Lord, James MacArthur, Kam Fong

Premiered: 1968

Hawaii Five-O is an American police procedural drama series produced by CBS Productions and Leonard Freeman. Set in Hawaii, the show originally aired for 12 seasons from 1968 to 1980, and ...more

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#183 of 383 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years #12 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Timelisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

4
Kojak is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Telly Savalas, Dan Frazer, Kevin Dobson

Premiered: 1973

Kojak is an American television series starring Telly Savalas as the title character, New York City Police Department Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak. Taking the time slot of the popular Cannon ...more

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#30 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time #52 of 271 The Best '70s TV Shows #58 of 66 The Best Suspense TV Shows

5
The Streets of San Franc... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Karl Malden, Michael Douglas, Reuben Collins

Premiered: 1972

The Streets of San Francisco is a 1970s television police drama filmed on location in San Francisco, California, and produced by Quinn Martin Productions, with the first season produced in ...more

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#23 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time #65 of 271 The Best '70s TV Shows #51 of 144 The Best TV Crime Dramas

6
Starsky and Hutch is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
David Soul, Paul Michael Glaser, Antonio Fargas

Premiered: 1975

Starsky & Hutch is a 1970s American cop thriller television series, which consisted of a 70-minute pilot movie and 92 episodes of 50 minutes each. The show was created by William Blinn, ...more

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#317 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #88 of 457 The Best Duos of All Time #10 of 68 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series

7
Quincy, M.E. is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Jack Klugman, John S. Ragin, Robert Ito

Premiered: 1976

Quincy, M.E. is an American television series from Universal Studios that aired from October 3, 1976, to September 5, 1983, on NBC. It stars Jack Klugman in the title role, a Los Angeles County ...more

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8
Cannon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
horseplayer added William Conrad, Patrick Culliton, Tom Pittman

Premiered: 1971

Cannon is a CBS detective television series produced by Quinn Martin which aired from March 26, 1971 to March 3, 1976. The primary protagonist is the title character, private detective Frank ...more

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#451 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #95 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time #94 of 271 The Best '70s TV Shows

9
Mannix is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
horseplayer added Robert Reed, Mike Connors, Nancy Kovack

Premiered: 1967

Mannix is an American television detective series that ran from 1967 to 1975 on CBS. Created by Richard Levinson and William Link and developed by executive producer Bruce Geller, the title ...more

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#191 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #99 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Timelisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

10
Charlie's Angels is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith

Premiered: 1976

Charlie's Angels is an American drama television series that aired on ABC from September 22, 1976 to June 24, 1981, producing five seasons and 110 episodes. The series was created by Ivan Goff ...more

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#161 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #42 of 291 The Best Female-Led TV Shows #86 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows

11
Baretta is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Robert Blake, Tom Ewell, Michael D. Roberts

Premiered: 1975

Baretta is an American detective television series which ran on ABC from 1975 to 1978. The show was a milder version of a successful 1973–74 ABC series, Toma, starring Tony Musante as ...more

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#325 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #58 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time #62 of 271 The Best '70s TV Shows

12
Barnaby Jones is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Lee Meriwether, Buddy Ebsen, John Carter

Premiered: 1973

Barnaby Jones is a television detective series starring Buddy Ebsen and Lee Meriwether as a father and daughter-in-law who run a private detective firm in Los Angeles, California. The show ran ...more

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#222 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #97 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time #72 of 271 The Best '70s TV Shows

13
Adam-12 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Martin Milner, Kent McCord, Shaaron Claridge

Premiered: 1968

Adam-12 is a television police drama that followed two police officers of the Los Angeles Police Department, Pete Malloy and Jim Reed, as they rode the streets of Los Angeles in their patrol ...more

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#160 of 289 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #41 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time #234 of 422 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

14
McCloud is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
horseplayer added Dennis Weaver, Terry Carter, J. D. Cannon

Premiered: 1970

McCloud is an American television police drama that aired on NBC from 1970 to 1977. The series starred former Gunsmoke regular Dennis Weaver, and for six of its seven years on the air it aired ...more

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#185 of 289 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #67 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time #63 of 271 The Best '70s TV Shows

15
McMillan & Wife is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
bobwhitley3 added Rock Hudson, Julie Newmar, Stefanie Powers

Premiered: 1971

McMillan & Wife was a lighthearted American police procedural that aired on NBC from September 17, 1971, to April 24, 1977. Starring Rock Hudson and Susan Saint James in the title roles, the ...more

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#49 of 68 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series #484 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #69 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time

16
Ironside is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Bruce Lee, Raymond Burr, Don Galloway

Premiered: 1967

Ironside is a Universal television series that ran on NBC from September 14, 1967, to January 16, 1975. The show starred Raymond Burr as a paraplegic Chief of Detectives, Robert T. Ironside. The ...more

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#73 of 271 The Best '70s TV Shows #102 of 249 The Very Best Shows That Aired in the 1960s #48 of 100 The Best Legal Drama TV Shows Ever

17
Police Woman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
horseplayer added Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn, Earl Holliman

Premiered: 1974

Police Woman is an American television police drama starring Angie Dickinson that ran on NBC for four seasons, from September 13, 1974, to March 29, 1978.

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#62 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time #90 of 271 The Best '70s TV Shows

18
CHiPs is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Erik Estrada, Larry Wilcox, Robert Pine

Premiered: 1977

CHiPs is an American television drama series produced by MGM Studios that originally aired on NBC from September 15, 1977, to July 17, 1983. CHiPs followed the lives of two motorcycle police ...more

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#18 of 68 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series #190 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #37 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows

19
S.W.A.T. is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Steve Forrest, Robert Urich, Rod Perry

Premiered: 1975

S.W.A.T. is an American action/crime drama series about the adventures of a Special Weapons And Tactics team operating in an unidentified California city. A spin-off of The Rookies, the series ...more

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#469 of 571 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #351 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #92 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time

20
The Mod Squad is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Michael Cole, Clarence Williams III, Peggy Lipton

Premiered: 1968

The Mod Squad is an American drama series that ran on ABC from September 24, 1968 to August 23, 1973. It stars Michael Cole as Peter "Pete" Cochran, Peggy Lipton as Julie Barnes, ...more

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#318 of 590 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #81 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time #79 of 271 The Best '70s TV Shows

21
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. ... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Robert Vaughn, David McCallum, Leo G. Carroll

Premiered: 1964

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an American television series broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1964, to January 15, 1968. It follows secret agents, played by Robert Vaughn and David McCallum, who ...more

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22
Police Story is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
David Cassidy, Lloyd Bridges, Cleavon Little

Premiered: 1973

Police Story is an anthology television crime drama that aired on NBC from 1973 through 1978. The show was the brainchild of author and former policeman Joseph Wambaugh and represented a major ...more

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23
Harry O is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
David Janssen, Anthony Zerbe, Paul Tulley

Premiered: 1974

Harry O, sometimes spelled Harry-O, is an American crime drama series that aired for two seasons on ABC from 1974 to 1976. The series starred David Janssen and was executive produced by Jerry ...more

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24
The F.B.I. is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Marvin Miller

Premiered: 1965

The F.B.I. is an American television series broadcast on ABC from 1965–74. It was sponsored by the Ford Motor Company, and the characters almost always drove Ford vehicles in the series. Alcoa ...more

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#20 of 39 The Best Shows About the FBI #131 of 271 The Best '70s TV Shows #119 of 249 The Very Best Shows That Aired in the 1960s

25
It Takes a Thief is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Robert Wagner, Malachi Throne

Premiered: 1968

It Takes a Thief is an American action-adventure television series that aired on ABC for three seasons between January 9, 1968, and March 24, 1970. It stars Robert Wagner in his television debut ...more

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