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The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows

Updated June 14, 2019 3.7k votes 644 voters 34.8k views40 items

List RulesVote 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
    The Rockford Files is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    186
    35

    The Rockford Files

    James Garner, Noah Beery Jr.

    Premiered1974

    The Rockford Files is an American television drama series starring James Garner that aired on... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Columbo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    212
    71

    Columbo

    Peter Falk, Mike Lally

    Premiered1968

    Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a detective with the Los... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    Hawaii Five-O is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    130
    44

    Hawaii Five-O

    Jack Lord, James MacArthur

    Premiered1968

    Hawaii Five-O is an American police procedural drama series produced by CBS Productions and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Cannon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    109
    40

    Cannon

    William Conrad, Patrick Culliton

    Premiered1971

    Cannon is a CBS detective television series produced by Quinn Martin which aired from March... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    The Streets of San Francisco is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    115
    50

    The Streets of San Francisco

    Karl Malden, Michael Douglas

    Premiered1972

    The Streets of San Francisco is a 1970s television police drama filmed on location in San... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Starsky and Hutch is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    121
    55

    Starsky and Hutch

    David Soul, Paul Michael Glaser

    Premiered1975

    Starsky & Hutch is a 1970s American cop thriller television series, which consisted of a... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Kojak is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    114
    53

    Kojak

    Telly Savalas, Dan Frazer

    Premiered1973

    Kojak is an American television series starring Telly Savalas as the title character, New York... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Quincy, M.E. is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    105
    49

    Quincy, M.E.

    Jack Klugman, John S. Ragin

    Premiered1976

    Quincy, M.E. is an American television series from Universal Studios that aired from October... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Mannix is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    97
    47

    Mannix

    Robert Reed, Mike Connors

    Premiered1967

    Mannix is an American television detective series that ran from 1967 to 1975 on CBS. Created... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Charlie's Angels is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    91
    45

    Charlie's Angels

    Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett

    Premiered1976

    Charlie's Angels is an American drama television series that aired on ABC from September 22,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    McCloud is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    85
    41

    McCloud

    Dennis Weaver, Terry Carter

    Premiered1970

    McCloud is an American television police drama that aired on NBC from 1970 to 1977. The series... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    Adam-12 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    76
    34

    Adam-12

    Martin Milner, Kent McCord

    Premiered1968

    Adam-12 is a television police drama that followed two police officers of the Los Angeles... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    Barnaby Jones is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    83
    41

    Barnaby Jones

    Lee Meriwether, Buddy Ebsen

    Premiered1973

    Barnaby Jones is a television detective series starring Buddy Ebsen and Lee Meriwether as a... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Baretta is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    87
    47

    Baretta

    Robert Blake, Tom Ewell

    Premiered1975

    Baretta is an American detective television series which ran on ABC from 1975 to 1978. The... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    McMillan & Wife is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    74
    38

    McMillan & Wife

    Rock Hudson, Julie Newmar

    Premiered1971

    McMillan & Wife was a lighthearted American police procedural that aired on NBC from September... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Police Woman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    61
    30

    Police Woman

    Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn

    Premiered1974

    Police Woman is an American television police drama starring Angie Dickinson that ran on NBC... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Ironside is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    67
    40

    Ironside

    Bruce Lee, Raymond Burr

    Premiered1967

    Ironside is a Universal television series that ran on NBC from September 14, 1967, to January... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    S.W.A.T. is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    63
    39

    S.W.A.T.

    Steve Forrest, Robert Urich

    Premiered1975

    S.W.A.T. is an American action/crime drama series about the adventures of a Special Weapons... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    CHiPs is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    70
    47

    CHiPs

    Erik Estrada, Larry Wilcox

    Premiered1977

    CHiPs is an American television drama series produced by MGM Studios that originally aired on... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    60
    42

    The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

    Robert Vaughn, David McCallum

    Premiered1964

    The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is an American television series broadcast on NBC from September 22,... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    The Mod Squad is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    49
    36

    The Mod Squad

    Michael Cole, Clarence Williams III

    Premiered1968

    The Mod Squad is an American drama series that ran on ABC from September 24, 1968 to August... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Harry O is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    35
    25

    Harry O

    David Janssen, Anthony Zerbe

    Premiered1974

    Harry O, sometimes spelled Harry-O, is an American crime drama series that aired for two... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Police Story is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    37
    36

    Police Story

    David Cassidy, Lloyd Bridges

    Premiered1973

    Police Story is an anthology television crime drama that aired on NBC from 1973 through 1978.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 24
    The F.B.I. is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    33
    38

    The F.B.I.

    Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

    Premiered1965

    The F.B.I. is an American television series broadcast on ABC from 1965–74. It was sponsored by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    It Takes a Thief is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
    34
    43

    It Takes a Thief

    Robert Wagner, Malachi Throne

    Premiered1968

    It Takes a Thief is an American action-adventure television series that aired on ABC for three... more on Wikipedia

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