Entertainment

The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows  

Ranker TV
2.3k votes 487 voters 21.7k 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.
list ordered by
1
The Rockford Files is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
bobwhitley3 added James Garner, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Santos
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
2
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan
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
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
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
4
The Streets of San Francisco is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Karl Malden, Michael Douglas, Reuben Collins
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
5
Kojak is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Telly Savalas, Dan Frazer, Kevin Dobson
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
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
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
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
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
8
Mannix is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
horseplayer added Robert Reed, Mike Connors, Nancy Kovack
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
9
Adam-12 is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Martin Milner, Kent McCord, Shaaron Claridge
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
10
McCloud is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
horseplayer added Dennis Weaver, Terry Carter, J. D. Cannon
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
11
Cannon is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
horseplayer added William Conrad, Patrick Culliton, Tom Pittman
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
12
Charlie's Angels is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Kate Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith
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
13
Baretta is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Robert Blake, Tom Ewell, Michael D. Roberts
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
14
McMillan & Wife is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
bobwhitley3 added Rock Hudson, Julie Newmar, Stefanie Powers
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
15
Barnaby Jones is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Lee Meriwether, Buddy Ebsen, John Carter
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
16
Ironside is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Bruce Lee, Raymond Burr, Don Galloway
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
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
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.
18
S.W.A.T. is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Steve Forrest, Robert Urich, Rod Perry
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
19
CHiPs is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Erik Estrada, Larry Wilcox, Robert Pine
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
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
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
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
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
22
Police Story is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
David Cassidy, Lloyd Bridges, Cleavon Little
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
23
Harry O is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
David Janssen, Anthony Zerbe, Paul Tulley
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
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
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
25
It Takes a Thief is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 1970s Crime Drama TV Shows
Robert Wagner, Malachi Throne
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