Unspeakable Crimes The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows  

Ranker TV
808 votes 219 voters 13.5k views 38 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite crime dramas that aired on TV in the '80s

In the mood to catch up on the some legendary crime dramas? Well, this list is a place to start! These are the best 1980s crime drama TV shows, ranked by user votes. From some good 80s crime drama series that follow law enforcement agents as they attempt to catch criminals, to others that are about lawyers, to still other top 1980s crime shows that are about undercover cops pretending to be high schoolers.

What shows will you find on this best 1980s crime drama TV shows list? David Hasselhoff got some crime-fighting help from his car KITT in the 80s show Knight Rider. Fun Fact: KITT was actually a customized 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am sports model. T.J. Hooker was also a good crime show that aired in the 1980s.

TV viewers got a look inside the dramatic lives of a group of Hill Street police officers in the 80s crime series Hill Street Blues. Other good shows that appear on this top 1980s crime drama TV shows list include Miami Vice, 21 Jump Street and L.A. Law.

Which 80s crime show is the best? Vote up your favorites now!

1
32 5
Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
artsyldyrae added Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley
Magnum, P.I. is an American television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private investigator living on Oahu, Hawaii. The series ran from 1980 to 1988 in first-run broadcast on the ...more

2
37 15
Hill Street Blues is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz
Hill Street Blues is an American serial police drama that was first aired on NBC in 1981 and ran for 146 episodes on primetime into 1987. Chronicling the lives of the staff of a single police ...more

3
32 15
Miami Vice is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago
Miami Vice is an American television drama series created by Anthony Yerkovich and produced by Michael Mann for NBC. The series starred Don Johnson as James "Sonny" Crockett and Philip ...more

4
26 11
Remington Steele is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
Stephanie Zimbalist, Pierce Brosnan, Doris Roberts
Remington Steele is an American television series co-created by Robert Butler and Michael Gleason. The series, starring Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan, was produced by MTM Enterprises ...more

5
26 12
Kojak is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 1980s 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
37 23
Hunter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
Fred Dryer, Stepfanie Kramer, Charles Hallahan
Hunter is an American police drama television show that was created by Frank Lupo, and starring Fred Dryer as Sgt. Rick Hunter and Stepfanie Kramer as Sgt. Dee Dee McCall, which ran on NBC from ...more

7
19 7
Hart to Hart is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
wideyes added Robert Wagner, Stefanie Powers, Lionel Stander
Hart to Hart is an American television series, starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers as Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, a wealthy couple who moonlight as amateur detectives, much in the style ...more

8
24 13
Matlock is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
Andy Griffith, Linda Purl, Kene Holiday
Matlock is an American television legal drama, starring Andy Griffith in the title role of attorney Ben Matlock. The show, produced by The Fred Silverman Company, Dean Hargrove Productions, ...more

9
19 9
T. J. Hooker is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
William Shatner, Heather Locklear, Adrian Zmed
This show is an American police drama television program starring William Shatner in the title role as a 15-year veteran police sergeant. The series premiered as a mid-season replacement on ...more

10
20 11
Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak
This show is a television mystery series starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher. The series aired for 12 seasons with 264 episodes from 1984 to 1996 on ...more

11
16 8
In the Heat of the Night is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
Carroll O'Connor, Howard Rollins, Anne-Marie Johnson
In the Heat of the Night is an American television series based on the film and the novel of the same title. It starred Carroll O'Connor as the white police chief William Gillespie, and Howard ...more

12
18 10
Simon & Simon is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
wideyes added Gerald McRaney, Tim Reid, Jameson Parker
Simon & Simon is an American detective television series that originally ran from November 24, 1981 to January 21, 1989. The series was broadcast on CBS and starred Gerald McRaney and ...more

13
22 14
CHiPs is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 1980s 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

14
15 8
Quincy, M.E. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 1980s 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

15
12 6
The Equalizer is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
artsyldyrae added Edward Woodward, Keith Szarabajka, Robert Lansing
The Equalizer was an American drama television series, originally airing on CBS from fall 1985 until late-spring 1989. It starred Edward Woodward as a retired espionage/intelligence officer with ...more

16
13 7
MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
artsyldyrae added Richard Dean Anderson, Dana Elcar, Bruce McGill
MacGyver is an American action-adventure television series created by Lee David Zlotoff. Henry Winkler and John Rich were the executive producers. The show ran for seven seasons on ABC in the ...more

17
20 14
21 Jump Street is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
Johnny Depp, Dustin Nguyen, Peter Deluise
21 Jump Street is an American police procedural television series that aired on the Fox Network and in first run syndication from April 12, 1987, to April 27, 1991, with a total of 103 episodes. ...more

18
5 0
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 1980s 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

19
4 0
Cagney & Lacey is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
Tyne Daly, Al Waxman, John Karlen
Cagney & Lacey is an American television series that originally aired on the CBS television network for seven seasons from March 25, 1982 to May 16, 1988. A police procedural, the show stars ...more

20
17 14
Knight Rider is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
David Hasselhoff, Edward Mulhare, Richard Basehart
Knight Rider is an American television series that originally ran from September 26, 1982, to August 8, 1986. The series was broadcast on NBC and stars David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, a ...more

21
10 7
Sherlock Holmes is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
artsyldyrae added Jeremy Brett, Charles Gray, Edward Hardwicke
Sherlock Holmes is the name given to the TV series of Sherlock Holmes adaptations produced by British television company Granada Television between 1984 and 1994, with the first two series ...more

22
10 7
Mike Hammer, Private Eye is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
artsyldyrae added Stacy Keach, Shannon Whirry, Peter Jason
Mike Hammer, Private Eye is an American syndicated television program based on the adventures of the fictitious private detective Mike Hammer, created by novelist Mickey Spillane. The show ...more

23
3 0
Barnaby Jones is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 1980s 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

24
9 7
Hardcastle and McCormick is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
wideyes added Brian Keith, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Joe Santos
Hardcastle and McCormick is an American action/drama television series from Stephen J. Cannell Productions, shown on ABC from 1983 through 1986. The series stars Brian Keith as Judge Milton C. ...more

25
2 1
Riptide is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows
Kelly Preston, Anne Francis, Richard Lewis
Riptide is an American TV detective series that ran on NBC from December 3, 1983 to August 22, 1986, starring Perry King, Joe Penny, and Thom Bray. It was created by Frank Lupo and Stephen J. ...more