497 voters

The Best 1980s Crime Drama TV Shows

Updated January 6, 2021 3.2k votes 497 voters 35.6k views39 items

List RulesVote 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.

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

  • 1

    Magnum, P.I.

    Gillian Dobb, Roger E. Mosley
    Magnum, P.I. is an American television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private...  more

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  • 2


    John Finnegan, Mike Lally
    Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a detective with the Los...  more

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  • 3

    The Equalizer

    Keith Szarabajka, Edward Woodward
    The Equalizer was an American drama television series, originally airing on CBS from fall 1985...  more

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  • 4

    Miami Vice

    Don Johnson, Edward James Olmos
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  • 5

    Simon & Simon

    Mary Carver, Gerald McRaney
    Simon & Simon is an American detective television series that originally ran from November 24,...  more

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  • 6

    Remington Steele

    Pierce Brosnan, James Read
    Remington Steele is an American television series co-created by Robert Butler and Michael...  more

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  • 7

    Quincy, M.E.

    Garry Walberg, Joseph Roman
    Quincy, M.E. is an American television series from Universal Studios that aired from October...  more

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  • 8

    Hill Street Blues

    Taurean Blacque, James B. Sikking
    Hill Street Blues is an American serial police drama that was first aired on NBC in 1981 and...  more

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  • 9


    Fred Dryer, Stepfanie Kramer
    Hunter is an American police drama television show that was created by Frank Lupo, and...  more

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  • 10

    Hart to Hart

    Lionel Stander, Stefanie Powers
    Hart to Hart is an American television series, starring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers as...  more

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  • 11

    Murder, She Wrote

    Angela Lansbury, William Windom
    This show is a television mystery series starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and...  more

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  • 12


    Dan Frazer, Vince Conti
    Kojak is an American television series starring Telly Savalas as the title character, New York...  more

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  • 13


    Brodie Greer, Larry Wilcox
    CHiPs is an American television drama series produced by MGM Studios that originally aired on...  more

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  • 14

    Knight Rider

    Rebecca Holden, Patricia McPherson
    Knight Rider is an American television series that originally ran from September 26, 1982, to...  more

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  • 15


    Elyssa Davalos, Richard Dean Anderson
    MacGyver is an American action-adventure television series created by Lee David Zlotoff. Henry...  more

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  • 16

    Hardcastle and McCormick

    Brian Keith, Daniel Hugh Kelly
    Hardcastle and McCormick is an American action/drama television series that aired on ABC from...  more
  • 17


    Carol Huston, Kene Holliday
    Matlock is an American television legal drama, starring Andy Griffith in the title role of...  more

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  • 18

    T. J. Hooker

    Adrian Zmed, Heather Locklear
    This show is an American police drama television program starring William Shatner in the title...  more

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  • 19

    In the Heat of the Night

    Hugh O'Connor, Carroll O'Connor
    In the Heat of the Night is an American television series based on the film and the novel of...  more

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  • 20


    Kelly Preston, Anne Francis
    Riptide is an American TV detective series that ran on NBC from December 3, 1983 to August 22,...  more

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  • 21

    Cagney & Lacey

    Al Waxman, Barry Laws
    Cagney & Lacey is an American television series that originally aired on the CBS television...  more

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  • 22

    Barnaby Jones

    John Carter, Lee Meriwether
    Barnaby Jones is a television detective series starring Buddy Ebsen and Lee Meriwether as a...  more

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  • 23

    Matt Houston

    Lee Horsley, Pamela Hensley
    Matt Houston is an American crime drama series that aired on ABC from 1982 to 1985. Created by...  more

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  • 24

    Sledge Hammer!

    David Rasche, Anne-Marie Martin
    Sledge Hammer! is an American satirical police sitcom produced by New World Television that...  more
  • 25

    Crime Story

    Ron Dean, Mark Hutter
    Crime Story is an American television drama, created by Gustave Reininger and Chuck Adamson,...  more

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