80sTV The Best 1980s Procedurals  

Ranker TV
172 votes 44 voters 1.3k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite procedurals that aired in the '80s.

Help decide which shows make this list of the best 1980s procedurals! With so many top procedural dramas from the 80s, it can be hard picking just one. Is your favorite 80s procedural drama about cops, detectives, or an ingenious troubleshooter? You may recognize many of the titles in this list of 80s procedural dramas, as a few of them have been remade recently.

Other procedurals you may have forgotten about include Matlock, which stars Andy Griffith as Ben Matlock. While many procedurals from this era are set in a police station, Matlock spent most of its time seeking justice in the courtroom. Macgyver, starring Richard Dean Anderson, Bruce McGill, and Dana Elcar spent much of its time trotting around the globe.

Police procedurals are often gritty and dark, but sunny skies and blue waters made Hawaii Five-0 stand-out from the pack. Other great series that appear on this top 1980s procedurals list include Murder She Wrote, Barnaby Jones, and Jake and the Fat Man.

With so many 80s procedural dramas, it can be hard to rank them all. Think a show should be higher? Vote it up! If you don’t see your favorite 1980s procedural drama listed, be sure to add it.

list ordered by

16 3
MacGyver is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 1980s Procedurals
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

15 3
Matlock is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 1980s Procedurals
Andy Griffith, Linda Purl, Kene Holiday Matlock is an American television legal drama, starring Andy Griffith in the title role of criminal-defense attorney Ben Matlock. The show, produced by The Fred Silverman Company, Dean Hargrove ...more

13 4
Hill Street Blues is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 1980s Procedurals
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

14 5
Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 1980s Procedurals
Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak Murder, She Wrote is an American television mystery series starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher. The series aired for 12 seasons with 264 episodes ...more

11 3
CHiPs is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 1980s Procedurals
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

9 5
Hawaii Five-O is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 1980s Procedurals
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

8 4
Barnaby Jones is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 1980s Procedurals
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

7 4
B. J. and the Bear is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 1980s Procedurals
Greg Evigan, Eric Server, Linda McCullough B. J. and the Bear is an American comedy series which aired on NBC from 1979 to 1981. Created by Glen A. Larson and Christopher Crowe, the series stars Greg Evigan and Claude Akins. The theme ...more

7 5
Cagney & Lacey is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 1980s Procedurals
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

5 5
Jake and the Fatman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 1980s Procedurals
William Conrad, Joe Penny, Alan Campbell Jake and the Fatman is a television crime drama starring William Conrad as prosecutor J. L. "Fatman" McCabe and Joe Penny as investigator Jake Styles. The series ran on CBS for five ...more

4 5
Hardcastle and McCormick is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 1980s Procedurals
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

1 7
J.J. Starbuck is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 1980s Procedurals
J.J. Starbuck Jimmy Dean, Ben Vereen, Patrick O'Neal J.J. Starbuck is an American crime drama series that aired on NBC from September 1987 to June 1988. The series follows cornpone-spouting Jerome Jeremiah "J.J." Starbuck, a billionaire ...more

1 8
Taggart is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 1980s Procedurals
Blythe Duff, Colin McCredie, John Michie Taggart is a British detective television programme, created by Glenn Chandler, who wrote many of the episodes, and made by STV Productions for the ITV network. The series revolved around a ...more