Watchworthy

The Greatest TV Shows About Murders 

Ranker TV
Updated May 18, 2020 1.2k votes 176 voters 9.9k views 49 items

In a golden age of TV options, shows about murders and murder investigations spread all over the networks and streaming services. And why wouldn't they? For decades, television audiences have been fascinated by the criminal mind, especially where murder is concerned. If we're all very lucky, we won't ever have to deal with these situations in real life, which may be why we are so drawn to them on television. Considering this, what do you think are the best TV shows about murders?

In terms of murder TV shows, there's quite the variety to choose from. Shows like Dexter deal with murder from the perspective of the person committing the crimes. The titular antihero is fascinating and we can't help but root for him even though he's committing atrocious acts. Other series like Law & Order cover murders from the point-of-view of law enforcement and create believable scenarios the audience has found fascinating for years. Then you have docu-series like Making a Murderer, which explores the true story of a potentially-wrongfully-convicted killer—complete with in-depth interviews and more insight that's since come to light. Whether it's true crime shows you're after or something along the lines of top crime dramas, there's a long list of shows about murders you're sure to enjoy. 

For more recommendations on murder investigation shows and similar series, browse this list and feel free to add any you think are missing!

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list ordered by
1
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson

Premiered: 2005

Criminal Minds (CBS, 2005) is an American police-procedural television program. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based in Quantico, Virginia. The ...more

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2
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Jon Michael Hill

Premiered: 2012

Elementary (CBS, 2012) is an American procedural drama series created by Robert Doherty, based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes. Following his fall from grace in London and ...more

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3
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

Premiered: 2006

Dexter (Showtime, 2006) is an American crime drama mystery series developed by James Manos Jr., based on the 2004 novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. When he's not doing forensic work ...more

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4
Law & Order: Special... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T

Premiered: 1999

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 1999) is an American police procedural, legal, crime drama television series set in New York City. In the style of the original Law & Order, ...more

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5
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

Premiered: 2010

Sherlock (BBC One, 2010) is a British crime television series created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, based on stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The brilliant yet insensitive detective ...more

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6
Mindhunter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Carly Kiel added Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv

Premiered: 2017

Mindhunter (Netflix, 2017) is an American crime thriller television series created by Joe Penhall, based on the true crime book by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. FBI agents Holden Ford ...more

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7
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang

Premiered: 2008

The Mentalist (CBS, 2008) is an American police procedural television series created by Bruno Heller. After his family is murdered, a con man posing as a psychic medium (Simon Baker) uses his ...more

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8
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell

Premiered: 2011

The Killing (AMC, 2011) is an American drama television series created by Veena Sud, based on the Danish series Forbrydelsen. Seattle homicide detectives Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos) and Stephen ...more

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9
The Closer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Kyra Sedgwick, J.K. Simmons, Corey Reynolds

Premiered: 2005

The Closer is an American television police procedural, starring Kyra Sedgwick as Brenda Leigh Johnson, a Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and ...more

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10
Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina

Premiered: 1990

Law & Order is an American police procedural and legal drama television series, created by Dick Wolf and part of the Law & Order franchise. It originally aired on NBC and, in ...more

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11
How to Get Away with Mur... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Alfred Enoch

Premiered: 2014

How to Get Away with Murder (ABC, 2014) is an American legal thriller television series created by Peter Nowalk. A law professor (Viola Davis) at a prestigious Philadelphia university and five ...more

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12
Luther is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Idris Elba, Warren Brown, Dermot Crowley

Premiered: 2010

Luther is a British drama series starring Idris Elba as the eponymous character DCI John Luther. Written by Neil Cross, the first series, comprising six one-hour long episodes, premiered on 4 ...more

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13
Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Carly Kiel added Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak

Premiered: 1984

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

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14
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Mahershala Ali, Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson

Premiered: 2013

True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.

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15
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks

Premiered: 2014

Fargo (FX, 2014) is an American black comedy drama anthology television series created by Noah Hawley, and inspired by the 1996 film. Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and wrong doings ...more

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16
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas

Premiered: 2013

Hannibal (NBC, 2013) is an American psychological thriller–horror television series developed by Bryan Fuller, based on the characters created by novelist Thomas Harris. A gifted FBI profiler ...more

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17
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan

Premiered: 1968

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

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18
Midsomer Murders is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Suzi Quatro, John Nettles, Neil Dudgeon

Premiered: 1997

This is a British television detective drama that has aired on ITV since 1997. The show is based on Caroline Graham's Chief Inspector Barnaby book series, as originally adapted by Anthony ...more

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19
Monk is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
aaronk1228 added Tony Shalhoub, Bitty Schram, Ted Levine

Premiered: 2002

Monk (USA, 2002) is an American comedy-drama detective mystery television series created by Andy Breckman. A brilliant detective with an extreme case of OCD (Tony Shalhoub) helps the San ...more

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20
Agatha Christie's Poirot... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson

Premiered: 1989

Agatha Christie's Poirot is a British television drama that aired on ITV from 8 January 1989 to 13 November 2013. David Suchet stars as the eponymous detective, Agatha Christie's fictional ...more

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21
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Carly Kiel added Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, John Lynch

Premiered: 2013

The Fall (BBC Two, 2013) is a British-Irish crime drama television series created by Allan Cubitt. Metropolitan Police Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) sets out to capture a ...more

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22
Psych is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
aaronk1228 added James Roday, Dulé Hill, Timothy Omundson

Premiered: 2006

Psych is an American detective comedy-drama television series created by Steve Franks and broadcast on USA Network with syndication reruns on ION Television. It is produced by Franks and Tagline ...more

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23
Big Little Lies is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley
Big Little Lies (HBO, 2017) is an American dramatic miniseries created by David E. Kelley, based on the novel by Liane Moriarty. While Madeline (Reese Witherspoon) and Celeste (Nicole Kidman) ...more

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24
Hightown is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Monica Raymund, James Badge Dale, Riley Voelkel

Premiered: 2020

Hightown (Starz, 2020) is an American drama television series. A federal Fishery Service Agent finds herself at the center of Cape Cod's gruesome heroin epidemic after discovering a body in the

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25
Murdoch Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
aaronk1228 added Lisa Ray, Paul Rhys, Georgina Reilly

Premiered: 2008

Murdoch Mysteries (Citytv, 2008) is a Canadian television drama series based on characters from the Detective Murdoch novels by Maureen Jennings. In the 1890s, William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) ...more

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