Unspeakable Times

The Greatest TV Shows About Murders  

Ranker TV
717 votes 127 voters 6.6k views 40 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!

1
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson
Criminal Minds is an American police-procedural television program that premiered September 22, 2005, on CBS. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based ...more
2
Mindhunter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Carly Kiel added Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv
Mindhunter (Netflix, 2017) is an American drama series based on the book written by Mark Olshaker and John E. Douglas. Set in the late '70s and early '80s, the series revolves around two FBI ...more
3
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell
This show is an American drama television series that premiered on April 3, 2011, on AMC, based on the Danish television series Forbrydelsen. The American version was developed by Veena Sud and ...more
4
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas
Dexter is an American television drama series. Set in Miami, the series centers on Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter pattern analyst for Miami Metro Police Department who also leads a secret life ...more
5
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Jon Michael Hill
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
6
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs
Sherlock is a British television crime drama that presents a contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it ...more
7
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang
The Mentalist is an American police procedural television series that ran from September 23, 2008 until February 18, 2015, broadcasting 151 episodes over seven seasons, on CBS. The show was ...more
8
Luther is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Idris Elba, Warren Brown, Dermot Crowley
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
9
Law & Order: Special Victims U... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is an American police procedural, legal, crime drama television series set in New York City, where it is also primarily produced. In the style of the ...more
10
How to Get Away with Murder is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Alfred Enoch
This television show is an American drama television series created by Peter Nowalk. A law professor (Viola Davis) at a prestigious Philadelphia university and five of her students become ...more
11
The Closer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Kyra Sedgwick, J.K. Simmons, Corey Reynolds
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
12
Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina
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
13
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan
True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.
14
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Carly Kiel added Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, John Lynch
The Fall is a BBC drama television series set in Northern Ireland and created, written and, in its second series, directed by Allan Cubitt. The series stars Gillian Anderson as Superintendent ...more
15
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks
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
16
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas
Hannibal is an American psychological thriller–horror television series developed by Bryan Fuller for NBC. The series is based on characters and elements appearing in the novel Red Dragon by ...more
17
Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Carly Kiel added 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
18
Cold Justice is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Kelly Siegler, Yolanda McClary, Alan Brown
Cold Justice (TNT, 2013) is an American unscripted true crime television series produced by Dick Wolf. The show follows former Harris County, Texas prosecutor Kelly Siegler and a team of ...more
19
The Night Of is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
The Night Of John Turturro, Riz Ahmed, Bill Camp
The Night Of (HBO, 2016) is an American eight-part crime drama television miniseries created by Richard Price and Steven Zaillian, based on the British TV series Criminal Justice. After a night ...more
20
Snapped is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Laura San Giacomo
Snapped is a British narrated American true crime television series that airs on the Oxygen Network. Snapped debuted on August 6, 2004, and is produced by Jupiter Entertainment.
21
Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker
Broadchurch is a British television drama broadcast on ITV. It was created and written by Chris Chibnall and produced by Kudos Film and Television, Shine America, and Imaginary Friends. The ...more
22
Agatha Christie's Poirot is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson
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
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
24
Hinterland is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Richard Harrington, Mali Harries, Alex Harries
Y Gwyll, titled Hinterland in the English-language version (S4C, 2013), is a Welsh noir police detective drama series created by Ed Talfan and Ed Thomas. Troubled Detective Chief Inspector Tom ...more
25
Midsomer Murders is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Murders
Suzi Quatro, John Nettles, Neil Dudgeon
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