Crime Shows and Movies The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers  

Ranker TV
2.2k votes 577 voters 25.6k views 34 items

There's something about a serial killer that deeply fascinates and terrorizes all of us... except maybe serial killers. Watching a truly deranged person commit acts that would otherwise be unthinkable is just one of those things people want to see, and Hollywood has answered the call in both film and television. On the small screen, TV shows about serial killers have found a way to depict these monsters as either demons who must be stopped or even as anti-heroes the viewer can't help but cheer on in their endeavors - or become fascinated by, like with Joe Goldberg in You. Whatever your preference in watching serial killers, there are plenty of amazing series to watch on television.

Shows like Showtime's Dexter offered a deep and personal look into the mind of the titular character. Dexter was presented as an anti-hero who hunted down others like him while shows like The Following feature a look into both the minds of the killer(s) and the people hunting them down. The list goes on from here, featuring some great and thrilling series—and that's excluding the bounty of serial killer movies out there.

For more recommendations, browse this list and feel free to add any similar shows and movies you think are missing! Also be sure to cast your votes for the best serial killer shows.

1
263 67
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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
2
175 43
Mindhunter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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 1979, the series revolves around two FBI agents (Jonathan Groff and ...more
3
172 52
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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
4
105 38
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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
5
76 33
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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.
6
60 25
Luther is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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
7
46 15
The Alienist is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, Dakota Fanning
The Alienist (TNT, 2018) is an American television period drama event series created by Cary Fukunaga, based on the novel by Caleb Carr. Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Daniel Bruhl) and newspaper ...more
8
86 46
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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
9
68 35
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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
10
8 0
The Loch is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Laura Fraser, Siobhan Finneran, William Ash
The Loch (ITV, 2017) is a British television drama miniseries, created by screenwriter Stephen Brady. The six-part series follows DS Annie Redford (Laura Fraser), a small town police officer ...more
11
66 35
The Following is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore
The Following is an American television drama series created by Kevin Williamson and jointly produced by Outerbanks Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television. The first season follows former FBI ...more
12
40 15
Killing Eve is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer, Fiona Shaw
Killing Eve (BBC America, 2018) is a British drama television series developed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, based on the novels by Luke Jennings. Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), a desk-bound MI5 Officer, ...more
13
55 28
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot
Bates Motel is an American drama thriller television series developed for television by Carlton Cuse, Kerry Ehrin and Anthony Cipriano, and produced by Universal Television for the cable network ...more
14
25 10
You is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Shay Mitchell
You (Lifetime, 2018) is an American television drama series created by Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble, based on the novel by Caroline Kepnes. A clever bookstore manager (Penn Badgley) relies on ...more
15
28 14
Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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
16
52 43
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters
American Horror Story (FX, 2011) is an American anthology horror television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. An anthology series centering on different characters and locations, ...more
17
16 10
The Bridge is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Sofia Helin, Rafael Pettersson, Dag Malmberg
The Bridge (FX, 2013) is an American drama television series developed by Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid. Two police detectives try to capture someone who is operating in both the US and Mexico ...more
18
20 15
Slasher is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Katie McGrath, Brandon Jay McLaren, Steve Byers
Slasher (Chiller, 2016) is a Canadian television horror anthology series created by Aaron Martin. A young woman (Katie McGrath) returns to the small town where her parents were murdered, only to ...more
19
7 2
Born to Kill is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Jack Rowan, Romola Garai, Lara Peake
Born to Kill (Channel 4, 2017) is a British thriller television miniseries. The four-part limited series follows Sam Woodford (Jack Rowan), a seemingly ordinary 16-year-old schoolboy who harbors ...more
20
6 1
Channel Zero is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Paul Schneider, Fiona Shaw, Luisa D'Oliveira
Channel Zero (Syfy, 2017) is an American horror anthology television series created by Nick Antosca, who serves as writer, showrunner, and executive producer. Storylines for the series are based ...more
21
4 1
Rellik is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Richard Dormer, Jodi Balfour, Paterson Joseph
Rellik (Starz, 2018) is a crime television series created by Harry and Jack Williams. Himself a survivor, Detective Chief Inspector Gabriel Markham (Richard Dormer) goes on the hunt for a serial ...more
22
18 16
Ripper Street is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, Adam Rothenberg
Ripper Street is a British TV series set in Whitechapel in London's East End in 1889, six months after the infamous Jack the Ripper. The series stars Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, and Adam ...more
23
16 14
Dark is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Louis Hofmann, Oliver Masucci, Jördis Triebel
Dark (Netflix, 2017) is a German science fiction thriller web series created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese. The disappearance of two young children in the German town of Winden brings light ...more
24
14 12
Wire in the Blood is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Robson Green, Simone Lahbib, Hermione Norris
Wire in the Blood is a British crime drama television series, created and produced by Coastal Productions for the ITV network, that ran from 2002 to 2008. The series is based on characters ...more
25
9 10
Millennium is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Lance Henriksen, Megan Gallagher, Terry O'Quinn
Millennium is an American television series created by Chris Carter, creator of The X-Files, that aired on the Fox Network between 1996 and 1999. The series follows the investigations of ex-FBI ...more