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The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers 

Ranker TV
Updated May 1, 2020 3.4k votes 917 voters 41.9k views 38 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.

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1
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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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2
Mindhunter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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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'Mindhunter' Doesn't Just Portray Real Serial Killers In The Show - The Agents Are Real, Too #239 of 642 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #15 of 90 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows

3
Hannibal is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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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4
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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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5
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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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The Best Seasons of True Detective #30 of 642 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #4 of 13 TV Shows That Would Have Been Better As Movies

6
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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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7
Killing Eve is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer, Fiona Shaw

Premiered: 2018

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

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8
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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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9
Luther is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
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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10
The Following is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Kevin Bacon, James Purefoy, Shawn Ashmore

Premiered: 2013

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

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11
Bates Motel is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot

Premiered: 2013

Bates Motel (A&E, 2013) is an American psychological horror drama television series based on characters from the 1959 novel Psycho by Robert Bloch. After his father's sudden death, teenager ...more

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12
The Alienist is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, Dakota Fanning

Premiered: 2018

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

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13
You is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Shay Mitchell

Premiered: 2018

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

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14
Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker

Premiered: 2013

Broadchurch (ITV, 2013) is a British serial crime drama television series created by Chris Chibnall. Police detectives DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) ...more

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15
Prodigal Son is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Tom Payne, Lou Diamond Phillips, Halston Sage

Premiered: 2019

Prodigal Son (Fox, 2019) is an American drama television series created by Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver. Using his ability to view crimes from the perspective of the killer, a disgraced former ...more

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16
American Horror Story is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott, Evan Peters

Premiered: 2011

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

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17
The Bridge is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Diane Kruger, Demián Bichir, Annabeth Gish

Premiered: 2013

The Bridge (FX, 2013) is an American drama television series developed by Meredith Stiehm and Elwood Reid. Two police detectives - one from Mexico (Demián Bichir), one from the US (Diane ...more

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18
Wire in the Blood is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Robson Green, Simone Lahbib, Hermione Norris

Premiered: 2002

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

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19
Reckoning is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Milly Alcock, Paula Arundell, Sean Barker

Premiered: 2020

Reckoning (Netflix, 2020) is a thriller television series created by David Hubbard and David Eick. The series explores the darkest corners of the male psyche through the eyes of two fathers, one ...more
20
Ripper Street is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, Adam Rothenberg

Premiered: 2012

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

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21
Dark is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Louis Hofmann, Oliver Masucci, Jördis Triebel

Premiered: 2017

Dark (Netflix, 2017) is a German science fiction thriller web television series created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese. The disappearance of two young children in the German town of Winden ...more

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22
Born to Kill is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Jack Rowan, Romola Garai, Lara Peake

Premiered: 2017

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
23
Marcella is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Anna Friel, Nicholas Pinnock, Ray Panthaki

Premiered: 2016

Marcella is a British crime noir detective series produced, written and directed by Hans Rosenfeldt. Former London detective Marcella Backland is devastated when her husband leaves her and their ...more
24
The Loch is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Laura Fraser, Siobhan Finneran, William Ash

Premiered: 2017

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
25
Slasher is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Shows About Serial Killers
Slasher 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