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The Best TV Crime Dramas

Updated November 19, 2020 33.3k votes 3.1k voters 110.5k views151 items

List RulesVote up your favorite drama series that center their storylines around crime and criminals.

The very best crime fiction shows on television, ranked from best to worst. This is a list of the greatest crime fiction shows to ever grace the airwaves. Airwaves are the waves that TV shows ride on. They are in the air and you can't really see them. Popular crime fiction TV shows have been a staple of television for years because they are, uh, popular - so there's often debate about what the most entertaining crime fiction show of all time is. Seriously, these are the things that people debate. Don't let your favorite crime fiction television programs in history get to the bottom of the list- be sure to vote them up so they have the chance to reach the top spot. 

This list includes Law & Order, Ironside and more. These are some of the best Crime Dramas of all time! Cops! Lawyers! THE SYSTEM!

This list answers the questions, "What is the best crime fiction show of all time?" and "What are the greatest crime fiction shows?"

These are the best crime shows! The best crime TV shows! Get it?! What do you think are the best crime shows on TV? Why don't you vote about it?

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  • 1
    Criminal Minds
    756
    405

    Criminal Minds

    Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler

    Premiered2005

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  • 2
    Columbo
    359
    186

    Columbo

    Peter Falk, Mike Lally

    Premiered1968

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  • 3
    Law & Order
    511
    294

    Law & Order

    Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin

    Premiered1990

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  • 4
    Sherlock
    626
    284

    Sherlock

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman

    Premiered2010

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  • 5
    NCIS
    552
    346

    NCIS

    Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly

    Premiered2003

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  • 6
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
    623
    357

    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

    Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni

    Premiered1999

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  • 7
    Bones
    546
    331

    Bones

    Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz

    Premiered2005

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  • 8
    Monk
    413
    253

    Monk

    Tony Shalhoub, Bitty Schram

    Premiered2002

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  • 9
    The Mentalist
    394
    189

    The Mentalist

    Simon Baker, Robin Tunney

    Premiered2008

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  • 10
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
    383
    230

    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

    Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger

    Premiered2000

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  • 11
    Dexter
    396
    254

    Dexter

    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter

    Premiered2006

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  • 12
    The X-Files
    376
    266

    The X-Files

    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

    Premiered1993

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  • 13
    Hawaii Five-O
    320
    217

    Hawaii Five-O

    Jack Lord, James MacArthur

    Premiered1968

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  • 14
    Perry Mason
    162
    89

    Perry Mason

    Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale

    Premiered1957

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  • 15
    Castle
    444
    325

    Castle

    Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic

    Premiered2009

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  • 16
    Murder, She Wrote
    262
    178

    Murder, She Wrote

    Angela Lansbury, William Windom

    Premiered1984

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  • 17
    Law & Order: Criminal Intent
    332
    224

    Law & Order: Criminal Intent

    Kathryn Erbe, Vincent D'Onofrio

    Premiered2001

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  • 18
    Breaking Bad
    317
    182

    Breaking Bad

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

    Premiered2008

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  • 19
    Hill Street Blues
    238
    188

    Hill Street Blues

    Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren

    Premiered1981

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  • 20
    Rizzoli & Isles
    217
    128

    Rizzoli & Isles

    Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander

    Premiered2010

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  • 21
    Person of Interest
    272
    183

    Person of Interest

    Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson

    Premiered2011

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  • 22
    Cold Case
    316
    231

    Cold Case

    Kathryn Morris, Danny Pino

    Premiered2003

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  • 23
    Alfred Hitchcock Presents
    194
    131

    Alfred Hitchcock Presents

    Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler

    Premiered1955

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  • 24
    Magnum, P.I.
    264
    217

    Magnum, P.I.

    Tom Selleck, John Hillerman

    Premiered1980

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  • 25
    24
    260
    229

    24

    Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub

    Premiered2001

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