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The Best TV Crime Dramas

Updated January 21, 2021 34.4k votes 3.1k voters 112.4k views163 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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  • Criminal Minds1
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    Criminal Minds

    Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler

    Premiered2005

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    Peter Falk, Mike Lally

    Premiered1968

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    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman

    Premiered2010

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  • Law & Order4
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    Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin

    Premiered1990

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    Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly

    Premiered2003

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    Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz

    Premiered2005

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  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit7
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    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

    Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni

    Premiered1999

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    Tony Shalhoub, Bitty Schram

    Premiered2002

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    Simon Baker, Robin Tunney

    Premiered2008

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    Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale

    Premiered1957

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    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

    Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger

    Premiered2000

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  • Dexter12
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    Dexter

    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter

    Premiered2006

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    Jack Lord, James MacArthur

    Premiered1968

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  • The X-Files14
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    The X-Files

    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

    Premiered1993

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  • Castle15
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    Castle

    Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic

    Premiered2009

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    Murder, She Wrote

    Angela Lansbury, William Windom

    Premiered1984

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  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent17
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    Law & Order: Criminal Intent

    Kathryn Erbe, Vincent D'Onofrio

    Premiered2001

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    Person of Interest

    Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson

    Premiered2011

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    Breaking Bad

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

    Premiered2008

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  • Hill Street Blues20
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    Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren

    Premiered1981

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  • Cold Case21
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    Kathryn Morris, Danny Pino

    Premiered2003

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    Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander

    Premiered2010

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    Alfred Hitchcock Presents

    Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler

    Premiered1955

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  • Magnum, P.I.24
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    Magnum, P.I.

    Tom Selleck, John Hillerman

    Premiered1980

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    24

    Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub

    Premiered2001

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