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The Best TV Crime Dramas

Updated October 20, 2020 32.6k votes 3.1k voters 109.5k views147 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 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    746
    399

    Criminal Minds

    Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler

    Premiered2005

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  • 2
    Columbo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    353
    180

    Columbo

    Peter Falk, Mike Lally

    Premiered1968

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  • 3
    Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    613
    283

    Sherlock

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman

    Premiered2010

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  • 4
    Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    506
    289

    Law & Order

    Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin

    Premiered1990

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  • 5
    NCIS is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    542
    345

    NCIS

    Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly

    Premiered2003

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  • 6
    Law & Order: Special Victims U is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    619
    352

    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

    Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni

    Premiered1999

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  • 7
    Bones is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    539
    326

    Bones

    Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz

    Premiered2005

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  • 8
    Monk is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    409
    247

    Monk

    Tony Shalhoub, Bitty Schram

    Premiered2002

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  • 9
    The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    387
    182

    The Mentalist

    Simon Baker, Robin Tunney

    Premiered2008

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  • 10
    The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    373
    260

    The X-Files

    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

    Premiered1993

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  • 11
    Dexter is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    389
    250

    Dexter

    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter

    Premiered2006

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  • 12
    Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    260
    170

    Murder, She Wrote

    Angela Lansbury, William Windom

    Premiered1984

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  • 13
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    375
    229

    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

    Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger

    Premiered2000

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  • 14
    Perry Mason is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    157
    85

    Perry Mason

    Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale

    Premiered1957

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  • 15
    Hawaii Five-O is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    313
    215

    Hawaii Five-O

    Jack Lord, James MacArthur

    Premiered1968

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  • 16
    Castle is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    440
    320

    Castle

    Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic

    Premiered2009

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  • 17
    Law & Order: Criminal Intent is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    322
    221

    Law & Order: Criminal Intent

    Kathryn Erbe, Vincent D'Onofrio

    Premiered2001

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  • 18
    Hill Street Blues is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    235
    185

    Hill Street Blues

    Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren

    Premiered1981

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  • 19
    Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    310
    180

    Breaking Bad

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

    Premiered2008

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  • 20
    Rizzoli & Isles is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    210
    125

    Rizzoli & Isles

    Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander

    Premiered2010

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  • 21
    Cold Case is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    309
    227

    Cold Case

    Kathryn Morris, Danny Pino

    Premiered2003

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  • 22
    Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    265
    181

    Person of Interest

    Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson

    Premiered2011

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  • 23
    Alfred Hitchcock Presents is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    189
    128

    Alfred Hitchcock Presents

    Alfred Hitchcock, Harry Tyler

    Premiered1955

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  • 24
    Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    257
    217

    Magnum, P.I.

    Tom Selleck, John Hillerman

    Premiered1980

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  • 25
    24 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
    256
    224

    24

    Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub

    Premiered2001

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