Entertainment

The Best TV Crime Dramas  

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List Rules Must only be the best Crime Fiction TV series.

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?

list ordered by
1
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
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
2
Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina
Law & Order is an American police procedural and legal drama television series, created by Dick Wolf and part of the Law & Order franchise. It originally aired on NBC and, in ...more
3
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette
NCIS is an American police procedural drama television series, revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts investigations ...more
4
Law & Order: Special Victims U... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is an American police procedural, legal, crime drama television series set in New York City, where it is also primarily produced. In the style of the ...more
5
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs
Sherlock is a British television crime drama that presents a contemporary adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes detective stories. Created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, it ...more
6
Castle is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan
Castle is an American drama television series, which premiered on ABC on March 9, 2009. The series is produced jointly by Beacon Pictures and ABC Studios. Created by Andrew W. Marlowe, it ...more
7
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
DebayushChakraborty added David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi
The X-Files is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by Chris Carter. The program originally aired from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002 on Fox, spanning nine ...more
8
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger, George Eads
This show is an American drama television series that premiered on CBS on October 6, 2000. The show was created by Anthony E. Zuiker and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. It is filmed primarily at ...more
9
Monk is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Tony Shalhoub, Jason Gray-Stanford, Ted Levine
Monk is an American comedy-drama detective mystery television series created by Andy Breckman and starring Tony Shalhoub as the eponymous character, Adrian Monk. It originally ran from 2002 to ...more
10
Bones is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin
Bones is an American procedural comedy-drama television series that premiered on Fox in the United States on September 13, 2005. The show is based on forensic anthropology and forensic ...more
11
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
David Grasch added 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
12
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan
Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The character and show, created by William Link and Richard Levinson, ...more
13
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
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
14
Hill Street Blues is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz
Hill Street Blues is an American serial police drama that was first aired on NBC in 1981 and ran for 146 episodes on primetime into 1987. Chronicling the lives of the staff of a single police ...more
15
Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley
Magnum, P.I. is an American television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private investigator living on Oahu, Hawaii. The series ran from 1980 to 1988 in first-run broadcast on the ...more
16
Law & Order: Criminal Intent is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Kathryn Erbe, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jamey Sheridan
This show is an American police procedural television drama series set in New York City, where it was also primarily produced. Created and produced by Dick Wolf and René Balcer, the ...more
17
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
antony23 added Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman
Person of Interest is an American science fiction drama television series created by Jonathan Nolan that premiered on September 22, 2011, on CBS. The series revolves around John Reese, a former ...more
18
Cold Case is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Kathryn Morris, Danny Pino, John Finn
Cold Case is an American police procedural television series which ran on CBS from September 28, 2003 to May 2, 2010. The series revolved around a fictionalized Philadelphia Police Department ...more
19
Hawaii Five-O is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Jack Lord, James MacArthur, Kam Fong
Hawaii Five-O is an American police procedural drama series produced by CBS Productions and Leonard Freeman. Set in Hawaii, the show originally aired for 12 seasons from 1968 to 1980, and ...more
20
Breaking Bad is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn
Breaking Bad is an American drama television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan. The show originally aired on the AMC network for five seasons, from January 20, 2008, to September 29, ...more
21
Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak
This show is a television mystery series starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher. The series aired for 12 seasons with 264 episodes from 1984 to 1996 on ...more
22
Dragnet is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Jack Webb, Harry Morgan, Don Ross
Dragnet is an American radio, television and motion picture series, enacting the cases of a dedicated Los Angeles police detective, Sergeant Joe Friday, and his partners. The show takes its name ...more
23
Without a Trace is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
KaraAnnPalmer added Anthony LaPaglia, Poppy Montgomery, Marianne Jean-Baptiste
Without a Trace is an American police procedural television drama series that originally aired on CBS from September 26, 2002, to May 19, 2009. The series follows the cases of a Missing Persons ...more
24
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn
The Wire is an American drama television series set and produced in and around Baltimore, Maryland. Created and primarily written by author and former police reporter David Simon, the series was ...more
25
24 is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best TV Crime Dramas
Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard
24 is an American television series produced for the Fox network created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, and starring Kiefer Sutherland as Counter Terrorist Unit agent Jack Bauer. Each ...more