Crime Shows and Movies The Best Detective TV Shows  

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List Rules Vote for your favorite detective TV show!

These are the very best detective TV shows, ranked from best to worst. This list of the greatest detective fiction shows also includes pictures from the shows. Popular detective fiction TV shows have been a staple of television for years, so there's often debate about what the most entertaining detective fiction show of all time is. Don't let your favorite detective 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. The list of detective fiction television shows below includes information like the program's cast, creator and premiere date when available.

From shows like Sherlock to True Detective, this list has all the best detective TV shows

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

list ordered by

1
930 347
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
akibnavidkhan added 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

2
502 351
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Richard777 added Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a homicide detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The character and show, created by William Link and Richard Levinson, ...more

3
546 309
Father Brown is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Father Brown is a British television period drama which began airing on BBC One on 14 January 2013. It features Mark Williams as the eponymous crime-solving Roman Catholic priest. The series is ...more

4
481 258
Monk is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Richard777 added 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

5
680 306
The Doctor Blake Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
JoséValente added The Doctor Blake Mysteries is an Australian television series which premiered on ABC1 on Friday 1 February 2013 at 8:30 p.m. The series stars Craig McLachlan in the lead role of Doctor Lucien ...more

6
409 135
Agatha Christie's Poirot is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Ken Gumowski added David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson Agatha Christie's Poirot is a British television drama that aired on ITV from 8 January 1989 to 13 November 2013. David Suchet stars as the eponymous detective, Agatha Christie's fictional ...more

7
329 188
Sherlock Holmes is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Jeremy Brett, Charles Gray, Edward Hardwicke Sherlock Holmes is the name given to the TV series of Sherlock Holmes adaptations produced by British television company Granada Television between 1984 and 1994, with the first two series ...more

8
357 206
Midsomer Murders is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
michael-devenny added Suzi Quatro, John Nettles, Neil Dudgeon Midsomer Murders is a British television detective drama that has aired on ITV since 1997. The show is based on Caroline Graham's Chief Inspector Barnaby book series, as originally adapted by ...more

9
282 158
Foyle's War is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Jeff Mullin added Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks, Anthony Howell Foyle's War is a British detective drama television series set during and shortly after the Second World War, created by screenwriter and author Anthony Horowitz and commissioned by ITV after ...more

10
271 154
Inspector Lewis is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Ken Gumowski added Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox, Clare Holman Lewis is a British television detective drama produced for ITV. A spin-off from Inspector Morse, like that series it is set in Oxford. Kevin Whately reprises his character Robert ...more

11
433 219
Psych is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
James Roday, Dulé Hill, Timothy Omundson Psych is an American detective comedy-drama television series created by Steve Franks and broadcast on USA Network with syndication reruns on ION Television. It is produced by Franks and Tagline ...more

12
350 163
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
konstantinos20142 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

13
293 148
The Rockford Files is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
James Garner, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Santos The Rockford Files is an American television drama series starring James Garner that aired on the NBC network between September 13, 1974, and January 10, 1980, and has remained in syndication to ...more

14
272 221
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Chris Abraham added Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology crime drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent crimes.

15
162 161
The Return of Sherlock Holmes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
The Return of Sherlock Holmes is a 1987 CBS television movie and pilot created and written by Bob Shayne involving the famous detective Sherlock Holmes finding himself in the modern world.

16
263 109
Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
JomidarArafatSafinPratik added David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker Broadchurch is a British television crime drama broadcast on ITV. It was created and written by Chris Chibnall and produced by Kudos Film and Television, Shine America, and Imaginary Friends. ...more

17
217 138
Vera is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
JoséValente added Brenda Blethyn, Jon Morrison, David Leon Vera is a British detective television series based on the works of crime author Ann Cleeves. It stars Brenda Blethyn and is broadcast on ITV and in the United States on public television

18
218 139
Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
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

19
253 110
Castle is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
James Englebert added Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan Castle is an American crime 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

20
172 190
Remington Steele is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Stephanie Zimbalist, Pierce Brosnan, Doris Roberts Remington Steele is an American television series co-created by Robert Butler and Michael Gleason. The series, starring Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan, was produced by MTM Enterprises ...more

21
283 135
Murdoch Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
JoséValente added Lisa Ray, Paul Rhys, Georgina Reilly Murdoch Mysteries is a Canadian television drama series aired on both City and CBC Television, titled The Artful Detective in the United States, featuring Yannick Bisson as William Murdoch, a ...more

22
249 101
Inspector Morse is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Ken Gumowski added John Thaw, Peter Woodthorpe, Kevin Whately Inspector Morse is a British detective drama television series based on a series of novels by Colin Dexter. It starred John Thaw as Chief Inspector Morse and Kevin Whately as Sergeant Lewis. The ...more

23
91 177
Barnaby Jones is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Richard777 added Lee Meriwether, Buddy Ebsen, John Carter Barnaby Jones is a television detective series starring Buddy Ebsen and Lee Meriwether as a father and daughter-in-law who run a private detective firm in Los Angeles, California. The show ran ...more

24
144 107
DCI Banks is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Ken Gumowski added Stephen Tompkinson, Jack Deam, Andrea Lowe DCI Banks is a British crime drama series produced by Left Bank Pictures for the ITV network. The series is based on Peter Robinson's Inspector Alan Banks novels and stars Stephen Tompkinson as ...more

25
153 158
Ripper Street is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
jobill added Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, Adam Rothenberg 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 murders. The series stars Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, and ...more

26
164 109
Wallander is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Ken Gumowski added Kenneth Branagh, Richard McCabe, Jeany Spark Wallander is a British television series adapted from the Swedish novelist Henning Mankell's Kurt Wallander novels and starring Kenneth Branagh as the eponymous police inspector. The first ...more

27
96 124
Mannix is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Robert Reed, Mike Connors, Nancy Kovack Mannix is an American television detective series that ran from 1967 to 1975 on CBS. Created by Richard Levinson and William Link and developed by executive producer Bruce Geller, the title ...more

28
103 132
Diagnosis: Murder is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Richard777 added Dick Van Dyke, Barry Van Dyke, Victoria Rowell Diagnosis: Murder is a mystery/medical/crime drama television series starring Dick Van Dyke as Dr. Mark Sloan, a medical doctor who solves crimes with the help of his son, a homicide detective ...more

29
127 103
Whitechapel is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
JoséValente added Rupert Penry-Jones, Philip Davis, Steve Pemberton Whitechapel is a British television drama series produced by Carnival Films, in which detectives in London's Whitechapel district dealt with murders which replicated historical crimes. The first ...more

30
88 133
Silent Witness is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
jobill added Emilia Fox, William Gaminara, Tom Ward Silent Witness is a British crime drama series, produced by the BBC, focusing on a team of forensic pathology experts and their investigations into various crimes. First broadcast in 1996, and ...more

31
238 84
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Marianna Stotesbury added Essie Davis, Nathan Page, Hugo Johnstone-Burt Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is an Australian television drama series. It was first broadcast on ABC on 24 February 2012. The series is based on author Kerry Greenwood's novels and was created ...more

32
152 29
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Bronwin Armgard added Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn Elementary is an American crime drama series that presents a contemporary update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes. The series was created by Robert Doherty and stars Jonny ...more

33
77 139
Waking the Dead is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
jobill added Trevor Eve, Sue Johnston, Wil Johnson Waking the Dead is a British television police procedural crime drama series produced by the BBC featuring a fictional Cold Case unit composed of CID police officers, a psychological profiler ...more

34
37 141
Riptide is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Kelly Preston, Anne Francis, Richard Lewis Riptide is an American TV detective series that ran on NBC from December 3, 1983 to August 22, 1986, starring Perry King, Joe Penny, and Thom Bray. It was created by Frank Lupo and Stephen J. ...more

35
53 128
Rebus is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
jobill added Ken Stott, Claire Price, Jennifer Black Rebus is the title of the detective drama TV series based on the Inspector Rebus novels by the Scottish author Ian Rankin set in and around Edinburgh. The series was produced by STV Productions ...more

36
177 90
Luther is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
JomidarArafatSafinPratik added Idris Elba, Warren Brown, Dermot Crowley Luther is a British crime 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 ...more

37
100 23
Longmire is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Guest_70305496-3e17-4feb-8ef4-a846950e1690 added Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips “Longmire,” a contemporary crime thriller set in Big Sky country, is based on the Walt Longmire Mystery novels by best-selling author Craig Johnson. The series stars Australian actor Robert ...more

38
109 36
Endeavour is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Guest_70305496-3e17-4feb-8ef4-a846950e1690 added Shaun Evans, Roger Allam, James Bradshaw Endeavour is a British television detective drama series. It is a prequel to the long-running Inspector Morse and—like that series—is set primarily in Oxford. Shaun Evans portrays a young ...more

39
141 95
Hawaii Five-O is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
horseplayer added 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

40
103 57
Rosemary & Thyme is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Chefgranny added Felicity Kendal, Pam Ferris, Ryan Philpott Rosemary & Thyme is a British television mystery series starring Felicity Kendal and Pam Ferris as gardening detectives Rosemary Boxer and Laura Thyme. The show began on ITV in 2003. The ...more

41
67 18
Agatha Christie's Marple is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Mimi Maria Polina added Geraldine McEwan, Julia McKenzie, Stephen Churchett Agatha Christie's Marple is a British ITV television series based on the books and short stories by British crime novelist Agatha Christie. The title character was played by Geraldine McEwan ...more

42
76 39
Grantchester is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Guest_70305496-3e17-4feb-8ef4-a846950e1690 added James Norton, Robson Green, Morven Christie

43
39 58
The Fall is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, John Lynch The Fall is a BBC crime drama television series set in Northern Ireland and created, written and, in its second series, directed by Allan Cubitt. The series stars Gillian Anderson as ...more

44
31 48
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
jiszmo added Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Jason Dohring Veronica Mars is an American mystery drama television series created by screenwriter Rob Thomas. The series is set in the fictional town of Neptune, California, and stars Kristen Bell as the ...more

45
35 56
River is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Stevenf.Wayne added Stellan Skarsgård, Nicola Walker, Adeel Akhtar River (BBC One, 2015) is a six-part British television drama series created by Abi Morgan. A brilliant police inspector (Stellan Skarsgard) searches for his colleague's murderer, while being ...more

46
19 39
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell The Killing is an American crime drama television series that premiered on April 3, 2011, on AMC, based on the Danish television series Forbrydelsen. The American version was developed by Veena ...more

47
30 120
Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Ce... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Jason Gray-Stanford, John Payne, Akiko Morison Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century is an animated television series, in which Sherlock Holmes is brought back to life in the 22nd century. The series is a co–production by DiC and Scottish ...more

48
21 51
Angel is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
jiszmo added David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof Angel is an American television series, a spin-off from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The series was created by Buffy's creator, Joss Whedon, in collaboration with David ...more

49
42 24
Spenser: For Hire is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
horseplayer added Avery Brooks, Robert Urich, Richard Jaeckel Spenser: For Hire is a mystery television series based on Robert B. Parker's Spenser novels. The series, developed for TV by John Wilder, differs from the novels, mostly in its lesser degree of ...more

50
41 26
McCloud is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
horseplayer added Dennis Weaver, Terry Carter, J. D. Cannon McCloud is an American television police drama that aired on NBC from 1970 to 1977. The series starred former Gunsmoke regular Dennis Weaver, and for six of its seven years on the air it aired ...more