Entertainment

The Best Detective TV Shows 

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Updated June 19, 2020 32.6k votes 5.3k voters 199.8k views 124 items

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 featuring sleuths who almost always solve the case

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
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
akibnavidkhan added Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

Premiered: 2010

Sherlock (BBC One, 2010) is a British crime television series created by Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, based on stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The brilliant yet insensitive detective ...more
2
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
konstantinos20142 added Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang

Premiered: 2008

The Mentalist (CBS, 2008) is an American police procedural television series created by Bruno Heller. After his family is murdered, a con man posing as a psychic medium (Simon Baker) uses his ...more
3
Psych is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
James Roday, Dulé Hill, Timothy Omundson

Premiered: 2006

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
4
Monk is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Richard777 added Tony Shalhoub, Bitty Schram, Ted Levine

Premiered: 2002

Monk (USA, 2002) is an American comedy-drama detective mystery television series created by Andy Breckman. A brilliant detective with an extreme case of OCD (Tony Shalhoub) helps the San ...more
5
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Richard777 added Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan

Premiered: 1968

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
6
The Rockford Files is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
James Garner, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Santos

Premiered: 1974

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
7
The Doctor Blake Mysteri... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
JoséValente added The Doctor Blake Mysteries
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
8
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Bronwin Armgard added Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Jon Michael Hill

Premiered: 2012

Elementary (CBS, 2012) is an American procedural drama series created by Robert Doherty, based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes. Following his fall from grace in London and ...more
9
Sherlock Holmes is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Sherlock Holmes Jeremy Brett, Charles Gray, Edward Hardwicke

Premiered: 1984

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
10
Castle is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
James Englebert added Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan

Premiered: 2009

Castle (ABC, 2009) is an American crime-comedy-drama television series created by Andrew W. Marlowe. A homicide detective (Stana Katic) reluctantly works with a best-selling mystery novelist ...more
11
Agatha Christie's Poirot... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Ken Gumowski added David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson

Premiered: 1989

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
12
Father Brown is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows

Premiered: 2013

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
13
Miss Fisher's Murder Mys... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Marianna Stotesbury added Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Essie Davis, Nathan Page, Hugo Johnstone-Burt

Premiered: 2012

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
14
Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
JomidarArafatSafinPratik added David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker

Premiered: 2013

Broadchurch (ITV, 2013) is a British serial crime drama television series created by Chris Chibnall. Police detectives DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) ...more
15
Midsomer Murders is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
michael-devenny added Suzi Quatro, John Nettles, Neil Dudgeon

Premiered: 1997

This 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 Anthony ...more
16
Murdoch Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
JoséValente added Lisa Ray, Paul Rhys, Georgina Reilly

Premiered: 2008

Murdoch Mysteries (Citytv, 2008) is a Canadian television drama series based on characters from the Detective Murdoch novels by Maureen Jennings. In the 1890s, William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) ...more
17
Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley

Premiered: 1980

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
18
Longmire is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Guest_70305496-3e17-4feb-8ef4-a846950e1690 added Robert Taylor, Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips

Premiered: 2012

Longmire (A&E, 2012) is an American modern Western crime drama television series developed by John Coveny and Hunt Baldwin, based on the novels by Craig Johnson. In Absaroka County, Wyoming, ...more
19
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Chris Abraham added Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan

Premiered: 2013

True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.
20
Foyle's War is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Jeff Mullin added Michael Kitchen, Honeysuckle Weeks, Anthony Howell

Premiered: 2002

This series is a British detective drama television series set during and shortly after WWII, created by screenwriter and author Anthony Horowitz and commissioned by ITV after the long-running ...more
21
Vera is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
JoséValente added Brenda Blethyn, Jon Morrison, David Leon

Premiered: 2011

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
22
Inspector Lewis is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Ken Gumowski added Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox, Clare Holman

Premiered: 2006

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
23
Bosch is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
rocknwatch added Bosch Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector, Amy Aquino

Premiered: 2014

Bosch (Amazon, 2014) is an American police procedural web television series developed by Eric Overmyer, based on the novels by Michael Connelly. An LAPD homicide detective (Titus Welliver) works ...more
24
Simon & Simon is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
ScottMiller1 added Gerald McRaney, Tim Reid, Jameson Parker

Premiered: 1981

Simon & Simon is an American detective television series that originally ran from November 24, 1981 to January 21, 1989. The series was broadcast on CBS and starred Gerald McRaney and ...more
25
Remington Steele is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Stephanie Zimbalist, Pierce Brosnan, Doris Roberts

Premiered: 1982

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