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?"

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

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Columbo is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Richard777 added Columbo 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

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The Doctor Blake Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 3 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

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Father Brown is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Father Brown 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

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Monk is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Richard777 added Monk 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

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The Rockford Files is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
The Rockford Files 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

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Agatha Christie's Poirot is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Ken Gumowski added Agatha Christie's Poirot 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

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Midsomer Murders is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
michael-devenny added Midsomer Murders 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

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Foyle's War is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Jeff Mullin added Foyle's War 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

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Sherlock Holmes is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Sherlock Holmes 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

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Inspector Lewis is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Ken Gumowski added Inspector Lewis 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

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

The Best Movies Based on TV Shows

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Psych is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Psych 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

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Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Magnum, P.I. 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

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True Detective is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Chris Abraham added True Detective 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.

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Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
JomidarArafatSafinPratik added Broadchurch 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

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Vera is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
JoséValente added Vera 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

The Best Cartoons of the '90s

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The Return of Sherlock Holmes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
The Return of Sherlock Holmes 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.

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Murdoch Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
JoséValente added Murdoch Mysteries 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

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Castle is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
James Englebert added Castle 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

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Inspector Morse is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Ken Gumowski added Inspector Morse 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

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Remington Steele is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Remington Steele 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

The Best Legal Drama TV Shows Ever

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Barnaby Jones is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Richard777 added Barnaby Jones 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

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DCI Banks is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Ken Gumowski added DCI Banks 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

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Mannix is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Mannix 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

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Ripper Street is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
jobill added Ripper Street 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

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Wallander is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Ken Gumowski added Wallander 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

The Best Re-Casting of Famous TV Roles

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Diagnosis: Murder is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Richard777 added Diagnosis: Murder 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

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Whitechapel is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
JoséValente added Whitechapel 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

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Silent Witness is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
jobill added Silent Witness 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

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Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Marianna Stotesbury added Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries 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

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Waking the Dead is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
jobill added Waking the Dead 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

Netflix Shows And Movies That Are Based On Real Crimes

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Riptide is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Riptide 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

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Rebus is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
jobill added Rebus 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

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Elementary is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Bronwin Armgard added Elementary 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

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Luther is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
JomidarArafatSafinPratik added Luther 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

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Longmire is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Guest_70305496-3e17-4feb-8ef4-a846950e1690 added Longmire 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

Jordan Harbinger's Tips on Being a Better Host

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Endeavour is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Guest_70305496-3e17-4feb-8ef4-a846950e1690 added Endeavour 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

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

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Rosemary & Thyme is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Chefgranny added Rosemary & Thyme 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

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Grantchester is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Guest_70305496-3e17-4feb-8ef4-a846950e1690 added Grantchester James Norton, Robson Green, Morven Christie

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Agatha Christie's Marple is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Mimi Maria Polina added Agatha Christie's Marple 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

The Most Brilliant TV Detectives

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River is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Stevenf.Wayne added River 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

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Spenser: For Hire is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
horseplayer added Spenser: For Hire 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

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McCloud is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
horseplayer added McCloud 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

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The Fall is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
The Fall 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

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Kojack is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
horseplayer added Kojack

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Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
jiszmo added Veronica Mars 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

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Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Ce... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century 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

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Cadfael is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Detective TV Shows
Linda Rees McCoy added Cadfael Derek Jacobi, Sean Pertwee, Michael Culver Cadfael is the name given to the TV series adapted from The Cadfael Chronicles novels written by Ellis Peters. It was produced by the ITV Central between 1994 and 1998. The series was broadcast ...more