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The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries

Updated October 14, 2020 1.4k votes 326 voters 31.2k views48 items

List RulesVote up your favorite TV shows that have those classic elements of film noir.

The very best film noir shows on television, ranked from best to worst. The noir genre features "black" as night grimy-crimey dramas that follow grizzled hard-boiled detectives solving mysterious and perplexing murders. Popular film noir TV shows have been a staple of television for years, made popular by black-and-white series Dragnet and The Fugitive in the 1960s. Recent years have shown a revival in the genre—perhaps in the wake of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series—with so-called "Nordic noir" series such as The Killing (originally a Danish series that was later adapted in English),  Sweden's Wallander, and The Bridge. Likewise, noir is popular in Britain, where Broadchuch and Happy Valley are among the most-watched programs. On this side of the pond, Veronica Mars was a noir mystery masquerading as a teen show in the early 2000s, and True Detective and Fargo all incorporate elements of the genre into their gritty anthologies.

Use every item on this list for yours, from Cruel City to The Singing Detective.

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

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  • 1
    True Detective is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    77
    38

    True Detective

    Mahershala Ali, Matthew McConaughey

    Premiered2013

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  • 2
    Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    80
    54

    Veronica Mars

    Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III

    Premiered2004

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  • 3
    The Fugitive is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    31
    15

    The Fugitive

    William Conrad, Richard Anderson

    Premiered1963

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  • 4
    Luther is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    21
    5

    Luther

    Idris Elba, Warren Brown

    Premiered2010

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  • 5
    Peter Gunn is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    28
    23

    Peter Gunn

    Craig Stevens, Herschel Bernardi

    Premiered1958

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  • 6
    Jessica Jones is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    28
    12

    Jessica Jones

    Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter

    Premiered2015

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  • 7
    The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    56
    37

    The X-Files

    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

    Premiered1993

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  • 8
    Mob City is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    15
    10

    Mob City

    Jon Bernthal, Milo Ventimiglia

    Premiered2013

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  • 9
    Altered Carbon is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    18
    5

    Altered Carbon

    Joel Kinnaman, Renée Elise Goldsberry

    Premiered2018

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  • 10
    Fargo is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    9
    2

    Fargo

    Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman

    Premiered2014

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  • 11
    Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    12
    5

    Broadchurch

    David Tennant, Olivia Colman

    Premiered2013

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  • 12
    The Killing is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    13
    6

    The Killing

    Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman

    Premiered2011

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  • 13
    Boardwalk Empire is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    15
    15

    Boardwalk Empire

    Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham

    Premiered2010

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  • 14
    Happy Valley is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    11
    5

    Happy Valley

    Sarah Lancashire, Steve Pemberton
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  • 15
    Wallander is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    11
    8

    Wallander

    Kenneth Branagh, Richard McCabe

    Premiered2008

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  • 16
    Perry Mason is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    21
    13

    Perry Mason

    Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale

    Premiered1957

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  • 17
    Perry Mason is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    7
    0

    Perry Mason

    Matthew Rhys, Tatiana Maslany

    Premiered2020

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  • 18
    The Untouchables is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    15
    23

    The Untouchables

    John Rhys-Davies, William Forsythe

    Premiered1993

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  • 19
    Dragnet is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    20
    7

    Dragnet

    Jack Webb, Harry Morgan

    Premiered1952

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  • 20
    Naked City is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    10
    5

    Naked City

    Dustin Hoffman, Diahann Carroll

    Premiered1958

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  • 21
    The Bridge is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    12
    5

    The Bridge

    Diane Kruger, Demián Bichir

    Premiered2013

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  • 22
    I Am the Night is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    7
    5

    I Am the Night

    Chris Pine, India Eisley

    Premiered2019

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  • 23
    Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    21
    6

    Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries

    Essie Davis, Nathan Page

    Premiered2012

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  • 24
    Martin Kane, Private Eye is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    10
    5

    Martin Kane, Private Eye

    Frank M. Thomas, Lloyd Nolan

    Premiered1949

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  • 25
    Gang Busters is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries
    5
    3

    Gang Busters

    Myrna Dell, Richard Crane

    Premiered1952

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