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The Very Best Noir TV Shows and Miniseries

Updated January 6, 2021 1.3k votes 383 voters 34.2k views45 items

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

These are 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.

This list answers the questions, "What is the best film noir show of all time?" and "What are the greatest film noir shows?" Vote up the best classically crimey shows that carry on the classic noir tradition.

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  • 1
    91
    47

    True Detective

    Mahershala Ali, Matthew McConaughey

    Premiered2013

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  • 2
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    The X-Files

    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

    Premiered1993

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  • 3
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    Veronica Mars

    Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III

    Premiered2004

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    Idris Elba, Warren Brown

    Premiered2010

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  • 5
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    Perry Mason

    Matthew Rhys, Tatiana Maslany

    Premiered2020

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  • 6
    32
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    The Fugitive

    William Conrad, Richard Anderson

    Premiered1963

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  • 7
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    Jessica Jones

    Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter

    Premiered2015

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  • 8
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    Peter Gunn

    Craig Stevens, Herschel Bernardi

    Premiered1958

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  • 9
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    Altered Carbon

    Joel Kinnaman, Renée Elise Goldsberry

    Premiered2018

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  • 10
    16
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    Broadchurch

    David Tennant, Olivia Colman

    Premiered2013

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  • 11
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    The Killing

    Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman

    Premiered2011

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  • 12
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    Wallander

    Kenneth Branagh, Richard McCabe

    Premiered2008

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  • 13
    18
    8

    Fargo

    Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman

    Premiered2014

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  • 14
    14
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    Happy Valley

    Sarah Lancashire, Steve Pemberton

    Premiered2014

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  • 15
    22
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    Perry Mason

    Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale

    Premiered1957

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  • 16
    14
    6

    Mob City

    Jon Bernthal, Milo Ventimiglia

    Premiered2013

  • 17
    15
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    Boardwalk Empire

    Steve Buscemi, Stephen Graham

    Premiered2010

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  • 18
    12
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    The Bridge

    Diane Kruger, Demián Bichir

    Premiered2013

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  • 19
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    Dragnet

    Jack Webb, Harry Morgan

    Premiered1952

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  • 20
    12
    7

    Gang Busters

    Myrna Dell, Richard Crane

    Premiered1952

  • 21
    4
    1

    Hawaiian Eye

    Robert Conrad, Anthony Eisley

    Premiered1959

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  • 22
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    Gotham

    Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue

    Premiered2014

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  • 23
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    I Am the Night

    Chris Pine, India Eisley

    Premiered2019

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  • 24
    2
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    Serangoon Road

    Don Hany, Joan Chen

    Premiered2013

  • 25
    13
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    Naked City

    Dustin Hoffman, Diahann Carroll

    Premiered1958