Entertainment

The Best Mystery TV Shows 

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Updated February 23, 2020 69k votes 8.1k voters 224.2k views 169 items

List Rules TV shows that involve solving mysteries.

The best Mystery TV shows make trying to solve a great mystery exciting for both the fans and characters. Nothing beats the feeling of a great reveal after experiencing several plot twists and forks in the road. Popular mystery TV shows and movies have been a staple of entertainment for years. This list ranks very best mystery shows in television history.

What constitutes a mystery TV show? Well, in could mean shows with new mysteries to solve each episode or series with longer story arcs centered around a mystery. This list also includes murder mystery TV shows, comedy drama mystery series, and crime TV shows. Don't let your favorite mystery 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.

Want to know more about the top mystery shows on the list below? You can click on the show names for details such as top billed actors and a quick overview of the show. So if you've never heard of the shows Sherlock or Monk, then you can read up on them before diving into a week-long marathon session. Wonder no more about what are the best mystery shows of all time, as fans definitively answer that question below.

list ordered by
1
House of Anubis is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Alex Sawyer, Eugene Simon, Brad Kavanagh

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 150

Network: Nickelodeon

House of Anubis is a jointly Nickelodeon British, American, and Belgian mystery television series based on the Dutch-Belgian television series Het Huis Anubis aired in the Netherlands and ...more
2
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
TheresaFeng added Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 8

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation

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
3
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang

Premiered: 2008

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 116

Network: CBS

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
4
Monk is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Tony Shalhoub, Jason Gray-Stanford, Ted Levine

Premiered: 2002

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 125

Network: USA Network

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
Agatha Christie's Poirot... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Hothir added David Suchet, Hugh Fraser, Philip Jackson

Premiered: 1989

Number of Seasons: 12

Number of Episodes: 62

Network: ITV, UTV, STV, ITV

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
6
Castle is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
xBegy added Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan

Premiered: 2009

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 105

Network: American Broadcasting Company

Castle is an American 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
7
Bones is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 9

Number of Episodes: 166

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Bones is an American procedural comedy-drama television series that premiered on Fox in the United States on September 13, 2005. The show is based on forensic anthropology and forensic ...more
8
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette

Premiered: 2003

Number of Seasons: 10

Number of Episodes: 218

Network: CBS

NCIS is an American police procedural drama television series, revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts investigations ...more
9
Doctor Who is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
ashadjareh added Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith

Premiered: 1963

Number of Seasons: 26

Number of Episodes: 798

Network: British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC America, BBC One, S4C, BBC HD

Doctor Who (BBC, 2005) is a British science-fiction television show created by Sydney Newman, C. E. Webber, and Donald Wilson. The further adventures in time and space of the alien adventurer ...more
10
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

Premiered: 1993

Number of Seasons: 9

Number of Episodes: 202

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

The X-Files is an American science fiction horror drama television series created by Chris Carter. The program originally aired from September 10, 1993 to May 19, 2002 on Fox, spanning nine ...more
11
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 186

Network: A&E, CBS

Criminal Minds (CBS, 2005) is an American police-procedural television program. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based in Quantico, Virginia. The ...more
12
Lost is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia

Premiered: 2004

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 121

Network: American Broadcasting Company

Lost is an American television drama series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company from September 22, 2004, to May 23, 2010, over six seasons, comprising a total of 121 ...more
13
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
ashadjareh added Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Jon Michael Hill

Premiered: 2012

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 24

Network: CBS

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
14
Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak

Premiered: 1984

Number of Seasons: 12

Network: The Biography Channel, CBS

This show is a television mystery series starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher. The series aired for 12 seasons with 264 episodes from 1984 to 1996 on ...more
15
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan

Premiered: 1968

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 69

Network: American Broadcasting Company, NBC

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
16
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 7

Number of Episodes: 80

Network: Showtime

Dexter is an American television drama series. Set in Miami, the series centers on Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter pattern analyst for Miami Metro Police Department who also leads a secret life ...more
17
Lucifer is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro

Premiered: 2015

Number of Seasons: 4

Network: Netflix, Fox

Lucifer (Fox, 2016) is an American fantasy police procedural comedy-drama television series. It features a character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg taken from the comic ...more
18
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Kristen Bell, Percy Daggs III, Teddy Dunn

Premiered: 2004

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 64

Network: UPN, The CW Television Network

Veronica Mars (UPN, The CW, 2004) is an American teen noir mystery drama television series created by screenwriter Rob Thomas. After her best friend (Amanda Seyfried) is murdered, and her father ...more
19
Moonlighting is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Cybill Shepherd, Bruce Willis, Allyce Beasley

Premiered: 1985

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 66

Network: American Broadcasting Company

Moonlighting is an American television series that aired on ABC from March 3, 1985, to May 14, 1989. The network aired a total of 66 episodes. Starring Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis as ...more
20
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Katie Cassidy

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 158

Network: The WB Television Network, The CW Television Network

Supernatural (The CW, 2005) is an American fantasy horror television series created by Eric Kripke. Two brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), follow their father's ...more
21
Pretty Little Liars is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 72

Network: ABC Family

Pretty Little Liars is an American teen drama mystery–thriller television series loosely based on the popular book series of the same title, written by Sara Shepard. The show premiered on June ...more
22
Fringe is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Jasika Nicole

Premiered: 2008

Number of Seasons: 5

Number of Episodes: 100

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Fringe is an American science fiction television series created by J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci. It premiered on the Fox Broadcasting network on September 9, 2008, and concluded ...more
23
Stranger Things is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Luke Albright added Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard

Premiered: 2016

Number of Seasons: 3

Network: Netflix

Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016) is an American science fiction-horror web television series created by The Duffer Brothers. When a young boy (Noah Schnapp) disappears, his mother (Winona Ryder), ...more
24
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
ck123 added Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman

Premiered: 2011

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 31

Network: CBS

Person of Interest is an American science fiction drama television series created by Jonathan Nolan that premiered on September 22, 2011, on CBS. The series revolves around John Reese, a former ...more
25
Het Huis Anubis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
TheresaFeng added Loek Beernink, Iris Hesseling, Walter Crommelin

Premiered: 2006

Number of Episodes: 404

Het Huis Anubis is a Belgian-Dutch children's television drama created by Studio 100 and Nickelodeon, airing in the Netherlands and Flanders. It first aired in September 2006 and the last ...more