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The Best Mystery TV Shows 

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Updated February 23, 2020 69.1k votes 8.1k voters 224.4k 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.

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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
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 3 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
4
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 4 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
5
Monk is listed (or ranked) 5 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
6
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 6 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
7
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 7 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
8
Lost is listed (or ranked) 8 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
9
Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 9 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
10
Psych is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
James Roday, Dulé Hill, Timothy Omundson

Premiered: 2006

Number of Seasons: 6

Number of Episodes: 109

Network: USA Network, ION Television

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
11
Miss Fisher's Murder Mys... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Essie Davis, Nathan Page, Hugo Johnstone-Burt

Premiered: 2012

Number of Episodes: 13

Network: ABS, ABC1

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
12
Agatha Christie's Poirot... is listed (or ranked) 12 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
13
Lucifer is listed (or ranked) 13 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
14
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 14 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
15
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 15 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
16
Scooby-Doo, Where Are Yo... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Don Messick, Casey Kasem, Nicole Jaffe

Premiered: 1969

Number of Seasons: 4

Number of Episodes: 25

Network: Cartoon Network, CBS, American Broadcasting Company

Scooby Doo, Where Are You! is the first incarnation of the long-running Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon series Scooby-Doo. Created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, it premiered on CBS ...more
17
Pretty Little Liars is listed (or ranked) 17 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
18
Midsomer Murders is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
michael-devenny added Suzi Quatro, John Nettles, Neil Dudgeon

Premiered: 1997

Number of Seasons: 13

Number of Episodes: 95

Network: ITV, UTV, STV, ITV, Sveriges Television, + more

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
19
Bones is listed (or ranked) 19 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
20
Broadchurch is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
ashadjareh added David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 8

Network: ITV, UTV, STV

Broadchurch is a British television drama broadcast on ITV. It was created and written by Chris Chibnall and produced by Kudos Film and Television, Shine America, and Imaginary Friends. The ...more
21
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 21 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
22
Castle is listed (or ranked) 22 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
23
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 23 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
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
Sherlock Holmes is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Mystery TV Shows
Sherlock Holmes Jeremy Brett, Charles Gray, Edward Hardwicke

Premiered: 1984

Number of Episodes: 41

Network: ITV

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