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The Best Ever Police Procedural Series

Updated February 3, 2021 30.8k votes 3.8k voters 159.0k views244 items

List RulesVote up your favorite shows that focus on the process of cops and detectives solving crimes over episodes and seasons.

The very best police procedural shows on television, ranked from best to worst. What is it about a group of detectives that can carry a series for years and years? Some of the longest-running drama shows have been police procedurals, including the original Law & Order, which ran for 22 seasons and spawned multiple spin-offs, and Dragnet, which aired 450 episodes. This list of the greatest police procedural shows focuses on series that follow the police - civilian or military - as they solve crimes.

Popular police procedural TV shows have been a staple of television for years, so there's often debate about which is the most entertaining in a genre that spans so many styles. While some cop whodunit shows like Bones have a bit of whimsical comedy in each episode, procedural dramas like SVU are darker with gritty grimes. What is your favorite police procedural show? Do you prefer the higher stakes found in military police procedural shows like NCIS? Don't let your favorite cop dramas and detective series 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 police procedural television shows below includes information like the program's cast and premiere date when available. With shows ranging from Criminal Minds to Dexter, this is a great starting point for a list of your favorites.

What do you think are the best police procedurals? What are your favorite current cop shows?

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    Peter Falk, Mike Lally

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    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter

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    Dennis Franz, Gordon Clapp

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