law enforcement The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows  

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List Rules Vote up your favorite police procedurals, current and long gone

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 "Dragnet," which aired 450 episodes. This list of the greatest police procedural shows also includes pictures from the shows when available. 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 the genre. While older whodunit shows like "Murder, She Wrote" have a bit of whimsical comedy in each episode, grittier versions like "SVU" are darker with gritty grimes. What is your favorite police procedural show? 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, creator, 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?
list ordered by

1
255 131
Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Law & Order Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina

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2
302 161
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
The Wire Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

3
506 208
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Criminal Minds Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson

4
415 166
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Sherlock Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs

5
359 177
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
NCIS Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette

6
379 189
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
matt.lack8 added The Mentalist Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang

7
206 84
Castle is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
mattlieves added Castle Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan

8
315 124
Law & Order: Special Victims U... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T

9
183 102
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
The X-Files David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

10
181 105
Rizzoli & Isles is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Rizzoli & Isles Angie Harmon, Jordan Bridges, Bruce McGill

11
104 50
Blue Bloods is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
LolitaFP added Blue Bloods

12
238 128
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Dexter Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas

13
138 97
NYPD Blue is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
NYPD Blue Dennis Franz, Gordon Clapp, James McDaniel

14
106 90
Hill Street Blues is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Hill Street Blues Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz

15
145 89
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Columbo Peter Falk^! Mike Lally^! John Finnegan

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16
187 80
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
matt.lack8 added The Blacklist James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff

17
170 93
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger, George Eads

18
239 118
Psych is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Psych James Roday, Dulé Hill, Timothy Omundson

19
312 122
bones is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
bones Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin

20
183 83
Monk is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Monk Tony Shalhoub, Jason Gray-Stanford, Ted Levine

21
140 117
CSI: NY is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
CSI: NY Gary Sinise, Carmine Giovinazzo, Hill Harper

22
76 73
The Rockford Files is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
The Rockford Files James Garner, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Santos

23
201 114
Lie to Me is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Lie to Me Tim Roth, Kelli Williams, Brendan Hines

24
126 78
Law & Order: Criminal Intent is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Law & Order: Criminal Intent Kathryn Erbe, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jamey Sheridan

25
161 89
NCIS: Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
NCIS: Los Angeles Chris O'Donnell, Daniela Ruah, Barrett Foa

26
146 98
Numbers is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Numbers Rob Morrow, David Krumholtz, Judd Hirsch

27
138 78
Cold Case is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Cold Case Kathryn Morris, Danny Pino, John Finn

28
121 66
The Shield is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
The Shield Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins

29
139 54
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
gothicfrog1 added Elementary Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Aidan Quinn

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30
146 98
The Closer is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
The Closer Kyra Sedgwick, J.K. Simmons, Corey Reynolds

31
111 72
Southland is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Southland Michael Cudlitz, Shawn Hatosy, Regina King

32
92 94
Life on Mars is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Life on Mars John Simm, Philip Glenister, Liz White

33
82 51
NCIS: New Orleans is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
gothicfrog1 added NCIS: New Orleans Scott Bakula, Lucas Black, Zoe McLellan

34
102 88
Without a Trace is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Without a Trace Anthony LaPaglia, Poppy Montgomery, Marianne Jean-Baptiste

35
132 72
Hawaii Five-O is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Hawaii Five-O Jack Lord, James MacArthur, Kam Fong

36
93 65
Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Magnum, P.I. Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley

37
92 64
Rookie Blue is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
willyboymcoy added Rookie Blue Missy Peregrym, Gregory Smith, Enuka Okuma

38
71 52
Prime Suspect is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Prime Suspect Helen Mirren, Zoë Wanamaker, Tom Bell

39
73 71
Eureka is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Eureka Colin Ferguson, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Erica Cerra

40
96 101
CSI: Miami is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
CSI: Miami David Caruso, Emily Procter, Adam Rodriguez

41
67 55
Dragnet is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Dragnet Jack Webb, Harry Morgan, Don Ross

42
48 35
21 Jump Street is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
21 Jump Street Johnny Depp, Dustin Nguyen, Peter Deluise

43
59 49
The Killing is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
sangamo added The Killing Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell

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44
64 60
In Plain Sight is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
In Plain Sight Mary McCormack, Frederick Weller, Paul Ben-Victor

45
58 54
Miami Vice is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Miami Vice Don Johnson, Philip Michael Thomas, Saundra Santiago

46
52 64
Walker, Texas Ranger is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Walker, Texas Ranger Chuck Norris, Clarence Gilyard Jr., Sheree J. Wilson

47
60 59
Kojak is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Kojak Telly Savalas, Dan Frazer, Kevin Dobson

48
52 50
Starsky and Hutch is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Starsky and Hutch David Soul, Paul Michael Glaser, Antonio Fargas

49
72 50
Homicide: Life on the Street is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Homicide: Life on the Street Richard Belzer, Clark Johnson, Yaphet Kotto

50
57 59
Cagney & Lacey is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Cagney & Lacey Tyne Daly, Al Waxman, John Karlen