Entertainment

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
Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina
Law & Order is an American police procedural and legal drama television series, created by Dick Wolf and part of the Law & Order franchise. It originally aired on NBC and, in ...more
2
Blue Bloods is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
LolitaFP added Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes
Blue Bloods is an American police procedural drama series shown on CBS in the United States and Canada and on Sky Atlantic in the United Kingdom. The series is filmed on location in New York ...more
3
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette
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
4
Castle is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
mattlieves added Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, Susan Sullivan
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
5
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson
Criminal Minds is an American police-procedural television program that premiered September 22, 2005, on CBS. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based ...more
6
Sherlock is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, Una Stubbs
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
7
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Laurence Fishburne, Marg Helgenberger, George Eads
This show is an American drama television series that premiered on CBS on October 6, 2000. The show was created by Anthony E. Zuiker and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. It is filmed primarily at ...more
8
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn
The Wire is an American drama television series set and produced in and around Baltimore, Maryland. Created and primarily written by author and former police reporter David Simon, the series was ...more
9
Rizzoli & Isles is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Angie Harmon, Jordan Bridges, Bruce McGill
Rizzoli & Isles is a TNT television series starring Angie Harmon as police detective Jane Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander as medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles. The one-hour drama is based on the ...more
10
The X-Files is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi
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
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
matt.lack8 added Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, Tim Kang
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
12
Hill Street Blues is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Daniel J. Travanti, Michael Warren, Bruce Weitz
Hill Street Blues is an American serial police drama that was first aired on NBC in 1981 and ran for 146 episodes on primetime into 1987. Chronicling the lives of the staff of a single police ...more
13
Monk is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Tony Shalhoub, Jason Gray-Stanford, Ted Levine
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
14
The Rockford Files is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
James Garner, Noah Beery Jr., Joe Santos
The Rockford Files is an American television drama series starring James Garner that aired on the NBC network between September 13, 1974, and January 10, 1980, and has remained in syndication to ...more
15
Bones is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz, Michaela Conlin
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
16
Law & Order: Special Victims U... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is an American police procedural, legal, crime drama television series set in New York City, where it is also primarily produced. In the style of the ...more
17
NYPD Blue is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Dennis Franz, Gordon Clapp, James McDaniel
NYPD Blue is an American television police drama set in New York City, exploring the internal and external struggles of the fictional 15th precinct of Manhattan. Each episode typically ...more
18
Dexter is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, David Zayas
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
19
The Blacklist is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
matt.lack8 added James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff
The Blacklist is an American crime drama television series that premiered on NBC on September 23, 2013. Raymond "Red" Reddington, a former U.S Navy officer turned high-profile ...more
20
Law & Order: Criminal Intent is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Kathryn Erbe, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jamey Sheridan
This show is an American police procedural television drama series set in New York City, where it was also primarily produced. Created and produced by Dick Wolf and René Balcer, the ...more
21
Cold Case is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Kathryn Morris, Danny Pino, John Finn
Cold Case is an American police procedural television series which ran on CBS from September 28, 2003 to May 2, 2010. The series revolved around a fictionalized Philadelphia Police Department ...more
22
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Peter Falk, Mike Lally, John Finnegan
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
23
CSI: NY is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Gary Sinise, Carmine Giovinazzo, Hill Harper
CSI: NY is an American police procedural television series that ran on CBS from September 22, 2004 to February 22, 2013 for a total of nine seasons and 197 original episodes. The show follows ...more
24
The Shield is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins
The Shield is an American drama television series starring Michael Chiklis that premiered on March 12, 2002, on FX, in the United States, and concluded on November 25, 2008, after seven seasons. ...more
25
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows
gothicfrog1 added Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, Jon Michael Hill
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