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The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time

Updated October 15, 2020 1.4k votes 250 voters 11.5k views52 items

List RulesVote up the best dramatic procedural series, whether they follow crimes, courts, or high-tech problems.

Procedural dramas can get your adrenaline pumping and keep you hooked from the get go, but which procedural dramas are the best? This list of the greatest procedural drama shows ranks the greatest in the genre. From the Law and Order franchise to shows like Bones and Scandal, pick your favorites below! 

Popular procedural drama TV shows have been a staple of television for years, so there's often debate about what the most entertaining procedural drama show of all time is. Don't let your favorite procedural drama 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. The list of procedural drama television shows below includes information like the program's cast, creator and premiere date when available.

This list answers the questions, "What is the best procedural drama show of all time?" and "What are the greatest procedural drama shows?" Vote up your favorites to the top of the list. 

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  • 1
    Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    63
    22

    Person of Interest

    Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson

    Premiered2011

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  • 2
    The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    64
    33

    The Mentalist

    Simon Baker, Robin Tunney

    Premiered2008

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  • 3
    Castle is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    53
    24

    Castle

    Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic

    Premiered2009

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  • 4
    White Collar is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    45
    17

    White Collar

    Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay

    Premiered2009

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  • 5
    Psych is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    51
    30

    Psych

    James Roday, Dulé Hill

    Premiered2006

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  • 6
    Bones is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    68
    49

    Bones

    Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz

    Premiered2005

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    More Bones 

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  • 7
    Lie to Me is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    34
    14

    Lie to Me

    Tim Roth, Kelli Williams

    Premiered2009

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  • 8
    Monk is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    32
    17

    Monk

    Tony Shalhoub, Bitty Schram

    Premiered2002

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  • 9
    The Wire is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    23
    8

    The Wire

    Dominic West, Lance Reddick

    Premiered2002

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  • 10
    Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    34
    24

    Criminal Minds

    Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler

    Premiered2005

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  • 11
    Luther is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    23
    12

    Luther

    Idris Elba, Warren Brown

    Premiered2010

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  • 12
    NCIS is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    30
    21

    NCIS

    Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly

    Premiered2003

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  • 13
    Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    23
    14

    Murder, She Wrote

    Angela Lansbury, William Windom

    Premiered1984

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  • 14
    NUMB3RS is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    22
    14

    NUMB3RS

    Rob Morrow, David Krumholtz

    Premiered2005

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  • 15
    Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    19
    14

    Law & Order

    Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin

    Premiered1990

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  • 16
    Hawaii Five-0 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    19
    16

    Hawaii Five-0

    Leonard Freeman, Alex Kurtzman

    Premiered2010

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  • 17
    Medium is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    16
    15

    Medium

    Patricia Arquette, Miguel Sandoval

    Premiered2005

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  • 18
    Blue Bloods is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    16
    15

    Blue Bloods

    Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan

    Premiered2010

    amazon buy button
  • 19
    Scandal is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    23
    25

    Scandal

    Kerry Washington, Henry Ian Cusick

    Premiered2012

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  • 20
    Quantum Leap is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    12
    12

    Quantum Leap

    Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell

    Premiered1989

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  • 21
    NCIS: New Orleans is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    12
    12

    NCIS: New Orleans

    Scott Bakula, Lucas Black

    Premiered2014

    amazon buy button
  • 22
    Major Crimes is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    8
    7

    Major Crimes

    Mary McDonnell, G. W. Bailey

    Premiered2012

    amazon buy button
  • 23
    Cold Case is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    9
    9

    Cold Case

    Kathryn Morris, Danny Pino

    Premiered2003

    amazon buy button
  • 24
    The Shield is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    8
    7

    The Shield

    Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent

    Premiered2002

    amazon buy button
  • 25
    Ironside is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
    0
    0

    Ironside

    Blair Underwood, Spencer Grammer

    Premiered2013

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