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The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time  

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581 votes 126 voters 7.9k views

List Rules Shows near the top must be only the best Procedural Drama TV series.

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. 

list ordered by
1
Bones is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
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
2
Castle is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
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
3
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
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
Psych is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
James Roday, Dulé Hill, Timothy Omundson
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
5
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
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
6
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
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
7
Monk is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
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
8
Scandal is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
Kerry Washington, Henry Ian Cusick, Columbus Short
Scandal (ABC, 2012) is an American political thriller television series created by Shonda Rhimes. A former White House Communications Director (Kerry Washington) starts her own crisis management ...more
9
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman
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
10
Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
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
11
Lie to Me is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
Tim Roth, Kelli Williams, Brendan Hines
Lie to Me is an American drama television series. It originally ran on the Fox network from January 21, 2009 to January 31, 2011. In the show, Dr. Cal Lightman and his colleagues in The Lightman ...more
12
Numbers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
Rob Morrow, David Krumholtz, Judd Hirsch
Numbers is an American drama television series that ran on CBS from January 23, 2005, to March 12, 2010. The series was created by Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton, and follows FBI Special ...more
13
White Collar is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay, Willie Garson
White Collar is a USA Network television series created by Jeff Eastin, starring Tim DeKay as FBI Special Agent Peter Burke and Matt Bomer as Neal Caffrey, a highly intelligent and ...more
14
Luther is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
Idris Elba, Warren Brown, Dermot Crowley
Luther is a British drama series starring Idris Elba as the eponymous character DCI John Luther. Written by Neil Cross, the first series, comprising six one-hour long episodes, premiered on 4 ...more
15
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
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
16
Medium is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
Patricia Arquette, Miguel Sandoval, Jake Weber
Medium is an American television drama series that premiered on NBC on January 3, 2005, ending its run on that network on June 1, 2009. The series then moved to CBS on September 25, 2009, airing ...more
17
Hawaii Five-0 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
Leonard Freeman, Alex Kurtzman, Peter M. Lenkov
Hawaii Five-0 is an American police procedural drama television series and a remake of the original 1968–80 television series. The series is produced by K/O Paper Products and 101st Street ...more
18
The Shield is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
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
19
NCIS: Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
Chris O'Donnell, Daniela Ruah, Barrett Foa
NCIS: Los Angeles is an American television series combining elements of the military drama and police procedural genres, which premiered on the CBS network on September 22, 2009. NCIS: Los ...more
20
NCIS: New Orleans is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
Scott Bakula, Lucas Black, Zoe McLellan
NCIS: New Orleans is an American television series combining elements of the military drama and police procedural genres that airs on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. It premiered on ...more
21
Blue Bloods is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
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
22
Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
Angela Lansbury, William Windom, Ron Masak
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
23
Quantum Leap is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt
Quantum Leap is an American television series that originally aired on NBC for five seasons, from March 1989 through May 1993. Created by Donald P. Bellisario, it starred Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam ...more
24
Homicide: Life on the Street is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time
Richard Belzer, Clark Johnson, Yaphet Kotto
This series is an American police procedural television series chronicling the work of a fictional version of the Baltimore Police Department's Homicide Unit. It ran for seven seasons on NBC ...more
25
CSI:NY is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Procedural Dramas of All Time