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The Best Current Procedural Dramas 

Ranker TV
Originally by
Updated May 12, 2020 12.6k votes 2k voters 37.1k views 25 items

List Rules Procedural crime dramas currently airing in a first TV run

List of top procedural dramas currently on-air. Television dramas fall into two categories: procedural and serial. Dramatic series in the procedural genre often have one new plot line every week, as opposed to a serial, shows with a continuing story arc or plot. Procedurals often follow a "case-of-the-week" formula, which makes the story easy for television viewers to follow. A number of procedural programs have been included in the greatest TV dramas of all time. This list includes both serial cop dramas, medical dramas, and serial legal dramas, as well as long-running procedurals.

One of the most successful procedural drama franchises is NCIS, which premiered in 2003 and has launched two popular spin-offs NCIS: Los Angeles and NCIS: New Orleans. Current procedural dramas feature a dynamic and memorable lead character with a quirky personality, though ensemble casts are also common in any drama procedural, especially in most-watched shows set around a law enforcement agency, medical facility, or courtroom. The predictable format of such highly-rated programs also makes it easy to air as re-runs because viewers often don't have to follow a certain order or have seen previous episodes.

What is the best current procedural drama? Many are among the best current network dramas, and all are great TV entertainment. Use the list below to vote for the top dramatic procedural that is currently on-air, and if your favorite show isn't included, make sure to add to the list so that other viewers can become fans, too!

 

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1
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
admamc8 added Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette

Premiered: 2003

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

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The Best Actors On NCIS #98 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #6 of 92 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows

2
Law & Order: Special... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T

Premiered: 1999

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC, 1999) is an American police procedural, legal, crime drama television series set in New York City. In the style of the original Law & Order, ...more

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The Best Law & Order SVU Guest Stars #64 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

3
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
LanaYoshii added Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson

Premiered: 2005

Criminal Minds (CBS, 2005) is an American police-procedural television program. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based in Quantico, Virginia. The ...more

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4
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
LanaYoshii added Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu

Premiered: 2012

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

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5
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
LanaYoshii added Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Katie Cassidy

Premiered: 2005

Supernatural (The CW, 2005) is an American fantasy horror television series created by Eric Kripke. Two brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), follow their father's ...more

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The Best Supernatural Characters #7 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watchlisted on Longest Running US Drama Shows

6
Person of Interest is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
LanaYoshii added Jim Caviezel, Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Chapman

Premiered: 2011

Person of Interest (CBS, 2011) is an American science fiction drama television series created by Jonathan Nolan. An ex-CIA agent (Jim Caviezel) and a wealthy programmer (Michael Emerson) save ...more

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The Best Seasons of Person of Interest #149 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #50 of 302 The Best Sci-Fi Television Series Of All Time

7
Lucifer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Merijo Dietrich added Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro

Premiered: 2015

Lucifer (Fox, 2016) is an American fantasy police procedural comedy-drama television series developed by Tom Kapinos. The series revolves around Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), the Devil, who ...more

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8
NCIS: Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Chris O'Donnell, Daniela Ruah, Barrett Foa

Premiered: 2009

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

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9
Blue Bloods is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes

Premiered: 2010

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

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The Best Seasons of 'Blue Bloods' #303 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #35 of 92 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows

10
Chicago P.D. is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
emmatiede added Jason Beghe, Jon Seda, Sophia Bush

Premiered: 2014

Chicago P.D. (NBC, 2014) is an American police procedural drama television series created by Dick Wolf and Matt Olmstead. The show follows the Chicago Police Department uniformed cops who patrol ...more

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11
Chicago Fire is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
emmatiede added Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Monica Raymund

Premiered: 2012

Chicago Fire is an American television drama series that airs on NBC and was created by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas with Dick Wolf serving as an executive producer. The series originally ...more

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12
The Rookie is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Nathan Fillion, Afton Williamson, Eric Winter

Premiered: 2018

The Rookie (ABC, 2018) is an American crime drama television series created by Alexi Hawley, based on true events. With dreams of being a police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, ...more

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#11 of 160 The Best New Shows That Premiered in 2018 #79 of 125 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time #119 of 140 The Best Action-Adventure TV Shows

13
Lie to Me is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
maggiedempsey added Tim Roth, Kelli Williams, Brendan Hines

Premiered: 2009

Lie to Me (Fox, 2009) is an American crime drama television series created by Samuel Baum. A master of studying facial expressions and involuntary body language, Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) and ...more

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14
The Outsider is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Ben Mendelsohn, Cynthia Erivo, Bill Camp

Premiered: 2020

The Outsider (HBO, 2020) is an American miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. A police procedural that shifts to a horror novel, the story follows multiple characters ...more

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15
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
gschwayze added Mahershala Ali, Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson

Premiered: 2013

True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic Pizzolatto. Each season focuses on detectives investigating violent offences.

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The Best Seasons of True Detective #30 of 643 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch #14 of 92 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows

16
The Good Doctor is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
The Good Doctor Freddie Highmore, Antonia Thomas, Nicholas Gonzalez

Premiered: 2017

The Good Doctor (ABC, 2017) is an American medical-drama television series based on the 2013 South Korean series of the same name. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) is a young pediatric surgeon ...more

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17
NCIS: New Orleans is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Alexis Hayes added Scott Bakula, Lucas Black, Zoe McLellan

Premiered: 2014

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

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18
Perception is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
LanaYoshii added Eric McCormack, Rachael Leigh Cook, Kelly Rowan

Premiered: 2012

Perception (TNT, 2012) is an American crime drama television series created by Kenneth Biller and Mike Sussman. Dr. Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack), a talented but eccentric neuropsychiatrist, is ...more

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19
9-1-1: Lone Star is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Rob Lowe, Liv Tyler, Ronen Rubinstein

Premiered: 2020

9-1-1: Lone Star (Fox, 2020) is an American procedural drama television series and a spinoff of 9-1-1. The show follows a sophisticated New York cop (Lowe) who, along with his son, re-locates to ...more

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20
For Life is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Nicholas Pinnock, Indira Varma, Joy Bryant

Premiered: 2020

For Life (ABC, 2020) is an American legal drama television series created by Hank Steinberg. Prisoner Aaron (Nicholas Pinnock) becomes a lawyer and fights to overturn his life sentence for a ...more

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#34 of 44 The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time #6 of 18 Dark Dramas Inspired By Real Events #121 of 131 The Best TV Crime Dramas

21
9-1-1 is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
9-1-1 Angela Bassett, Connie Britton, Peter Krause
9-1-1 (Fox, 2018) is an American procedural drama television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk. The show explores the high-pressure experiences of police, paramedics and ...more

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22
Deputy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Stephen Dorff, Yara Martinez, Brian Van Holt
Deputy (Fox, 2020) is an American Western procedural drama television series created by Will Beall and David Ayer. When the Los Angeles County’s Sheriff dies, an arcane rule forged back in the ...more

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23
FBI: Most Wanted is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Julian McMahon, Alana de la Garza, Keisha Castle-Hughes

Premiered: 2020

FBI: Most Wanted (CBS, 2020) is an American crime drama television series created by Dick Wolf and a spin-off of the series FBI. The show is centered on the Fugitive Task Force of the FBI that ...more

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24
Bulletproof is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Noel Clarke, Ashley Walters, Christina Chong

Premiered: 2018

Bulletproof (Sky One, 2018 and CW, 2019) is a British television drama series, created by and starring Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters. the series follows NCA detectives, and best friends, Aaron ...more
25
Criminal is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
David Tennant, Clare-Hope Ashitey and Youssef Kerkour, Nathalie Baye

Premiered: 2019

Criminal: UK, Criminal: France, Criminal: Germany, and Criminal: Spain (Netflix, 2019) are parts of a police procedural anthology series created by Kay Smith and Jim Field Smith. The series ...more