Entertainment

The Best Current Procedural Dramas 

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

List of top procedural dramas currently on-air in 2016-2017. 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!

 

list ordered by
1
Lucifer is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Merijo Dietrich added Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro

Premiered: 2015

Number of Seasons: 4

Genres (Tv): Police procedural, Comedy-drama, Mystery, Crime, Horror, + more

Lucifer (Fox, 2016) is an American fantasy police procedural comedy-drama television series. It features a character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg taken from the comic ...more

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2
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
LanaYoshii added Shemar Moore, Matthew Gray Gubler, Thomas Gibson

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 186

Network: A&E, CBS

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Crime, Suspense, Drama, + more

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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3
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
admamc8 added Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette

Premiered: 2003

Number of Seasons: 10

Number of Episodes: 218

Network: CBS

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Drama, Thriller, + more

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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#189 of 594 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #55 of 396 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate The Best Actors On NCIS

4
Law & Order: Special... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T

Premiered: 1999

Number of Seasons: 13

Number of Episodes: 319

Network: NBC

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama, Live action, Legal drama, + more

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

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5
Elementary is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
LanaYoshii added Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu

Premiered: 2012

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 24

Network: CBS

Genres (Tv): Drama

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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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

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 31

Network: CBS

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Thriller, + more

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

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#148 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #83 of 396 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate The Best Seasons of Person of Interest

7
Supernatural is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
LanaYoshii added Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles, Katie Cassidy

Premiered: 2005

Number of Seasons: 8

Number of Episodes: 158

Network: The WB Television Network, The CW Television Network

Genres (Tv): Supernatural drama, Black comedy, Drama, Horror Film, Mystery, + more

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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8
Blue Bloods is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 67

Network: CBS

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Crime, Drama, Adventure film, + more

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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#38 of 128 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows #652 of 2,298 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time The Best Seasons of Blue Bloods

9
Chicago P.D. is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
emmatiede added Jason Beghe, Jon Seda, Sophia Bush

Premiered: 2014

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 2

Network: NBC

Genres (Tv): Crime, Drama

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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#230 of 396 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate #1,076 of 2,298 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time Best Seasons of Chicago P.D.

10
NCIS: Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Chris O'Donnell, Daniela Ruah, Barrett Foa

Premiered: 2009

Number of Seasons: 10

Number of Episodes: 242

Network: CBS

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Drama, Adventure film, + more

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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#277 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #361 of 594 The Best TV Theme Songs of All Time #28 of 128 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows

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

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 24

Network: NBC

Genres (Tv): Drama

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
NCIS: New Orleans is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Alexis Hayes added Scott Bakula, Lucas Black, Zoe McLellan

Premiered: 2014

Network: CBS

Genres (Tv): Drama, Crime Fiction

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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13
Hawaii Five-0 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Leonard Freeman, Alex Kurtzman, Peter M. Lenkov

Premiered: 2010

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 71

Network: CBS

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Drama, Adventure film, + more

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

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14
The Good Doctor is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
The Good Doctor Freddie Highmore, Antonia Thomas, Nicholas Gonzalez

Premiered: 2017

Network: ABC

Genres (Tv): Medical, Drama

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
15
Lie to Me is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
maggiedempsey added Tim Roth, Kelli Williams, Brendan Hines

Premiered: 2009

Number of Seasons: 3

Number of Episodes: 48

Network: Fox Broadcasting Company

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Crime, Drama

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

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16
The Rookie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Nathan Fillion, Afton Williamson, Eric Winter

Genres (Tv): Crime, Drama, Comedy, Police procedural

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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#55 of 123 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time #135 of 151 The Best Action-Adventure TV Shows #74 of 233 The Best Ever Police Procedural Shows

17
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
gschwayze added Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan

Premiered: 2013

Number of Seasons: 1

Number of Episodes: 8

Network: HBO

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Drama

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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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

Number of Seasons: 2

Number of Episodes: 11

Network: TNT

Genres (Tv): Crime Fiction, Action/Adventure, Police procedural, Drama, Mystery, + more

Perception is an American crime drama television series created by Kenneth Biller and Mike Sussman. The series stars Eric McCormack as Dr. Daniel Pierce, a schizophrenic neuropsychiatrist who ...more

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19
The Outsider is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Ben Mendelsohn, Cynthia Erivo, Bill Camp

Premiered: 2020

Network: HBO

Genres (Tv): Drama, Crime, Horror

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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20
9-1-1: Lone Star is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Rob Lowe, Liv Tyler, Ronen Rubinstein

Premiered: 2020

Network: Fox

Genres (Tv): Procedura drama, Action

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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21
Deputy is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Stephen Dorff, Yara Martinez, Brian Van Holt

Network: Fox

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Police procedural, Western

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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22
For Life is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Nicholas Pinnock, Indira Varma, Joy Bryant

Premiered: 2020

Network: ABC

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Thriller, Legal drama

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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23
Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for ... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Russell Hornsby, Arielle Kebbel, Brían F. O’Byrne Tate Ellington

Network: NBC

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Thriller, Drama

Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector (NBC, 2020) is an American crime drama television series based on The Bone Collector series of novels by Jeffery Deaver. Retired forensic criminologist ...more

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24
FBI: Most Wanted is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Julian McMahon, Alana de la Garza, Keisha Castle-Hughes

Premiered: 2020

Network: CBS

Genres (Tv): Crime drama, Drama

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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#226 of 260 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #108 of 133 The Best TV Crime Dramas

25
Criminal Minds: Beyond B... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Alexis Hayes added Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders Gary Sinise, Alana de la Garza, Daniel Henney Tyler

Genres (Tv): Police procedural, Drama, Thriller, Crime drama

Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (CBS, 2016) is an American police procedural series created by Erica Messer. It is the third show in the Criminal Minds franchise. Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders ...more