Entertainment

The Best Current Procedural Dramas 

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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!

 

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1
Lucifer is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Merijo Dietrich added
Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro
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
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
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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#8 of 127 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows #54 of 259 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Timefeaturing 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
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
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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#153 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #169 of 217 The TV Shows with the Best Writingfeaturing The Best Characters On 'Elementary'

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
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 #55 of 259 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Timefeaturing 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
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
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 127 The Best Current Dramatic TV Shows #649 of 2,296 The Greatest TV Shows Of All Timefeaturing 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
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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10
NCIS: Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
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

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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
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
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
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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#211 of 779 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #32 of 127 The Best Current Dramatic TV Showsfeaturing Best Seasons of Hawaii Five-0

14
Lie to Me is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
maggiedempsey added
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

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#24 of 579 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time #119 of 394 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

15
The Good Doctor is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
The Good Doctor
Freddie Highmore, Antonia Thomas, Nicholas Gonzalez
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
16
The Rookie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
Nathan Fillion, Afton Williamson, Eric Winter
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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17
True Detective is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Current Procedural Dramas
gschwayze added
Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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#234 of 259 The Greatest TV Dramas of All Time #111 of 132 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
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