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 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

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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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#101 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #74 of 106 TV Shows That Should Be Canceledfeaturing The Greatest Guest Stars on NCIS, Ranked

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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#154 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #21 of 151 The Best TV Shows That Returned In 2019featuring 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 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #229 of 1,177 The Greatest TV Shows 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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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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#286 of 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #61 of 151 The Best TV Shows That Returned In 2019featuring 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
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 780 The Best TV Shows to Binge Watch #52 of 106 TV Shows That Should Be Canceledfeaturing 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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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
Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for ... is listed (or ranked) 22 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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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
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
Criminal Minds: Beyond B... is listed (or ranked) 24 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
25
9-1-1 is listed (or ranked) 25 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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