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The Best True Crime TV Shows

Updated October 14, 2020 27.9k votes 7.4k voters 649.3k views96 items

List RulesVote up your favorite shows that follow and investigate true crimes.

The very best true crime shows on television, ranked from best to worst. This list of the greatest true crime shows also includes pictures from the shows, when available. Popular true crime TV shows have been a staple of television for years, so there's often debate about what the most entertaining true crime show of all time is. Don't let your favorite true crime television programs in history fall 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 true crime television television series below includes information like the program's cast, creator, and premiere date, when available.

What are some good true crime TV shows? Examples include Disappeared and Snapped, among other real crime shows that pair docudrama with thorough investigation, or use their format as true crime miniseries to dive deep into a story. What is the best true crime show of all time? If you've caught any true crime shows full episodes, you know which ones you like and probably have a quick answer when someone asks you, "What are the greatest true crime shows?" You're well aware that these are the best real life crime shows ever.

Upvote the true crime TV shows you think are the best and rerank to see how your favorites stack up against the rest. True crime series are incredibly engaging and arguably some of the best shows on TV.

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  • 1
    Forensic Files is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    2,171
    458

    Forensic Files

    Dayle Hinman, Peter Thomas

    Premiered1996

    If this is you fave, be sure to check out our list of all Forensic Files episodes ranked.

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  • 2
    Cold Case Files is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    1,204
    315

    Cold Case Files

    Danny Pino, Anthony Green

    Premiered1999

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    #156 of 537 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time#68 of 147 The Best TV Crime Dramas

  • 3
    Dateline NBC is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    1,263
    371

    Dateline NBC

    Lester Holt, Ann Curry

    Premiered1992

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    #170 of 390 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate#4 of 64 The Best News Magazine TV Shows

  • 4
    The First 48 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    1,158
    372

    The First 48

    Dion Graham, Caroline Mason

    Premiered2004

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  • 5
    Homicide Hunter is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    1,066
    347

    Homicide Hunter

    Josh Casaubon, Joe Kenda

    Premiered2011

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  • 6
    Unsolved Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    786
    243

    Unsolved Mysteries

    Robert Stack, Dennis Farina

    Premiered1987

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  • 7
    48 Hours is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    517
    139

    48 Hours

    Maureen Maher, Peter Van Sant

    Premiered1988

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  • 8
    Cold Justice is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    774
    253

    Cold Justice

    Kelly Siegler, Yolanda McClary

    Premiered2013

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  • 9
    Snapped is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    789
    282

    Snapped

    Laura San Giacomo

    Premiered2004

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  • 10
    American Justice is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    569
    189

    American Justice

    Bill Kurtis

    Premiered1992

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  • 11
    A Crime to Remember is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    398
    119

    A Crime to Remember

    Michelle McNamara, Francis Reilly

    Premiered2013

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  • 12
    The FBI Files is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    514
    185

    The FBI Files

    James Kallstrom, Anthony D. Call

    Premiered1998

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    #22 of 197 The Best Documentary Series & TV Shows#3 of 78 The Best Crime Documentary Series

  • 13
    20/20 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    346
    107

    20/20

    Elizabeth Vargas, David Muir

    Premiered1978

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  • 14
    Disappeared is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    485
    188

    Disappeared

    Christopher Crutchfield Walker, David Van Norman
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  • 15
    Nightmare Next Door is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    443
    166

    Nightmare Next Door

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  • 16
    Killing Fields is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    381
    136

    Killing Fields

    Rodie Sanchez, Aubrey St. Angelo
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  • 17
    Deadly Women is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    417
    159

    Deadly Women

    Lynnanne Zager

    Premiered2005

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  • 18
    America's Most Wanted is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    452
    178

    Premiered1988

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  • 19
    The Jinx: The Life and Deaths  is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    408
    160

    Premiered2015

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  • 20
    Making a Murderer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    296
    115

    Making a Murderer

    Steven Avery, Brendan Dassey
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  • 21
    City Confidential is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    320
    133

    City Confidential

    Paul Winfield, Keith David

    Premiered1999

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  • 22
    Solved is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    395
    179

    Solved

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  • 23
    Web of Lies is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    159
    47

    Web of Lies

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  • 24
    The New Detectives is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    322
    152

    The New Detectives

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  • 25
    FearThy Neighbor is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
    146
    50

    FearThy Neighbor

    Neighbors turn against each other with frightful consequences.

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