Entertainment

The Best True Crime TV Shows  

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24.5k votes 6.7k voters 584.3k views 75 items

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. 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.

1
Forensic Files is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
truTV, TLC

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

Forensic Files is an American documentary-style series that reveals how forensic science is used to solve violent crimes, mysterious accidents, and even outbreaks of illness. The show was ...more
2
Cold Case Files is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
A&E
Cold Case Files (A&E, 1999) is a reality legal docuseries hosted by Bill Kurtis. The show documents the investigation of many long-unsolved murders (referred to as "cold cases" in ...more
3
Dateline NBC is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
NBC
Dateline NBC, or simply Dateline, is a weekly American television newsmagazine/reality legal show that is broadcast on NBC. It was previously the network's flagship news magazine, but now ...more
4
48 Hours is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
zoe-krainik added CBS
48 Hours is an American documentary/news magazine television series that airs on CBS. The series has been broadcast on the network since January 19, 1988. The program airs Saturdays at 10:00 ...more
5
The First 48 is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
A&E
The First 48 (A&E, 2004) is an American documentary television series that offers an insider's look at the real-life world of homicide investigators.
6
Unsolved Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
Spike, CBS, NBC
Unsolved Mysteries is an American television program, hosted by Robert Stack from 1987 to 2002 and later by Dennis Farina starting in 2008. The show was broadcast first as specials in 1987, then ...more
7
Homicide Hunter is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
ncwebb added Investigation Discovery
Homicide Hunter is an American documentary television series showcasing the career of retired Colorado Springs police detective Joseph Kenda. It debuted October 25, 2011 on Investigation ...more
8
Cold Justice is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
wendy-aston added TNT, Oxygen
Cold Justice (TNT, 2013) is an American unscripted true crime television series produced by Dick Wolf. The show follows former Harris County, Texas prosecutor Kelly Siegler and a team of ...more
9
American Justice is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
Conbon07 added The Biography Channel, A&E
For over ten years, AMERICAN JUSTICE® has been the gold standard of criminal justice programming, tackling today's toughest issues through the cases that challenge and change the law. Famous ...more
10
Snapped is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
Oxygen
Snapped is a British narrated American true crime television series that airs on the Oxygen Network. Snapped debuted on August 6, 2004, and is produced by Jupiter Entertainment.
11
A Crime to Remember is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
Christina Brown added A Crime to Remember Investigation Discovery
Styles may change, but murder lasts forever. Step into the past and unravel the intricacies of real-life murder cases of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Set against the backdrop of Studebakers, fedoras, and ...more
12
The FBI Files is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
Discovery Channel
The FBI Files is an American television docudrama series that originally ran from 1998 to 2006. It was carried by the Discovery Channel cable network and produced by New Dominion Pictures of ...more
13
20/20 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
mwalker added ABC News, American Broadcasting Company
20/20 is an American television newsmagazine that has been broadcast on ABC since June 6, 1978. Created by ABC News executive Roone Arledge, the show was designed similarly to CBS's 60 Minutes ...more
14
Disappeared is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
Disappeared is an American documentary television series on Investigation Discovery which debuted on January 11, 2010. The series contains interviews and commentary by people involved in various ...more
15
Nightmare Next Door is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
shane-denford added Investigation Discovery
Nightmare Next Door (Investigation Discovery, 2011) is an American true crime documentary television series. Each episode follows reenactments of murders that rocked small-town America.
16
America's Most Wanted is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
Fox Broadcasting Company, Lifetime Television
America's Most Wanted is an American television program produced by 20th Television, and was the longest-running program of any kind in the history of the Fox Television Network until it was ...more
17
Deadly Women is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
Melissa71 added Investigation Discovery
Deadly Women is a television series first aired in 2005 on the Discovery Channel, focusing on female killers. It was originally a mini-series consisting of three episodes: "Obsession", ...more
18
Killing Fields is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
A cold case television series which takes place on the Discovery Channel. It follows investigators in real time as they try to solve a Louisiana crime which took place in June 1997.
19
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (HBO, 2015) is a documentary miniseries directed by Andrew Jarecki. Exploring the complicated life of reclusive real estate icon Robert Durst, the ...more
20
Making a Murderer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
This series is an American documentary television series that premiered on Netflix in 2015. The ten-episode first season, written and directed by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, explores the ...more
21
Web of Lies is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
clsimons added Web of Lies
22
Solved is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
Solved Investigation Discovery
Solved is an American true crime television series that airs on the Investigation Discovery network. The show also aired on TLC. Debuting on October 13, 2008, Solved is produced in conjunction ...more
23
City Confidential is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
Conbon07 added The Biography Channel, A&E
City Confidential is an American documentary television show, transmitted on the A&E Network, which singled out a community during each episode and investigated a crime that had occurred ...more
24
The New Detectives is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
Discovery Channel
The New Detectives: Case Studies in Forensic Science is a documentary true crime television show that aired two to three different cases in forensic science per episode. Episode reruns currently ...more
25
Fear Thy Neighbor is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best True Crime TV Shows
Lisa Roth Pochmara added FearThy Neighbor Investigation Discovery

Neighbors turn against each other with frightful consequences.

Fear Thy Neighbor is a reality television program airing on Investigation Discovery on Monday nights at 10:00 p.m. The show began airing Monday, April 14, 2014. The show focuses on feuds between ...more