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Best Television Crime Dramas of All Time

Updated on March 18, 2017

Crime and Action Classics

The A-Team television series spawned many products including toy action figures, lunch boxes and clothing.
The A-Team television series spawned many products including toy action figures, lunch boxes and clothing. | Source
Prison Break had four seasons and a full length T.V. movie during their series run.  Michael and Lincoln work together to escape Fox River Prison.
Prison Break had four seasons and a full length T.V. movie during their series run. Michael and Lincoln work together to escape Fox River Prison. | Source
Burn Notice was a action show for the USA Network. It featured all kinds of explosions and special gadgets that helped the squad get their man.
Burn Notice was a action show for the USA Network. It featured all kinds of explosions and special gadgets that helped the squad get their man. | Source
Crime Scene Investigation or CSI produced 194 shows and ran for eleven seasons. It showed the inner workings of the law.
Crime Scene Investigation or CSI produced 194 shows and ran for eleven seasons. It showed the inner workings of the law. | Source
Crocket and Tubbs fight crime on a daily basis in Miami Vice. They were Florida detectives who went after the big fish while fighting crime. Great show.
Crocket and Tubbs fight crime on a daily basis in Miami Vice. They were Florida detectives who went after the big fish while fighting crime. Great show. | Source

Which is The Best Crime Drama?

Which crime television show is the best?

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Criminal Minds DVDs on Amazon

Ten Great Crime Shows

1. Prison Break (2005): This series had 4 seasons and a movie. A man named Lincoln Burrows is sent to death row but, he is innocent. He was framed by some of the most powerful people. The President of The United States. His brother (Michael Scofield) robs a bank and gets caught on purpose. The plan is to go to the same prison as his brother and break them both out of the prison together. Michael does a lot of research and has everything ready for he and Lincoln's escape. In doing his research, he has learned that DB Cooper is in prison here. He plans to break out DB Cooper because he has the resources to get them across the border into Panama. This show shows the prison life and over time it shows you life on the run from the F.B.I. It has tense moments, great music and an ever changing plot that continues to thicken show by show.

2. Miami Vice (1984): Crocket and Tubbs are two detectives in Miami, Florida who must fight crime on each episode. The music and plots for this show were top notch to say the least. The show ran for six seasons and was also known for it's guest appearances. This show takes on the shady drug underworld in Miami and the surrounding areas. This was a very popular show back in the 80s. There was always talk of Miami Vice, around the office.

3. The A-Team (1983): This show is about a select few former U.S. Army Special Forces men who are like hired guns for the law. Mr. T and George Peppard star in this 80's hit. The show always had a moral compass mixed with comedy but it was Hannibal dressing up in costumes that was most memorable. This show brought us Mr. T and the saying, I Love it when a plan comes together. The A-Team, was one of my favorite shows. Usually, we would watch it together, as a family.

4. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000) This show is based in Las Vegas, Nevada which is the second largest crime lab in the United States. The main characters, Lawrence Fishburne, George Eads and Ann Donahue solve crimes in a lab by using physical items, fingerprints and DNA to solve crimes. The team has specific jobs to help find the killer. It is truly a group effort. Lots of different talented police,investigators, and researchers pull together as a team to solve murders.

5. Burn Notice (2007): This show is about an ex-United States spy, who uses his knowledge and skills to help save lives and foil plans for criminals. It has aired since 2007 and it is still going strong. The shows mostly takes place in Miami, Florida and Michael Weston, the spy, usually has help from his side kick and ex-girlfriend, Fiona.

6. Criminal Minds (2005): This show is about F,B,I. Agents and their role in profiling criminals in order to solve the crime. This program came out in 2005, and it still produces new crime situations. In this show, the F.B.I. Profilers learn everything about the bad guys in order to plot their next move and, solve the crime puzzles put in front of them. There have been some really interesting episodes. There always seems to be a crime committed towards the beginning of the episode. The rest of the show is spent trying to solve the crime that has been committed.

7. Columbo (1968): Columbo was a Homicide Detective in Los Angeles, California and he solved crimes against some of the worst murderers in history. Each episode is over an hour in length and, it always has a few surprises towards the end. Peter Faulk was excellent in his shy, polite and bumbling role. He seemed slow but, he was a mystery solving genius. Columbo always tried to make it seem like he was having trouble solving the case, and then all of the sudden, he has the suspect in custody.

8. Law & Order (1990): This show ran an amazing (20) years from 1990-2010. The show is set and filmed also, in New York City and the show is 60 minutes in length. The episodes have two parts. The first is to catch a criminal and the second is the trial in which the state tries to prosecute the perpetrator.

9. 24 (2001): Kiefer Sutherland stars as Agent Jack Bauer, who is a counter terrorism expert. The show aired 8 seasons and each episode was a 24 hour day in the life of Bauer. The show is praised for it's use of split screens at certain times, and also the way the clock is displayed on the screen at crucial moments. This show ran for a long time. There was never a dull moment on this show. It was very popular.

10. Hunter (1984): This police saga aired from 1984-1991 and starred Fred Dryer as Detective Hunter in this good guy, bad guy show. His partner is Detective McCall who is a great crime solver herself. Hunter has a gun of choice and it is the .44 Magnum.

Trailer for the show, 24

Burn Notice Television Show

Cast your vote for Burn Notice

Best Courtroom Television Shows

 
 
 
Matlock
Perry Mason
Boston Legal
Night Court
The Practice
Law and Order
L.A. Law
Ally McBeal
Jag
Murder One
 
 
This is a Top 10 list of the best Courtroom shows in television history.

Miami Vice Clips

Prison Break: Season One Trailer

A-Team Intro

Location of Burn Notice

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Law & Order has my vote. I enjoy the TV marathons. Criminal Minds comes in at a close second. Very close.

    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

      I would only add 'The Wire", I loved its realism but the list is pretty good! Voted up and awesome.