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TV Detective Shows from the 70s

Updated on May 12, 2011

Top 7 Detective Shows from the 70s

My list of the Top Detective Shows from the 70's include quirky characters like Columbo, undercover cops like Baretta, and displaced cowboys like McCloud. The detective shows were different from what is seen on TV today. Today's shows are more focused on forensic analysis that was not available then. So, you get to watch and enjoy some very thorough and entertaining detective work.

The TV Detective Series are available on DVD and make excellent gift ideas for Dads and Grandpas. Maybe they are a fan of Ellery Queen, the classic "whodunit", or the group of witty detectives from the New York City police station in Greenwich Village, Barney Miller.

Ellery Queen Mysteries

Ellery Queen only lasted one season which was unfortunate. The classic murder mystery was some of the best nonviolent and intelligent. Set in the 1940s, Ellery Queen stars boyishly charming Jim Hutton, one of the screen's most likable leading men, as the famed mystery writer and sleuth who helps his father, Inspector Richard Queen (David Wayne), solve the most baffling of cases.

Kojak - "Who loves ya, baby?"

Telly Savalas won the Best Actor Emmy for his portrayal of Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak, NYPD. Kojak's Greek American heritage was used throughout the series. (Savalas is also a Greek American.) Kojak was known for his lollypop that he began to carry when he quit smoking in real life. "Kojak" is a well written detective show that shows the dark side of the 70's New York City.


-Michael N.

Are you a fan of the classic TV Detective Series? Which show was your favorite?

Please leave your comments! - Do you have a favorite detective TV show?

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    • profile image

      0cie carlisle 

      3 years ago

      my favorite tv cop show Hawaii fiveo,

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Oh yeah! Starsky and Hutch. And Huggy Bear. I loved, loved, loved that show. I couldn't decide which cop I had the biggest crush on!

    • lilymom24 profile image


      7 years ago

      I remember most of those. My dad was a huge fan of The Rockfor Files and I loved Starsky and Hutch.

    • jolou profile image


      7 years ago

      These were such good shows! I especially liked McMillan and Wife, and Columbo. Lensrolled this to my 70s quiz and classic tv lenses. I'm a big classic tv fan!

    • DecoratingEvents profile image


      8 years ago

      My mom and dad watched all these shows! They were crazy about any detective shows.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      8 years ago from United States

      I hadn't realize what a huge fan of detective shows I really am until I saw this article. Columbo is my all time favorite from this group, but they are all awesome. Some of these, like Starsky and Hutch, really take me back in time. I guess I am also showing my age. LOL

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Now these are "real" detective shows. Some times I long for the old shows that makes you go through clues and figure out who did it. Great selection.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image


      8 years ago

      Whoa, did you take me back to some fun times! Rockford Files, McCloud, McMillian and Wife, which is being remade by the way! All great shows. And wonderful gift ideas for those of us who love those old shows!


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