18 Best police procedural TV shows to watch

the rookie 4
Credits: ABC

The format of police procedural TV series is engaging and continuously interesting because of their episodic intrigue with multiple mind-boggling cases and tough, world-weary police officers who investigate heinous crimes. Crime TV shows with short episodes are addictive and binge-worthy, with uncomplicated storylines and a different mystery in each episode.

From American show like Law and Order to British show like Broadchurch, police procedurals TV series have massive fandoms and a huge audience. These shows incorporate serious crime investigation and technical and medical expertise, which adds more interest to the audience.

So, if you like crime and a knowledgeable investigation that keeps you on the edge of one’s seat, you are at the right place. Check out this list of 18 best police procedural TV series to watch.

The Mentalist

the mentalist

Patrick Jane started working as a consultant in the California Bureau of Investigation. Previously a charlatan who used to fool people with his powerful observational skills to make them believe that he is a psychic, he turns to use his power to catch criminals when his wife and daughter become victims to an impossible-to-catch serial killer. The TV series stars Simon Baker, Robin Tunney, and Tim Kang.

Stream on: Amazon Prime Video

Brooklyn Nine Nine

brooklyn nine nine

Crime with comedy, Brooklyn Nine Nine may focus more on the lives of the police officers than the cases, but every case is interesting to watch. Jake Peralta is a messy person, but when it comes to removing crime from the street using his intelligence and figuring out clues, there is no one better than him in all precincts. The TV series stars Andy Samberg, Mellisa Fumero, and Stephanie Beatriz.

Stream on: Netflix

Criminal Minds

criminal minds

In the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI, agents are responsible for expert profiling of criminals on the basis of forensics psychology and geographical area. Different agents with different expertise come together to investigate crime and help create the most accurate profile to predict and find the criminal before he commits another act of crime. The TV series stars Thomas Gibson, Lola Glaudini, and Mandy Patinkin.

Stream on: Amazon Prime Video, Disney +

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation


A team of investigators with LAPD headed by Dr. Gil Grissom, a forensic expert, and criminal profiler, with his second in command, Catherine Willows, a driven woman born with the instincts of a cop and is an expert at blood spatter analysis. Their job is to collect physical evidence linked to the case and help solve the crime. The TV series stars William Peterson, Marg Helgenberger, and Gary Dourdan.

Stream on: Amazon Prime Video



In the coastal town of Dorset, a case about a murdered 11-year-old gained massive media attention. Detective Alec Hardy, an out-of-town inspector, is sent to lead the investigation in this mysterious case. A hard-headed man, Hardy encounters conflict from a colleague, Detective Ellie Miller, who believes that he flew in out of nowhere to steal her case and from the victim’s grieving family and nosy people of the town. The TV series stars David Tennant, Jodie Whittaker, and Olivia Colman.

Stream on: Prime Video, Apple TV

Law and Order

Law and Order Season 21 Trailer (HD)

Law and Order is one of the best police procedural TV series that has aired 22 seasons since 1990 and is still currently running. The show’s format is divided into two parts. In the first part, they conduct an investigation of apprehending the criminal, and in the later part, the prosecution of the case in court. The TV series stars Dick Wolf, Matthew Penn, and Ed Sherin.

Stream on: NBC, Amazon Prime Video

Blue Bloods

blue bloods

Eliminating crime is a family business for the Reagan family, where Frank, the father, is the police commissioner, and his two sons are part of the police force and law. The show has 13 seasons, with a 14th coming in February 2024, and follows a family who deals with problems both at home and outside. The TV series stars Tom Selleck, Will Estes, and Donnie Wahlberg.

Stream on: CBS, Amazon Prime Video

True Detective

True Detective - Season 1: Trailer - Official HBO UK

True Detectives is an anthology detective TV series where every season revolves around a single case and the detectives linked to it. The series has 3 seasons: the first focuses on occult-related murders, the second is around finding perpetrators of political murder, and the last is a terrifying mystery behind two missing children cases. The TV series stars Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, and Rachel McAdams.

Stream on: Amazon Prime Video

Rizzoli and Isles

rizzoli and isles

Jane Rizzoli, a detective in Boston Homicide Police, and Maura, a chief medical examiner, come together to solve cases with their individual expertise and experience. With seven seasons, the show is based on a novel series by Tess Gerritsen. The TV series stars Angie Harmon, Sasha Alexander, and Jordan Bridges.

Stream on: Amazon Prime Video


Cases related to the Navy and marine are investigated by agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The show is the third longest-running TV series in the US, with 21 seasons under its belt. This police procedural show follows cases that involve members of the Marine Corps and the US Navy or their families in relation to murder, treason, etc. The TV series stars Mark Harmon, Sasha Alexander, and Michael Weatherly.

Stream on: Amazon Prime Video



Luther won Idris Elba a Golden Globe Award for playing the titular character Luther in 2012. A fascinating crime drama, the TV series follows Luther, a man who has a special ability to infiltrate people’s minds which he uses on his criminals to find out the truth but it has its side effects too, as it puts him in bad space with his team and also brings out some past demons. The TV series stars Idris Elba, Ruth Wilson, and Warren Brown.

Stream on: Amazon Prime Video

The Rookie

the rookie

John Nolan is looking for a new start at the age of 40 after a divorce and new move to Los Angeles by signing up to become a police officer after he helped take down robbers in his hometown. Faced with skepticism and a gap with his colleagues, he must endeavor to overcome these challenges as well as prove himself by solving crimes. The TV series stars Nathan Fillion, Eric Winter and Alyssa Diaz.

Stream on: Hulu

Hawaii Five-O

Hawaii Five-O: The First Season

In Hawaii, a special task force is organized by the governor to look over crimes around the gorgeous beaches of Hawaii. With 10 seasons, the show follows a small team of agents headed by Steve McGarrett who are only answerable to the Governor and investigate crimes ranging from robberies to terrorism. The TV series stars Alex O’Loughlin, Scott Caan, and Daniel Day Kim.

Stream on: Paramount +, Apple TV



Kate Beckett, a homicide detective in New York City, is asked to partner up with Richard Castle, a novelist who has written best-selling mystery stories. Miffed by this pairing, Kate is skeptical of Richard’s contribution to any investigation they conduct, but when he comes overboard to find clues centered around her mother’s death, she starts to look at him in a new light. The TV series stars Nathan Fillion, Stana Katic, and Susan Sullivan.

Stream on: Hulu


Elementary - Exclusive Preview

For fans of Sherlock, Elementary is one of the best adaptations to watch. Sherlock is recovering from a drug addiction and is assigned a surgeon called Dr. Joan Watson to help in his rehabilitation. Sherlock works with the police of New York City on various crimes while also facing his old and new nemesis, Jamie Moriarty. The TV series stars Jonny Lee Miller, Lucy Liu, and Jon Michael Hill.

Stream on: Hulu

Chicago P.D.

Chicago P.D.: Season 1 - Now on DVD

Chicago PD has two departments: uniformed patrol officers and an elite intelligence unit. These two departments work together to eliminate crime from the 21st district of Chicago while also battling healthy competition with each other. Headed by Detective Sergeant Hank Voight, the TV series has 10 seasons to binge-watch. The TV series stars Jason Beghe, Jon Seda, and Sophia Bush.

Stream on: DirecTV, Apple TV


Bones Season 7 Promo (HD)

FBI agent Seeley Booth seeks help from Temperance Brennan, a bone specialist who works as a forensic anthropologist and uses her knowledge about bone study to investigate cases with decomposed or destroyed bones to solve crimes. The TV series stars David Boreanaz, Emily Deschanel and Michaela Conlin.

Stream on: Hulu



A psychological thriller, the series brings back the famous mind-controlling psychologist Hannibal Lecter. FBI profiler Will Graham starts feeling the stress of the case about a serial killer, and he is asked to see the forensic psychiatrist with the FBI, Hannibal Lecter, who might be able to help. But this collaboration only leads to further corruption of Will’s mind as now he is in the hands of a psychopathic serial killer. The TV series stars Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen and Caroline Dhavernas.

Stream on: Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video