If you like actual crime in all of its manifestations—podcasts, documentaries, and television series—then you’re likely to enjoy the equally fascinating genre of crime procedurals as well. Crime programs are written dramas that follow cops, teams of detectives, or elected officials as they attempt to solve crimes. If you’re a fan of Criminal Minds, you’re probably looking for similar shows to watch.
Throughout its fourteen seasons, Criminal Minds took us on some very bizarre and scary excursions. With the fifteenth and last season scheduled to air next year, fans are already on the lookout for series that could satisfy their appetite for murder and intrigue. While we’re confident that no television series will ever be able to watch Criminal Minds, there are a few shows worth your attention. Here are 30 excellent comparable programs that you are sure to like.
1. C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation
Certain shows immediately establish themselves as classics. Criminal Minds accomplished this feat, spanning more than a dozen seasons. However, five years before the show’s arrival on our televisions, another had already achieved that classic and legendary reputation.
The Las Vegas Police Department’s Criminalistics Division is the nation’s second-largest crime laboratory, solving crimes on which virtually every other crime lab has given up. They seek out offenders using scientific analysis and the odd leap of reasoning, led by hard-nosed Captain Jim Brass and eccentric Gil Grissom.
2. Law & Order
Each year, Law & Order continues to acquire new fans and spin-offs. Dick Wolf devised the police procedural-slash-legal drama, which aired in 1990. It lasted more than two decades, concluding in May 2010 after more than two decades.
The drama, shot in New York, depicts the sometimes complicated process of establishing guilt or innocence while lives are on the line. Frequently inspired by current events, the stories highlight legal, ethical, or personal issues viewers may identify with.
3. Criminal Minds
Another long-running criminal procedural is Criminal Minds. There’s a lot to reminisce or catch up on with 15 seasons available to binge on Paramount+. Criminal Minds chronicles the exploits of an elite group of F.B.I. profilers as they delve into the minds of some of the most bizarre criminals conceivable.
In this crime drama, an elite squad of F.B.I. profilers travels from Quantico to the epicenter of several serial murderers’ criminal activity. They examine evidence from crime sites, create a profile, and attempt to avert the next fatal blow. Academic Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin) was the top intellect, but he departed the Bureau following some difficult judgments. Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), his more conventional operational right-hand guy, subsequently took over the squad. Following Gideon’s departure, David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) rejoins the Bureau in an attempt to make a difference in people’s lives once more and to follow up on a case he worked on years ago. Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), a juvenile, is an erudite on everything but real-life; Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness), a bright computer wiz who can access any database; and so on. Cooperation with local police and F.B.I. agents is critical because of their mobility but frequently creates jurisdictional and other issues, as do some witnesses and suspects.
Suppose you fell in love with Criminal Minds for its profiling component. In that case, you absolutely must check out David Fincher’s Mindhunter, which chronicles the development of the F.B.I. team known as the B.A.U. Jonathan Groff plays Holden Ford, a rookie agent specializing in hostage negotiations who becomes fascinated by the psychology of psychotic “sequence murderers.” He begins interviewing jailed serial murders in order to develop a system for locating additional assassins who have not yet been apprehended. It’s an engrossing look at how the team created the profiling techniques utilized in Criminal Minds.
When the B.A.U. The team solved crimes, they enjoyed putting together a fantastic murder board, and if that chaotic-good vibe delighted you, Homeland would have you leaping for glee.
Carrie Mathison is on probation for conducting an illegal operation in Iraq as a C.I.A. operations officer. As a consequence, she was transferred to the Counter-Terrorism Center. She was told while in Iraq that an American prisoner had been turned over to Al-Qaeda. When Nicholas Brody, a United States Marine Sergeant who has been kept prisoner since 2003, is released, she feels he is the one. While Brody is hailed as a war hero upon his return, Carrie goes to great efforts to expose him.
Perhaps you dislike the lone wolf hunt, which we understand. That is why NCIS exists, another long-running C.B.S. crime drama focused on a military team of crime solvers.
NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) is much more than a police procedural. With generous doses of humor, it’s a program that focuses on the often intricate but always funny relationships of a team forced to work together under duress. NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a former Marine gunnery sergeant with outstanding investigative abilities, commands this motley crew of colorful characters. Gibbs, a guy of few words, simply needs a glance to convey the message. NCIS Director Leon Vance is in charge of operations and intellectual, highly trained agent who can always be depended on to upend the status quo. These special agents investigate any crimes involving the Navy or Marine Corps, from murder and espionage to terrorism and stolen submarines.
This Netflix criminal thriller follows a money-laundering family from Chicago as they work for a Mexican drug gang in the Missouri Ozarks.
The Byrdes and their adolescent children, Charlotte and Jonah, are ordinary families living an ordinary life. Except for Marty’s employment, a Chicago financial counselor who doubles as the head money launderer for Mexico’s second-largest drug gang. When things go wrong, Marty is forced to uproot his family from the Chicago skyscrapers and settle in the Missouri Ozarks’ lazy lake area.
8. The Blacklist
If you’re not quite ready to leave the F.B.I.’s domain just yet, The Blacklist is definitely worth checking out. We don’t want to give too much away but suffice it to say that it’s an intriguing story of a government spy who transforms into a cunning and vicious mastermind.
“Red” Reddington, a highly eloquent, erudite, and brilliant businessman and genius, has supposedly been on several U.S. law enforcement organizations’ “10 Most Wanted List” for over two decades. According to mythology, Red is as cunning as he is elusive, commanding a maze of creative businesses and possessing an amazing capacity to acquire and finesse information at the drop of a hat. On her first day at the F.B.I. as a newly graduated female profiler from Quantico, Red volunteers to spar with the F.B.I. Red offers to give a variety of previously undiscovered crimes and schemes to any sector of law enforcement… all Red asks in exchange is that he select his muse.
Take what you know about crime dramas and how forensic experts deduce information from tangible evidence and apply it to bones. Simply bones, as in the bones of deceased victims. That is the concept of Bones, another famous crime drama that ran from 2005 to 2017. It centers on Dr. Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist who possesses an uncanny capacity to obtain the information she requires to solve a murder merely by examining the clues left on the victims’ bones.
10. Manhunt: Unabomber
Manhunt: Unabomber is a Netflix limited series based on the actual story of domestic terrorist Ted Kaczynski and the forensic linguistic F.B.I. profiler who apprehended him. However, despite the fact that it is based on the true events of the Unabomber Bombings that shook the West Coast from 1975 to 1995, it satisfies the majority of the criteria for a crime procedural. On the one side, there is the F.B.I. profiler Jim Fitzgerald’s scheme to ascertain the Unabomber’s identity, while on the other hand, there is Kaczynski caught in “real-time” and preparing for his trial.
9-1-1 chronicles emergency personnel’s professional and personal life. The series, created by Ryan Murphy, takes a deep dive into what it means to be the first responder at a crime scene or at a victim’s most vulnerable moment.
The film examines the high-stakes experiences of police officers, paramedics, and firemen who are put into the most terrifying, startling, and heart-stopping circumstances. They must strike a balance between saving others and resolving personal issues.
12. Chicago PD
Chicago PD is a more recent crime procedural, having premiered in 2014, yet it is still quite popular. This crime thriller follows the Chicago Police Department’s Intelligence Unit as they attempt to solve some of the city’s most heinous crimes.
The Chicago Police Department’s District 21 is divided into two separate divisions. There are the uniformed officers who patrol the beat and deal with the city’s street offenses on a daily basis. And then there’s the Intelligence Unit, which is tasked with combating the city’s most serious crimes, including organized crime, drug trafficking, and high-profile killings.
13. Without A Trace
The F.B.I., on the other hand, is not completely composed of B.A.U. Agents. Without A Trace is the program for you if you are aware of this and really care about any Bureau unit. As engrossing and frightening as Criminal Minds, this series follows an F.B.I. squad tasked with investigating missing persons.
As any detective can tell you, investigating lost property or fatalities is far easier than discovering elusive missing persons. However, the F.B.I. has a special squad committed to finding them in New York City. The squad, commanded by Agent Jack Malone, battles against the clock during the vital 72-hour window following a disappearance when hope for recovery is frequently still viable.
14. Shades of Blue
Fortunately, New York City is large enough to accommodate almost any crime procedural, including Jennifer Lopez’s 2014 film Shades of Blue. Lopez appears as Harlee Santos, a single mother and dishonest officer who does what she needs to do gets a share of what she can, and never refuses a bribe in order to provide a better life for her daughter. Shades of Blue is a big cry from the normal straight-laced tone of other criminal procedurals, with three must-watch seasons.
15. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Law & Order was a hugely successful show that spawned a slew of similarly successful spin-offs. None of them, however, were quite as successful as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The program, which is now in its twenty-first season, has been lauded for years for its portrayal of the judicial system.
Sexual offenses are particularly severe in the criminal justice system. The committed detectives who investigate these heinous crimes in New York City are members of an elite team known as the Special Victims Unit. This is their story.
If you love stories about outsiders with extraordinary abilities becoming involved in F.B.I. investigations, Numb3rs is for you. It centers on a mathematician who utilizes mathematics to assist the Bureau in solving many murders. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen, and we’re ready to wager that you haven’t either!
Special Agent Don Eppes and his team at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Los Angeles field office investigate crucial and perplexing cases with a unique edge. This advantage comes from Don’s brother, Charles Eppes, a brilliant universalist mathematician who employs the science of mathematics and its intricate equations to ferret out the most cunning crooks. With this squad, the forces of evil discover their numbers have been increased.
Perhaps the true allure of Criminal Minds is the opportunity to observe the inner workings of a serial killer’s brain in action. True, it’s frightening and distressing, but that’s just half the story’s appeal. If that describes you, there is no better series to watch than Dexter, which stars one of television’s most infamous serial murderers.
He’s intelligent, handsome, and possesses an excellent sense of humor. He is Dexter Morgan, the world’s most popular serial murderer. He spends his days investigating crimes as a Miami forensics specialist and his evenings committing them. However, Dexter adheres to a rigorous code of honor, which serves as both a saving grace and a lifetime burden. Dexter is a man in a great struggle with the world and with himself, torn between his fatal drive and his yearning for real happiness.
18. Cold Case
Cold Case is the sort of show that will always leave a sour taste in your mouth in the nicest conceivable manner. On the one hand, seeing the unit solve homicides that occurred ten, twenty, and sometimes even fifty years ago is exhilarating. On the other hand, it’s still incredibly unsettling to discover the details of these heinous acts.
The film chronicles the tense investigation of a difficult murder case by a police detective and an investigative journalist, who finally cross paths to unearth truths they never expected.
This three-season Netflix original is frequently labeled as a thriller or slow burn, but because Season 3 is primarily set in a courtroom and the main character John Rayburn is a detective investigating his own brother’s crimes, we’re certain it qualifies as a crime procedural. Without question, it’s worth a short binge-watch, if only for Sissy Spacek.
An intriguing tale of a prosperous family in the Florida Keys with several dark secrets. The siblings are the heirs of a lovely inn that has been in their family for more than 50 years. It is their childhood house, full of wonderful memories, yet the deep, dark history has several untold stories. All of this adds up to a very uncertain future.
Allow us to take a vacation from criminal investigators. Check out this terrifying maneater mystery series. Not only that, the series is portrayed in such a naturalistic manner that eating man appears to be a dream rather than a crime.
Hiding under a pseudonym, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a skilled cannibal, and meticulous serial murderer, found himself in Florence ten years after the events of The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Clarice Starling, on the other hand, is falling from grace until a scarred benefactor and lone victim of Lecter’s horrors reintroduces her to the case, determined to ferret out the clever doctor. Now, the setting appears to be set for the ideal vengeance plot, as greed and ambition take control of everyone involved in the hunt for the enigmatic maestro of death. However, do they possess the ability to assassinate Hannibal, the beast among men?
Idris Elba is a really remarkable actor, as the crime series Luther demonstrates. As a smart investigator who develops an odd and unsettling connection with a killer, the show is reminiscent of Mindhunter.
John Luther is an excellent police detective. He specializes in murder cases, frequently involving serial killers, and possesses an uncanny ability to penetrate the killer’s psyche. However, his tactics, attitude, and problematic private life frequently cause friction with his superiors, prompting some to view him as the source of the issue rather than the cure.
22. Big Sky
Another current smash is Big Sky, a new, dark series starring Ryan Phillipe. It’s an unexpected thriller about two fierce female investigators on the prowl for a predator — or, more precisely, two predators — who abduct and trade females for a career. It is based on the C.J. Box novel series.
23. Lie To Me
In a similar vein to Numb3rs, we introduce you to the revolutionary program Lie To Me. Now, there are numerous reasons why you should give this program a chance. To begin, there’s Tim Roth’s amazing portrayal of the film’s protagonist, Cal Lightman. Second, there are three distinct seasons to appreciate.
Cal Lightman, Ph.D., is the world’s foremost authority on deceit. He achieved this status by his study of microexpressions, body language, and behavioral psychology, all of which he paired with his exceptional deductive reasoning abilities. With the assistance of his partner and closest friend, behavioral psychologist Dr. Gillian Foster, Lightman founded The Lightman Group, a consulting business employed by a variety of customers and authorities, including the F.B.I. and other secret agencies, to elicit the truth from various sorts of individuals. Lightman and his colleagues frequently conduct thorough investigations, frequently to the chagrin of their clients.
24. The Following
Another fantastic program to check out if you want to delve deeper into the psyche of a serial murderer in order to better understand them is The Following. It is the narrative of such a character: a terrifying and scary guy who is able to assemble a bunch of similarly dangerous individuals who will obey his every instruction.
An elderly guy listens to Bill’s narrative about being a callow writer who enjoys following and watching folks around London. Bill is confronted one day by a slick and self-confident man he has been watching. Cobb is a burglar who takes Bill under his wing and teaches him how to do break-ins.
They break into a woman’s flat; Bill develops an interest in her (photographs are everywhere in her flat). He pursues her and engages in conversation with her at a pub run by her ex-boyfriend, a nasty piece of work who murdered someone in her homeroom with a hammer. Soon after, Bill volunteers to do a favor for her, which entails a break-in. What information does the senior citizen possess that Bill does not?
25. The Rookie
Jim Morris is a chemistry teacher and baseball coach at a high school in Texas. He has always had a passion for baseball, and as a means to motivate his players, he promises to attend a professional try-out if they win the title. He previously aspired to be a professional baseball player but was sidelined by an injury. Indeed, the 39-year-old father of three finds himself in a Devil Rays camp, where he appears to have recovered his pitching arm, effortlessly throwing a 98 mph fastball. He is signed to a contract and toils in the lower leagues, while his devoted wife remains at home to raise their children. He is quickly promoted to the big club and begins pitching for Tampa Bay, which is in Texas facing the Rangers. Based on an actual event.
26. The Mentalist
Patrick Jane, a former celebrity psychic medium, utilizes his razor-sharp observation skills and experience in “reading” people to assist the California Bureau of Investigation in solving major murders.
Following the murders of Patrick Jane’s wife and daughter by a serial murderer known as Red John, Jane committed his life to track down and assassinating Red John. To that aim, he abandoned his lucrative career as a clairvoyant and joined the California Bureau of Investigation (C.B.I.) as a consultant to Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon’s team investigating the Red John case. By utilizing Jane’s extraordinary powers of observation and mentalist trick, he is able to close an incredible amount of cases, but Jane’s unusual and sometimes unlawful techniques also bring considerable condemnation onto Lisbon, making his aid both a blessing and a burden. In the meantime, the search for Red John continues…
27. Killing Eve
Female serial murderers can also have highly deep connections with the federal officers tasked with tracking them down! Welcome to Killing Eve, based on Luke Jennings’ novel Codename Villanelle and adapted for television by Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Eve’s life as a spy is not going as planned. She is a bored, extremely intelligent MI5 security officer who is confined to her desk. Villanelle is a highly skilled assassin with a volatile temperament who clings to the pleasures of her trade. Eve and Villanelle engage in a vicious cat-and-mouse game, each lady equally fascinated with the other as Eve is charged with tracking down the psychotic assassin. According to BBCA President Sarah Barnett, “‘Killing Eve’ stands out as refreshingly engaging and tremendous fun in a sea of written storylines.”
Dr. Daniel Pierce, a gifted but eccentric neuropsychiatrist, is recruited by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to help in the resolution of some of the Bureau’s most complicated cases in Chicago. Dr. Pierce collaborates closely with Special Agent Kate Moretti, a former student who recruited him for F.B.I. employment. Max Lewicki, Dr. Pierce’s teaching assistant, and Natalie Vincent, a hallucination developed as a result of his schizophrenia and also his greatest friend, round out the team.
Typically, episodes begin with Pierce lecturing his pupils about some element of the human brain that becomes crucial later in the episode’s narrative. Additionally, the programs frequently conclude with remarks made to students on human perception paradoxes.
Javier Abreu, an NYPD investigator, is overjoyed to have his strange English buddy Sherlock Holmes on the investigation of Dr. Richard Mantlo’s allegedly missing wife, whom Sherlock discovers killed in a safe room she surreptitiously built. Sherlock, who has recently completed drug treatment, makes the most of his sober companion, Doctor Joan Watson, whom he was recruited by his rich London father, who is actually a former physician with excellent people skills. Sherlock soon establishes that the crime was committed by a trophy-hunting serial killer, but his primary suspect becomes the next victim.
30. Hawaii Five-0
Because crime may occur in even the most picturesque locations, there is Hawaii Five-0. Hawaii Five-0, a recreation of the 1968 crime procedural of the same name, premiered in 2010 and ran for a decade. The show follows an elite investigative task team in Hawaii as they investigate crimes committed on the beaches of what the majority of the world considers to be “paradise.”
Although Hawaii lacks its own state police agency, the Governor has established a special task team, dubbed “Five-0,” to investigate severe crimes on the islands. The team is led by Reserve Naval Officer Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin), with Danny Williams (Scott Caan) as his second-in-command, and together they investigate a variety of crimes with more far-reaching consequences than those investigated by the Honolulu Police Department, including terrorism and serious organized crime.