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15 Greatest American Cop Shows

As Amazon Prime streaming service brings back Bosch for another season, how does today’s best cop show (based on the best series of mystery novels of its generation) rank with other American police procedurals in television history?

15. Dragnet

Sure, it’s easy to make fun of Dragnet’s iconic elements, from Joe Friday’s deadpan lines to the theme song; but it was the first real police procedural—even if not only the names were changed, but the stories were sanitized to protect the innocent viewer.

Besides, who doesn’t think we could use Joe Friday these days to face down campus protesters with withering logic?

14. The Naked City

Blue Bloods would make this list if it only took a page from The Naked City and expanded its cast so that it didn’t appear there were only a half dozen cops and one assistant prosecutor dealing with the “8 million stories.”

Much like the underrated Western, Rawhide, and it's own spinoff, Route 66, The Naked City took a semi-anthology approach with terrific guest actors taking the lead as civilians with a crisis.