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Outlining The Top 5 Greatest TV Detectives Of All Time

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Outlining The Top 5 Greatest TV Detectives Of All TimeLong before Shemar Moore starred on Criminal Minds, TV has been celebrating excellent fictional detectives. So many thrilling television programs have depicted memorable detectives throughout the years, and these are the top 5 as voted by fans of television:

1. Sherlock Holmes – Sherlock Holmes has made himself known through the big and small screens for decades, and he remains one of the most celebrated TV detectives ever to exist. Originating from a book series written all the way back in 1887, Holmes remains as popular today as he was in the 19th century!

2. Fox Moulder & Dana Scully – The X-Files was one of the most popular shows in the 1990s, so it is no surprise that it featured two of the most popular TV detectives! Researching and cracking cases of the paranormal and out of this world variety, Moulder and Scully delighted audiences from 1993 all the way until 2002, with a whopping 9 seasons!

3. Adrian Monk – For 7 years Tony Shalhoub delighted audiences as the anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder afflicted detective Adrian Monk. Over the course of 8 seasons, Adrian Monk used his gifts, and his afflictions, to help to solve cases all around the San Francisco area!

4. Hercule Poirot – From the 2004 TV series based on Agatha Christie’s crime novels titled Agatha Christie’s Great Detectives Poirot and Marple came Hercule Poirot. Long before the television series, Poirot was also appearing in Christie’s novels dated between 1920 and 1975.

5. Patrick Jane – Patrick Jane of The Mentalist rounds out the top 5 favorite TV detectives for his work on six seasons of the show. Portrayed by Simon Baker, Patrick Jane is a former faux-psychic that decides to take his talents to the California Bureau of Investigation.

Great TV detectives have been making their mark on television audiences since long before the start of Criminal Minds. Since the days before television, when the crime drama novel was popular, detectives have been solving cases and keeping audiences on the edge of their seat as they get the cases cracked and justice finally served! While these are just some of the most popular TV detectives based on an audience vote, what TV detective is your favorite?

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18 comments on “Outlining The Top 5 Greatest TV Detectives Of All Time
  1. LovingMooreAndMore on said:

    Patrick Jane cannot hold a candle to anyone of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. He’s no Derek Morgan, for sure. Sherlock Holmes is vastly overrated, too.

  2. Thee Sharp (LadySFM) on said:

    Adrian Monk is my top favorite and I’m not a fan of the others. But if we were talking groups then I got a list with.

  3. Gloria Scott on said:

    Before Criminal Minds I would have say I was partial to all the Law and Order detectives.

  4. Tracy Lee Pullman Selock on said:

    Love all the detectives u mentioned..Great choice, great tv…Thank u Shemar..A couple other great detectives, Magnum PI, Columbo, The Harts,..

  5. P. J. Evans on said:

    How about looking a little farther back than just the last couple of decades. There are almost 3/4 of a century of TV sleuths our there. Just sayin’.

  6. Nathalie Devot on said:

    I grew up reading Agatha Christie’s books.. so Hercules Poirot is one of my favorites.. I also have to say that Monk was another one I liked. I like the Law and Order: Criminal Intent series with D’Onofrio… CSI when Grisom was on..

  7. jean on said:

    I still miss Monk and now Shawn and Gus from Psych. However, there are others, also, like Columbo, McGuiver, and Murder She Wrote. I do love Criminal Minds, and I’m so glad it’s going for another season.

  8. Roxann on said:

    I grew up reading Agatha Christie books so Hercules Poirot is a favorite, I also really enjoy Miss Jane Marple. I’m currently enjoying Johnny Lee Miller & Lucy Liu in Elementary as Holmes & Watson.

  9. Sherri on said:

    These are all good but my favorite all time detective is Colombo. He was goofy and lovable. But then again…he is no Derek Morgan!

  10. Bridgett Wilson on said:

    Sherlock Holmes cannot be overrated. He was the very first detective. It all started fiction and non-fiction with him (ACD books) and law enforcement still uses some of his methods. Shawn Spencer in Psych (2006) was the new funnier version of Holmes but was not on TV until a full year after Criminal Minds (2005). Jessica Fletcher of Murder She Wrote should be on this list for sure – was on TV for over 10 years. Monk and Poirot deserve to be on the ‘best detectives before Criminal Minds’ list. Here’s my version of the list.
    1. Holmes
    2. Poirot
    3. Monk
    4. Fletcher
    5. MacGuyver
    Now that’s a list that would scare any bad guy…eh hem…my apologies, I mean… UNSUB. But no one did, does or will do it hotter than Morgan. Just…wow.

  11. Anelise on said:

    you can’t really compare literary detectives to tv detectives…
    the books leave us to the use of the imagination and so forth… tv det. you can see what they do, don’t, how and why not much is really left to the imagination except when there’s a cliff hanger only then is the imagination wondering what’s going to happen next…
    my top 5 detectives… Mulder and Scully -1 Danny Reagan -2 Derek Morgan -3 Danny Williams -4 Com. McGarrett -5

  12. Morgan/Garcia Girls on said:

    I’m personally an Agatha Christie fan, so I’d say Hercule Poirot is one of the best written detectives of all time. I like Miss Marple too, I think the contrast between her frail looks and her acute mind is very interesting, though the stories are a tad unrealistic at times. I do like Sherlock Holmes – I think he is a bold, complex character ahead of the time he was written – but I’d still put Hercule Poirot first.

    As a TV nerd, I’d say Monk is excellent! Cannot opine on Patrick Jane coz I don’t watch “The Mentalist”. And I do miss the BAU team on the list. They are all among of the finest wine out there!

  13. Isabella Stone on said:

    My top 5 from the past;
    1. McGuiver
    2. Bretta
    3. Kojak
    4. Columbo
    5. Fletcher
    Thanks Shemar for the blast in the past, Awesome.

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