Sure, there are plenty of doctors and lawyers on television these days, but cops still reign supreme. Since the day Dragnet went on the air back in 1951, network executives have continued to fall in love with cop shows to the point that any city without its own CSI or NCIS just doesn't take crime very seriously. There have been plenty of formulaic police procedurals clogging the airwaves, but cops and robbers have also inspired some undeniably great TV. Detectives and patrolmen, we salute you.
"Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?" —Cops (not on this list)
10. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS, 2000-Present)
I have to admit that every spinoff increases my bias against this franchise (and Jerry Bruckheimer), but we'll give it props for playing Radiohead, Cocteau Twins and Sigur Rós during the forensics test montages. And for the crazy "Toe Tags" episode, where the dead victims tell their own stories.
9. Law & Order (NBC, 1990-Present)
This show has opened almost every one of its 433 episodes (not including spin-offs) with the discovery of a body or the witness of a crime. Followed by the investigation of the crime. Followed by the prosecution of a crime. If it's formulaic, it's a formula that creator Dick Wolf keeps taking to the bank.
8. Monk (USA, 2002-2009)
Tony Shalhoub has been quietly, brilliantly, obsessive/compulsively bringing viewers to the USA network with his depiction of Adrian Monk. Monk is a private detective, but we'll give that a pass since he's both a former cop and his primary employer is the San Francisco Police Department. His OCD was severerly aggrivated following his wife's murder, but that obsessive attention to detail is what makes him a great detective. The series ends this December.
7. The Closer (TNT, 2005-Present)
We'll forgive New York native Kyra Sedgwick's over-the-top accent as she portrays a sassy Georgia deputy chief on the streets of L.A. because she's just so darn likeable, dominating scene after scene of this TNT series.