Many people develop their original interest in becoming a private detective, police officer or forensic specialist from watching their favorite police and crime series on TV. Many current private eyes remember growing up watching Thomas Magnum cruise around the island of Hawaii in a red Ferrari, watching James Garner outsmart the criminals on the Rockford files, and quoting famous lines like “Just one more thing” from Colombo or “Just the facts ma’am” from Dragnet.
Although Hollywood’s depiction of investigation and crime scene work performed by law enforcement officers and private investigators often over-glamorizes the professions, the wide variety of investigation shows, police TV dramas, and crime scene investigation series help position private investigations as an exciting and interesting career. The interesting characters in these shows have always been influential in creating interest in the profession.
TV Crime Shows
TV crime shows are usually built around fictional characters, but many of the plot lines are pulled straight from newspaper headlines of the times. And of course, the names are changed to protect the innocent. At any given time, police dramas, crime scene investigation shows, and legal television series are a standard part of the programming on any major network. In addition, the classic private investigation TV programs often run in syndication. Also, many episodes and full season reruns are available through online television service providers like Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Netflix (see below). In addition, all of the police dramas and crime programs are available on DVD and video from Amazon.com. Visit the pages below for more detailed information on each show.
A list of our Favorites Crime Shows
Following is an ever-growing list of our favorite TV shows for private eyes, police officers and legal professionals. Most of the season episodes are available on DVD and video at Amazon.com:
- Barney Miller
- Boston Legal
- Burn Notice
- Cagney & Lacey
- Charlie’s Angels
- CHIPS – California Highway Patrol
- CSI – Crime Scene Investigation
- CSI – Crime Scene Investigation – Miami
- Dog the Bounty Hunter
- Get Smart
- Hart to Hart
- Hawaii Five-O (or Hawaii 5-0)
- Hill Street Blues
- Instructional Self Defense Fighting Videos (currently unavailable)
- JAG – Judge Advocate General
- Knight Rider
- Law & Order (Original series)
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
- Magnum P.I. – Starring Tom Selleck
- Miami Vice
- Mike Hammer
- Mission Impossible
- Murder She Wrote
- NCIS – Naval Criminal Investigation Service
- NYPD Blue
- Remington Steele
- Rockford Files with James Garner
- Simon & Simon
- Starsky & Hutch
- The A Team
- The Closer
- The Mod Squad
- The Shield
- The Streets of San Francisco
- Walker Texas Ranger – Starring Chuck Norris
TV Crime Show DVD Packages and Boxed Sets
Many of the DVD sets include extras and bonus features such as: interviews with the cast, crew, director and producers, voice-over review with the director, bonus episodes and extra content, made-for-TV movies, promos, montages, and never before seen footage. Buying the physical set often comes with content that you can’t find anywhere else. If you’re a die hard fan of a particular show, actor or actress, your best bet is to buy the full package, instead of trying to watch everything online.
Visit the individual pages above for an overview of the show, the actors and actresses, and what’s included with each season’s DVD package.
Online Streaming Options
Following are some of the more popular streaming services for watching your favorite private eye TV show online:
- Fancast.com – With Fancast, you can watch online the hits CSI: Miami, 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, and plenty of other full-length TV series. You can also check out the latest movie trailers, clips, photos, news and reviews. And you can search for any movie and TV-related info you absolutely need at that moment.
- Hulu.com – Hulu is the online distribution service launched by NBC Universal and News Corp. (Fox). Content can also be found on AOL, Fancast, MSN, MySpace and Yahoo. Episodes range from recent Fox and NBC shows to older series including Firefly, Kojak and Miami Vice. Videos can be sent via e-mail or embedded into personal websites.
- Netflix- Arguably the most popular online video streaming service.
- TV.com – TV.com allows you to watch your favorite shows, talk to other fans, read all the behind-the-scenes news, and just generally revel in the most up-to-date and complete TV site anywhere. Registration allows you to write reviews, participate in discussions, and contribute to show, episode and person guides.
- Veoh.com – Veoh is a suite of applications for collecting, publishing, and watching a vast selection of video programming. It is a diverse, virtual community of independent publishers coming together with their new audiences.
- YouTube.com – YouTube allows billions of people to discover, watch and share originally-created videos. YouTube provides a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers large and small.
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