The cast of Lie To Me

Here Are 10 Gritty Crime Shows Fans of ‘Criminal Minds’ Will Love

Case closed: People cannot get enough of the CBS series Criminal Minds. This police procedural has been on the air since 2005, and a 17th season was recently announced. The show is about a group of criminal profilers at the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), and it’s been a fan and critical success since the very first season.

Recommended Videos

If you like Criminal Minds, the chances are good that you’re always on the hunt for other shows that have the same gritty vibe. We realize it’s not always easy to find this specific genre of television shows, so we’ve done the work for you. Here are ten crime dramas to tide you over until the next season of Criminal Minds comes out.

Mindhunter (2017–2018)

Jonathan Groff as Holden Ford and Holt McCallany as Bill Tench in Mindhunter season 2
(Netflix)

The only thing we don’t love about Mindhunter is that there are only two seasons! This psychological thriller was executive produced by Charlize Theron, Joe Penhall, and David Fincher, who acted as showrunner. It stars Jonathan Groff as Holden Ford, an FBI agent who teams up with partner Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) and psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Tory) to found the groundbreaking Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI in the late 1970s. These characters are tasked with interviewing imprisoned serial killers in order to better understand what makes them tick.

All episodes of Mindhunter are currently streaming on Netflix.

Killing Eve (2018–present)

Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer in Killing Eve
(BBC America)

This British spy drama features Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy) as Eve Polastri, a British intelligence investigator for the MI5 who grows bored with her work and starts pursuing female assassins on the side. Eventually, she’s pitted against Villanelle (Jodie Comer), a psychopathic international assassin who works for a secret organization called The Twelve. Eve and Villanelle begin a game of cat-and-mouse that leads to a mutual obsession.

One impressive aspect of Killing Eve is the production’s emphasis on hiring female head writers. There’s a new head writer for each of the show’s four seasons: Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag) kicked off the first series, followed by Emerald Fennell (Saltburn), Suzanne Heathcote, and Laura Neal.

All four seasons of Killing Eve are now streaming on Netflix.

Dexter (2006–2013)

Michael C. Hall as Dexter standing in a plastic-wrapped room with a body on the table
(Showtime)

Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) leads a double life. By day, he’s a forensic technician who specializes in bloodstain pattern analysis for the Miami Metro Police Department; by night, he’s a vigilante serial killer who has his own bloody methods to bring criminals to justice. Through flashbacks, we learn that Dexter witnessed his mother’s murder as a toddler and was adopted by a Miami cop (James Remar), who recognized his son’s killer tendencies and taught him to channel them to take out bad guys instead of murdering innocent victims. The show follows Dexter as he stays one step ahead of the cops while existing inside the law enforcement system.

The show ran for eight seasons until 2013, but in 2020 the series returned with Dexter: New Blood. A planned second season of that show was reportedly axed as Showtime decided to put all its focus on a prequel called Dexter: Origins.

All episodes of Dexter are now streaming on Showtime.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000–2015)

The original cast of CSI
(CBS)

This long-running crime series was one of the most popular shows on CBS for much of its 15-season run. The show follows a standard procedural forensics crime drama format, with investigators Dr. Gil Grissom (William Petersen) and Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) using physical evidence to solve murders. Ted Danson, Elisabeth Shue, and Laurence Fishburne also star.

This series sparked a series of popular spin-offs, including CSI: Miami, CSI; NY, CSI: Cyber, Crime Scene Investigation, and CSI: Vegas. Sixteen seasons of CSI are available to stream on Hulu.

Broadchurch (2013–2017)

David Tennant and Olivia Coleman in Broadchurch
(ITV)

It’s hard to find a better pair of actors than David Tennant and Olivia Colman, so there’s little wonder why Broadchurch is such a riveting and thought-provoking show. Over the course of three seasons, viewers get to know Detective Inspector Alec Hardy (Tennant) and Detective Sergeant Ellie Miller (Colman) as they investigate the death of an 11-year-old boy in the fictional English town of Broadchurch. The murder mystery focuses on the effects of media attention in a small town, familial grief, and tested loyalties.

You can stream Broadchurch on Prime or Apple TV.

Luther (2010–2019)

Idris Elba in Luther

This British psychological crime thriller is about DCI John Luther (Idris Elba), a tough detective tasked with making cases against hardened criminals. One such murderous criminal, Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson), constantly eludes his grasp and ultimately becomes his nemesis.

The series was followed by a feature-length film called Luther: The Fallen Sun, which premiered in 2023 and stars Elba, Andy Serkis, and Cynthia Erivo. Luther: The Fallen Sun is currently streaming on Netflix. You can watch all episodes of Luther on Peacock or Britbox.

Lie To Me (2009–2011)

The cast of Lie To Me
(Fox)

In Lie To Me, Tim Roth plays a character based on real-life scientist Paul Ekman, a professor at the University of California San Francisco who is known for advising police investigations about facial expressions and criminal psychology. Roth’s character, Dr. Cal Lightman, is also an expert on finding the truth through interpreting micro-expressions using the Facial Action Coding System and body language.

All three seasons of Lie To Me are streaming on Hulu.

The Mentalist (2008–2015)

Simon Baker as The Mentalist
(CBS)

The Mentalist is a bit different from many other shows on this list because the main character is neither a detective nor a criminal investigator. Instead, Simon Baker plays Patrick Jane, a successful (albeit fake) psychic who lends his talent to the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to track down killers. Specifically, Jane is after a serial killer called Red John, who murdered Jane’s wife and daughter. Robin Tunney plays his boss at the CBI, Teresa Lisbon.

You can stream all 7 seasons of The Mentalist on Hulu.

Bones (2005–2017)

The cast of Bones
(Fox)

Bones follows Temperance “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel), a forensic anthropologist who works alongside FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) to solve crimes. The duo must work together using clues gathered from forensic anthropology and archaeology, while also dealing with complicated personal lives. Other cast members include Michaela Conlin, T. J. Thyne, Eric Millegan, Jonathan Adams, and others.

Bones ran for 12 seasons, and they’re all available to stream on Hulu.

Ripley (2024–?)

Andrwe Scott as Tom Ripley sitting at a bar looking at the camera
(Netflix)

Finally, if you enjoy stepping into the head space of deranged murderers, you’ll love watching all eight episodes in the first season of Ripley. This noir psychological thriller is based on the novel The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, and it’s got it all: lots of twists and turns, compelling characters, and a story that left viewers begging for more. The story follows an unsuccessful conman called Tom Ripley (Andrew Scott) as he worms his way into wealthy socialite Dickie Greenleaf’s (Johnny Flynn) life and eventually takes over. Dakota Fanning stars as Dickie’s skeptical girlfriend, Marge.

You can watch Ripley on Netflix.

There! Your viewing queue is now filled with enough twisty-turny shows you’ll be ready to join the FBI yourself before long. Enjoy, and happy mind-hunting!

(featured image: Fox)


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article How Many Seasons Of Bridgerton Will There Be?
The Bridgerton extended family.
Read Article Daphne Bridgerton Got Her Happy Ending. So Where Is She Now?
Simon and Daphne at the ball in Season 1 of Bridgerton
Read Article Here’s How Penelope’s Father’s Fate Matches Up With the ‘Bridgerton’ Books
The Featherington family drinks champagne in Bridgerton
Read Article If You Want to Get In on ‘Bridgerton,’ You’ve Only Got One Option
Key art for Bridgerton season 3 on Netflix, with Colin Bridgerton, Peneope Featherington, Queen Charlotte, Anthony and Kate Bridgerton, and more all featured. Colin and Penelope stand in front of a mirror.
Read Article Mr. Worldwide Himself Weighs in on That ‘Bridgerton’ Cover
Colin and Penelope gaze into each other's eyes
Related Content
Read Article How Many Seasons Of Bridgerton Will There Be?
The Bridgerton extended family.
Read Article Daphne Bridgerton Got Her Happy Ending. So Where Is She Now?
Simon and Daphne at the ball in Season 1 of Bridgerton
Read Article Here’s How Penelope’s Father’s Fate Matches Up With the ‘Bridgerton’ Books
The Featherington family drinks champagne in Bridgerton
Read Article If You Want to Get In on ‘Bridgerton,’ You’ve Only Got One Option
Key art for Bridgerton season 3 on Netflix, with Colin Bridgerton, Peneope Featherington, Queen Charlotte, Anthony and Kate Bridgerton, and more all featured. Colin and Penelope stand in front of a mirror.
Read Article Mr. Worldwide Himself Weighs in on That ‘Bridgerton’ Cover
Colin and Penelope gaze into each other's eyes
Author
Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins (she/her) is a contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She writes about pop culture, entertainment, and web memes, and has published a book or a funny day-to-day desk calendar about web humor every year for a decade. When not writing, she's listening to audiobooks or watching streaming movies under a pile of her very loved (spoiled) pets.