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Classic Police Television Hits: 10 TV Shows That Had Highest Ratings

By    |   Wednesday, 30 Dec 2015 10:57 PM

Love or hate the police, many people like watching TV shows about them. When it comes time for a taut story on the small screen, there's always a cop around when you need them.

Here are the 10 classic police-oriented television shows that got the most votes from users of Internet Movie Database.

1. "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" (1984)
This Granada Television production, made it to the U.S. courtesy of PBS and cable. More or less a faithful adaptation of Doyle stories, it starred Jeremy Brett in what many consider to be the definitive screen portrayal of the Great Detective. It was followed in 1986 by "Return of Sherlock Holmes" and in 1991 by "Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes."

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2. "Agatha Christie's Poirot" (1989)
In another definitive British TV portrayal of a literary sleuth, David Suchet played the insufferable Hercule Poirot and his little gray cells. Christie grew to detest her detective, calling him a little creep. When she killed him, unlike when Arthur Conan Doyle killed Sherlock Holmes, he stayed dead.

3. "Police Squad" (1982)
Leslie Nielsen's send-up of the police-procedural movies (and the kind of pompous authority figures he used to play seriously) would eventually jump to the big screen with Lt. Frank Drebin and Co. blundering their way to justice.

4. "The Rockford Files" (1974)
James Garner played an ex-con turned gumshoe who lived out of his trailer on the beach and took the cases the police wouldn't touch. He somehow managed to pay for a new Trans Am every season out of the $200 a day (plus expenses) he charged clients. Make sure you leave a message on his answering machine.

5. "Columbo" (1971)
"Oh, and one more thing" – the audience knew from the start whodunit, and no matter how smart the villains thought themselves, Peter Falk's LAPD Lt. Columbo would wear them down to the point they revealed themselves.

6. "The Untouchables" (1959)
Robert Stack was the incorruptible Eliot Ness battling bootleggers and other organized criminals in Prohibition-era Chicago.

7. "The Fugitive" (1963)
In this modern-day "Les Miserables," David Janssen was Dr. Richard Kimble, "an innocent victim of blind justice," wrongly convicted of his wife's murder and meeting and helping new people in his flight across the country with Barry Morse's Inspector Girard hot on his trail. Inspired by a real-life murder case, it was later turned into a movie that made the short-attention-span media forget the TV show.

8. "Dragnet" (1967)
In this update of an earlier show, Jack Webb did pretty much everything: Starred (as Sgt. Joe Friday, taking the lead on such scourges as marijuana and graffiti), produced, directed, and wrote stories taken right from Los Angeles Police Department files. "The story you have just seen is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent."

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9. "Adam-12" (1968)
In another Jack Webb show, two standard-issue uniform cops, veteran Malloy and eager rookie Reed, patrolled Los Angeles in their eponymous radio car. Like "Dragnet," "Adam-12" took its stories from the case files of the LAPD.

10. "Miami Vice" (1984)
Crockett and Tubbs investigated murder, drugs and mayhem to a throbbing Jan Hammer score in a steamy, pastel-colored Miami, unleashing the white-suit, no-socks look on the fashion world.

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Love or hate the police, many people like watching TV shows about them. When it comes time for a taut story on the small screen, there's always a cop around when you need them.
classic, police, TV
Wednesday, 30 Dec 2015 10:57 PM
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