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October 24, 2014

TV's Smartest Detectives

by AOL TV Staff, posted Nov 28th 2011 10:00AM
Magnum P.I.Ready to sharpen your armchair detective skills?

TNT is kicking off a new Mystery Movie Night, starting with Scott Turow's 'Innocent' (premieres Tues., Nov. 29, 9PM ET), starring Bill Pullman as a man charged with murdering his wife, played by Marcia Gay Harden, and Alfred Molina as his defense attorney. In honor of this series of best-selling whodunit stories brought to the small screen, we rounded up the smartest detectives in TV history.

From an OCD gumshoe-for-hire to a no-nonsense Scotland Yard sleuth, a sassy high-school snoop and a P.I. with facial hair as famous as he was, check out our gallery of the top 20 smartest TV detectives of all time.

Do your keen powers of perception tell you we've missed someone? Add your own favorites in the comments.

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mavpay

My fovorite tv detective is Lt. Columbo, played by Peter Falk.

July 27 2012 at 7:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kevin

You guys have named so many I remember. Thank You, Marlowe and Hammer should be remembered

April 02 2012 at 10:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill H

For "Street Smarts" I believe I would add Andy Sipowitz right on top of the pile. I will also add Detectives Sam Tyler, Ray Carling, Police Officer Annie Norris, and LT.. Gene Hunt all from LIFE ON MARS (American Version). This was my era of Policing in NY and exactly how I remember Uniform and plain clothes work.

March 29 2012 at 4:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shadow0109

I'm going to take some flack here but even though she wasn't a detective, Willow Rosenberg's computer skills and deductive reasoning were pretty essential to Buffy's staking a lot of those mysterious happenings on "Buffy The Vampire Slayer".

Since I've jumped into detectives in vampire fantasy, I really liked "Vicki" Nelson the myopic detective on "Blood Ties".

March 24 2012 at 7:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
HAY Big John

Riddle me this, What about Batman and Robin.

March 21 2012 at 5:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
frankc354

Frank Cannon,Barnaby Jones,Barney Fife,Jim Rockford,Matt Huston,Chief Inspector Clueso,Paul Drake,LT.Tragg,Maxwell Smart,Agent 99,Peter Gun,Bill Gannon,Rosco P.Coletrain,there's a few I can remember

March 11 2012 at 9:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mark David

Joe Friday solved all his cases.

March 01 2012 at 5:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
baskemp

Oh! I forgot Micheal and Kit from Night Rider!

January 31 2012 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
baskemp

Mannix and Ironsides (Raymond Burr), Ellery Queen, Cant forget the ultimate detectives, Scooby Doo!

January 31 2012 at 9:51 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Art Carnage

You get 5 extra points for including Veronica Mars. You lose 10,000 points for not including Sgt. Joe Friday.

January 17 2012 at 1:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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