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5 Shows like Law & Order: SVU – Detective Dramas

samar2Surpassing its predecessor’s run on prime time television, ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ is now in its 17th season, the longest-running drama currently shown on TV. Nothing quite comes close, but let’s take a look at other high-quality detective dramas. ~ Samar N

Shows Similar to ‘Law & Order: SVU’

This article recommends an underrated title, a must-see title, an unknown title, an ‘if you like, you will like’ title and an unexpected title so you have different options when it comes to choosing your next movie to watch.



‘Law & Order: Trial by Jury’ (NBC, 2005-2006)

Less popular than other versions of the show, ‘Trial by Jury’ focuses on the court that takes place after the investigation. Each episode begins with an arraignment and then shows how the lawyers build their case and how they prepare witnesses and defendants for trial. Most of the time the prosecuting team ends up winning the case, which is a shame considering that the charm of the original ‘Law & Order’ was that even the detectives made mistakes.


Similarity Match

These are the stories of the prosecuting lawyers.



‘Law & Order’ (ABC, 1990 – 2010)

The original, and the best – these are the stories of New York’s 27th precinct homicide detectives. Dedicated yet cynical and flawed, they’re united by a common goal: nail the ‘perp’ and pursue justice for the victim and the victim’s family. Don’t miss Seasons 1-5 which feature heartthrob Chris Noth (Mr. Big from Sex & the City) as the quick-tempered detective Mike Logan.


Similarity Match

If you love the spin-off, don't miss the original.



‘NYPD Blue’ (ABC, 1993 – 2005)

Touted as one of the most realistic prime time police dramas, ‘NYPD Blue’ moves with a lifelike pace and, unlike ‘Law & Order’, is less focused on the thrill of solving the case. Instead, there’s more attention to progressing the characters of the protagonists, two partners with a very different approach to the job.


Similarity Match

A gritty, realistic NYPD drama.



‘CHiPs’ (NBC, 1977–1983)

California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers cruise the freeways of Los Angeles and fight small-time crime. The stakes are never high as they spend most of the show on speeding and parking tickets. The show focuses on their personal lives and the dramas that unfold between the ‘Chippies’.


Similarity Match

A comedy about cops on motorbikes who think they're solving big cases.


If You Like ‘Law & Order: SVU’, You Will Like

‘Prime Suspect’ (ITV, 1991 – 2006)

This acclaimed detective drama merits comparison to ‘Law & Order: SVU’ because of Helen Mirren’s character, the first female Chief Inspector of London’s Metropolitan Police. The theme of confronting sexism in the workplace is similar to the sex-based violence found in ‘SVU’.


Similarity Match

Helen Mirren plays the first female Chief Inspector of London's Metropolitan Police.


Over to You

Here are a few shows like ‘Law & Order: SVU’ that you may enjoy. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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