9 Best TV Shows About FBI for Every Fan of Criminal Minds

9 Best TV Shows About FBI for Every Fan of Criminal Minds
Image credit: NBC, Paramount+, Fox, USA Network

Only the most complicated cases and the most cunning criminals.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was founded in 1908 as one of the domestic intelligence agencies and the top law enforcement agency in the US. In reality, the FBI's mandate includes preventing global espionage and terrorist activity, but on screen, the FBI is often portrayed as a special forces agency that takes on the most difficult and mysterious crimes.

This list contains only the best TV series about FBI agents.

1. Clarice, 2021

A year has passed since the capture of the Buffalo Bill madman, and FBI agent Clarice Starling, cannot get rid of the nightmares. Starling tries to move on, but the biased attitudes of her colleagues and the endless return of childhood fears prevent her from putting aside her doubts and fully immersing herself in her work. One day, she is sent on a new assignment in the Washington area and asked to help solve the tragic deaths of several women.

With Clarice, CBS attempted to return viewers to the brutal world of The Silence of the Lambs. Creators Alex Kurtzman and Jenny Lumet did their best to create a dark, action-packed series that could exist outside of the all-consuming, yet alluring shadow of Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

2. Quantico, 2015-2018

FBI agent Alex Parrish is the prime suspect in the Grand Central Terminal bombing and is arrested for treason. The first season takes place in two time periods. One follows Parrish as she tries to prove her innocence while on the run, and the other shows her and her fellow recruits training at the FBI Academy in Quantico. Season two follows Parrish as she takes on conspirators within the CIA, and season three tracks an international arms dealer.

Series producer Joshua Safran initially wanted to create a show that was different from his previous work, which includes Gossip Girl and Gilmore Girls. The result was Quantico, which Safran has described as a Die Hard if it were a weekly soap opera.

The series, which marked Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra's debut on American television, ran for three seasons and received positive reviews from viewers and critics, who praised the show for its excellent cast and suspenseful plot.

3. Fringe, 2008-2013

Special Agent Olivia Dunham is assigned to the Fringe Unit, where she investigates cases involving science, ranging from failed transhumanist experiments to the possible collision of two parallel universes. Olivia is assisted in her investigations by former scientist Dr. Walter, his jack-of-all-trades son Peter, and junior FBI agent Astrid.

Despite the abundance of sci-fi elements, Fringe is first and foremost a procedural, where most of the screen time is devoted to investigating yet another mystery. Inspired by shows like Lost, The X-Files, and The Twilight Zone, the project brilliantly unravels the mysteries of science fiction, playing with parallel worlds, alternate history, and crazy scientific experiments.

4. Blindspot, 2015-2020

In the middle of busy Times Square, a naked woman covered in tattoos is found in a black bag. She has no memory of her past or how she ended up there, and of course she immediately attracts the attention of the FBI, and they begin an investigation. It turns out that her tattoos contain clues to crimes that the FBI is trying to solve, and each one brings the woman closer to the truth about her identity.

In Blindspot, the FBI tries to solve crimes using the main character's tattoos. Over the course of five seasons, she tries to remember and reclaim her life with the help of Special Agent Kurt Weller. All the while, viewers are kept on the edge of their seats as details of Jane Doe's past are revealed, tying the knot of intrigue tighter and tighter.

5. The Blacklist, 2013-2023

Raymond Reddington, a former government agent who has spent years as a crime broker and organizer, suddenly surrenders to the FBI. He announces that he has gathered information on the most elusive international criminals and that he is ready to help the special services catch them. He has only two conditions: protection from the law and a partnership with aspiring psychologist and analyst Elizabeth Keen.

The Blacklist is a triumph of James Spader, who brilliantly plays the charismatic villain. All in all, the series lasted 10 seasons and even got a spin-off, The Blacklist: Redemption, dedicated to Agent Tom Keen.

6. Mindhunter, 2017-2019

It's 1979 and Agent Holden Ford is assigned to the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit, led by veteran agent Bill Tench. A new breed of criminal is emerging that kills regularly and without apparent motive, making them incredibly difficult to catch and apprehend.

To combat this problem, Tench and Ford decide to interview the inmates of a prison for serial killers and create a database of their backgrounds, behavior, and motives to make it easier to catch such criminals in the future.

Based on the true crime book of the same name, Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit, written by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker, David Fincher's series pushed the boundaries of what audiences could expect from a crime thriller. What sets the Netflix series apart from other FBI dramas is its focus on the psychological study of the criminal.

7. Bones, 2005-2017

Dr. Temperance Brennan's forensic anthropology team at the Jeffersonian Institute forms an alliance with FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth to investigate various crimes. By examining the human remains of murder victims, Dr. Brennan's team provides the Bureau with scientific knowledge and an outside perspective on the world of criminal investigation.

The show's creators have infused the plot with a dark sense of humor, which is unusual for realistic projects about finding a killer. One of the longest-running crime shows on television lasted 12 seasons.

9 Best TV Shows About FBI for Every Fan of Criminal Minds - image 1

8. White Collar, 2009-2014

On the brink of prison sentence, charming con man Neal Caffrey agrees to help FBI agent Peter Burke catch other criminals. In exchange for his freedom, he uses his expertise in art and securities theft to nab other criminals. Together, they prove that sometimes it takes a smart con man to solve the most complex crimes.

As with any good TV show, the key to success is often not a clever plot or twisted drama, but rather the characters that keep viewers glued to the screen. In the case of White Collar, that's the controversial duo of Caffrey and Burke. Over the course of six seasons, the two have chased down criminals and nabbed various notorious crooks for the FBI.

9 Best TV Shows About FBI for Every Fan of Criminal Minds - image 2

9. The Inside, 2005-2006

Academy graduate Rebecca Locke joins the FBI's Major Crimes Unit. Little does she know that her appointment was approved by Los Angeles Bureau of Investigation Director Virgil Webster, who knew the story of her childhood abduction, a traumatic experience that developed in her the ability to understand the behavior of a criminal and his victim.

The Inside is one of those projects that touches the psychology of a criminal not superficially, but more deeply. The series has only one season of 13 episodes, but each episode received high ratings and the show definitely deserves the attention of those interested in projects about the psychology of criminals.

9 Best TV Shows About FBI for Every Fan of Criminal Minds - image 3