1950s American detective show database

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Browse American detective shows by decade or return to the TV Detective Database:

Below is my complete list of American detective/mystery/crime shows from the 1950s, in alphabetical order. Note that some of these shows originated in the 1940s; in particular, many of them have their roots in radio series or movies prior to the dawn of the TV era. The list also includes shows that started in the 1950s and continued into the 60s.

The list also includes information on where you can watch/stream the show online or whether you can purchase it on DVD. The final column also includes any additional notes and comments about the show.


Show TitleAir DatesAvailable to stream?Available on DVD?Other notes
77 Sunset Strip 1958-1964only in German
The Adventures of Dante1952-1956[DVD collection]aired as part of the anthology series ‘Four Star Playhouse
The Adventures of Ellery Queen 1950-1952 based on the mystery novels by Ellery Queen
The Adventures of the Falcon1955
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, a.k.a. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour 1955-1965 [stream S1 and S2] [S1-S5 DVD set]
[S8-S10 DVD set]
The Amazing Mr. Malone1951-1952based on the mystery novels by Craig Rice and a radio series of the same name
The Best in Mystery 1954
The Big Story 1949-1957
Boston Blackie1951-1953[DVD collection]
Bourbon Street Beat1959-1960


Show TitleAir DatesAvailable to stream?Available on DVD?Other notes
The Cases of Eddie Drake 1952
Casey, Crime Photographer1951-1952
Charlie Wild, Private Detective1950-1952
China Smith, followed by The New Adventures of China Smith 1952-1953, 1954-1956
City Detective1953-1955
Climax! 1954-1958(anthology series)
Code 31957[Complete DVD set]
Cool and Lam 1958(an unsold pilot adaptation of the novels by Erle Stanley Gardner)
Craig Kennedy, Criminologist1952-1953[DVD collection]
The D.A.’s Man1959
Dangerous Assignment 1951-1952[stream here][DVD collection]
Decoy, a.k.a. Decoy Police Woman 1957-1958[stream here][DVD collection]
The Detectives 1959-1962
Detective’s Wife1950(sitcom)
Dragnet, a.k.a. Badge 714 1951-1959[stream here][DVD collection (incomplete)]


Show TitleAir DatesAvailable to stream?Available on DVD?Other notes
The Edge of Night 1956-1984(a mystery soap opera, originally meant to be an adaptation of the Perry Mason radio series)
The Files of Jeffrey Jones1954-1955
Front Page Detective1951-1953[DVD collection]
The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen 1958-1959based on the mystery novels by Ellery Queen
Gang Busters1952[stream here][DVD collection]
The George Sanders Mystery Theater, a.k.a. Mystery Writers Theater 1957
Have Gun — Will Travel 1957-1963[complete DVD collection](detective Western)
Hawaiian Eye 1959-1963
Highway Patrol1955-1959[S1 DVD]
[S2 DVD]
[S3 DVD]
[S4 DVD]
The Investigator 1958
Johnny Staccato1959-1960[complete DVD collection]
Kraft Theatre, a.k.a. Kraft Mystery Theatre and Kraft Suspense Theatre1958-1963, 1963-1965(anthology series)
The Lineup, a.k.a. San Francisco Beat 1954-1960
The Lone Wolf 1954-1955


Show TitleAir DatesAvailable to stream?Available on DVD?Other notes
M Squad 1957-1960[complete DVD collection]
Man Against Crime, a.k.a. Mike Barnett: Man Against Crime and Follow That Man1949-1954[DVD collection]
The Man from Blackhawk 1959-1960
Man with a Camera 1958-1960[complete DVD collection]
Markham 1959-1960
Mark Saber, a.k.a. Mark Saber Mystery Theater, and Inspector Mark Saber–Homicide Squad 1951-1954
Martin Kane, Private Eye, a.k.a. Private Eye , later revived as The New Adventures of Martin Kane 1949-1954, 1957-1958[stream here][DVD collection](based on a radio series of the same name)
The Mask1954
Meet McGraw, a.k.a. The Adventures of McGraw 1957-1958
Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer 1958-1959[complete DVD set]
Mr. and Mrs. North1952-1954
Mr. Lucky 1959-1960[stream here][complete DVD set]
Mystery Is My Business 1954-1956based on the mystery novels by Ellery Queen


Show TitleAir DatesAvailable to stream?Available on DVD?Other notes
The Naked City 1958-1959, 1960-1963[stream here][complete DVD set]
Perry Mason 1957-1966[stream here][complete DVD set]Based on the novels by Erle Stanley Gardner
Peter Gunn 1958-1961[stream here][complete DVD set]
Philip Marlowe 1959-1960
Public Prosecutor 1951-1952[Vol.1 DVD]
[Vol.2 DVD]
Pursuit1958-1959(anthology series)
Richard Diamond, Private Detective1957-1960(based on a radio series of the same name)
Rocky King Detective, a.k.a. Inside Detective 1950-1954[Vol.1 DVD]


Show TitleAir DatesAvailable to stream?Available on DVD?Other notes
Saber of London, a.k.a. Detective’s Diary 1957-1960(reprisal of ‘Mark Saber’)
Sheriff of Cochise 1956-1959[stream here][Vol.1-4 DVD set]
Shotgun Slade1959-1961[Vol.1-3 DVD set](detective western)
Snooper and Blabber 1959-1962(Hanna-Barbera cartoon, aired as part of ‘The Quick Draw McGraw Show’)
Special Agent 7 1958-1959
Stand By for Crime 1949
Steve Randall, a.k.a. Hollywood Off Beat 1952-1953
Suspicion1957-1958(anthology series)
Tales of Wells Fargo 1957-1962[stream here][Season 1 and 2 DVD set](detective western)
The Thin Man1957-1959based on the book by Dashiell Hammett
Tightrope!1959-1960starring Mike Connors of Mannix fame
The Vise 1955-1957

If you know of a show that is missing from the list above, or if you have any other additions or corrections, please let me know in the comments!


    1. Thanks for your comment! They both sound interesting from the descriptions I’ve been able to find. I’ve added them to the list above and also to the 1960s list since they both ran 1959-1960.


      1. Watch the first episode of Johnny Staccato on YouTube and I guarantee you you’ll be wanting to order the complete series DVD set immediately. That’s what happened to me! Mr. Lucky too!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. You should consider adding Tightrope! to the list. It ran one season, from 1959 to 1960. It started a very young Mike Connors in his pre-Mannix days. Most of the episodes can be found on YouTube, since it seems they’ve been lost from the original archives. It’s really quite a good show!


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