1950s American detective show database

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

Below is a 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.

Clicking on a title link in the list below will take you to my post about that specific show (if I have created one). Additionally, the list also includes links to places where you can watch/stream the show online.


Show TitleAir DatesAvailable to stream?Available on DVD?Other notes
77 Sunset Strip 1958-1964
The Adventures of Dante1952-1956aired as part of the anthology series ‘Four Star Playhouse
The Adventures of Ellery Queen 1950-1952
The Adventures of the Falcon1955
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, a.k.a. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour 1955-1965 [stream S1 and S2] [purchase S1-S5 on DVD]
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[purchase the DVD collection]
Bourbon Street Beat1959-1960


  1. The Cases of Eddie Drake (1952)
  2. Casey, Crime Photographer (1951-1952)
  3. Charlie Wild, Private Detective (1950-1952)
  4. China Smith (1952-1953), followed by The New Adventures of China Smith (1954-1956)
  5. City Detective (1953-1955)
  6. Climax! (1954-1958) (anthology series)
  7. Cool and Lam (1958) (an unsold pilot adaptation of the novels by Erle Stanley Gardner)
  8. Craig Kenney, Criminologist (1952-1953)
  9. The D.A.’s Man (1959)
  10. Dangerous Assignment (1951-1952) [stream here]
  11. Decoy, a.k.a. Decoy Police Woman (1957-1958) [stream here]
  12. The Detectives (1959-1962)
  13. Detective’s Wife (1950) (sitcom)
  14. Dragnet, a.k.a. Badge 714 (1951-1959) [stream here]


  1. The Edge of Night (1956-1984) (a mystery soap opera)
  2. Front Page Detective (1951-1953)
  3. The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen (1958-1959)
  4. Gang Busters (1952) [stream here]
  5. The George Sanders Mystery Theater, a.k.a. Mystery Writers Theater (1957)
  6. Have Gun — Will Travel (1957-1963) (detective Western)
  7. Hawaiian Eye (1959-1963)
  8. Highway Patrol (1955-1959)
  9. The Investigator (1958)
  10. Johnny Staccato (1959-1960)
  11. Kraft Theatre, a.k.a. Kraft Mystery Theatre (1958-1963) (anthology series)
  12. The Lineup, a.k.a. San Francisco Beat (1954-1960)
  13. Lock-Up (1959-1961)
  14. The Lone Wolf (1954-1955)


  1. M Squad (1957-1960)
  2. Man Against Crime, a.k.a. Mike Barnett: Man Against Crime and Follow That Man (1949-1954)
  3. The Man from Blackhawk (1959-1960)
  4. Man with a Camera (1958-1960)
  5. Markham (1959-1960)
  6. Mark Saber, a.k.a. Mark Saber Mystery Theater, and Inspector Mark Saber–Homicide Squad (1951-1954)
  7. Martin Kane, Private Eye, a.k.a. Private Eye (1949-1954), followed by The New Adventures of Martin Kane (1957-1958) (based on a radio series of the same name)
  8. The Mask (1954)
  9. Meet McGraw, a.k.a. The Adventures of McGraw (1957-1958)
  10. Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer (1958-1959)
  11. Mr. and Mrs. North (1952-1954)
  12. Mr. Lucky (1959-1960)
  13. Mystery Is My Business (1954-1956) (an Ellery Queen series)


  1. The Naked City (1958-1959, 1960-1963) [stream here]
  2. Perry Mason (1957-1966) [stream here]
  3. Peter Gunn (1958-1961) [stream here]
  4. Philip Marlowe (1959-1960)
  5. Public Prosecutor (1951-1952)
  6. Pursuit (1958-1959) (anthology series)
  7. Richard Diamond, Private Detective (1957-1960) (based on a radio series of the same name)
  8. Rocky King Detective, a.k.a. Inside Detective (1950-1954)


  1. Saber of London, a.k.a. Detective’s Diary (1957-1960) (reprisal of ‘Mark Saber’)
  2. Sheriff of Cochise (1956-1959) [stream here]
  3. Shotgun Slade (1959-1961) (detective western)
  4. Snooper and Blabber (1959-1962) (Hanna-Barbera cartoon, aired as part of ‘The Quick Draw McGraw Show’)
  5. Special Agent 7 (1958-1959)
  6. Stand By for Crime (1949)
  7. Steve Randall, a.k.a. Hollywood Off Beat (1952-1953)
  8. Suspicion (1957-1958) (anthology series)
  9. Tales of Wells Fargo (1957-1962) (detective western)
  10. The Thin Man (1957-1959)
  11. 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

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