Crime drama, especially the police procedural subgenre, has been popular with viewers ever since Dragnet began its first radio broadcasts in 1949. Because of this, TV history is full of both respected and forgotten crime shows. All of which follow cunning detectives solving seemingly impossible cases. And right now, a popular crime drama is riding high on the streaming charts.
According to FlixPatrol, Criminal Minds is currently the 9th most popular show on Disney Plus, an impressive feat considering the sheer range and depth of content on the Disney-owned streaming platform.
Created and produced by Jeff Davis, Criminal Minds first started on CBS in 2005 and ran until 2020. The series follows a team of elite FBI criminal profilers who are part of the Behavioral Analysis Unit. The unit is a team that uses psychological profiling methods to identify criminal activity and predict the actions of the criminals they’re trying to hunt down. Because of this, the FBI tends to call them in for unusual, troublesome, or high-profile cases.
When the series debuted, it had a core cast of seven different profilers. However, over the show’s 15 seasons, that line-up has changed quite a bit, with some older characters leaving and some new ones joining the team.
The series was an instant hit for CBS, regularly pulling in an average of 12 to 14 million viewers every episode and the show was often in the top 30 most-watched shows on TV. Even though later seasons had lower viewership, it still pulled in impressive numbers every episode, and 2020’s final season pulled in an average of 8 million viewers per episode. The series is also heavily syndicated on other networks, both in the US and abroad, meaning that it still has a global fanbase.
Like other similar police procedurals, it spawned a franchise that contains many different spin-offs. This has included the Forest Whitaker-led Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, 2015’s Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, and Criminal Minds Korea, a Korea-focused version made by tvN. In 2021 it was announced that a revival was in production. However, it is currently unknown when this will release.
Criminal Minds shows that police procedurals are still as popular as ever and that their popularity persists even when removed from the TV release model. No doubt we’ll see other detective and police procedurals top the streaming charts in the coming months, as it is a time-tested formula that viewers in all demographics love.