Talk:Police procedural

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vs. Crime Drama[edit]

"Crime drama" links in other articles come here. While the police procedural is a dominant form within the "crime drama" umbrella, not all crime drama is police procedural ... for instance, "The Sopranos," which links to this page, is certainly a crime drama but most certainly Not a police procedural. —Preceding unsigned comment added by NewProvidence (talkcontribs) 18:31, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

.. The "Crime Drama" issue is still not resolved five years later. Don't we have any film school graduates who could sort this out? At the very least add a paragraph here and correct the crime drama links on Wikipedia that are currently going to a page on films about criminals. I think a "page needs expert attention" would be justified. -- (talk) 07:41, 30 September 2013 (UTC)


Added reference to Ed McBain/Evan Hunter dying. Then I cried, because, well, Ed Mcbain is dead. Manticore 13:15, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Sjöwall and Wahlöö[edit]

Should Sjöwall and Wahlöö be included? 01:28, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

In need of attention?[edit]

"This article is in need of attention. More information may be available on the article's talk page."

I've removed this tag added by User:Nydas because I don't see anything wrong with the text. Is it the content? The structure? The layout? Is anything important missing from the article? I hate to think of people working to improve an aspect of a text the {{attention}} adder didn't have in mind when calling attention to the article. <KF> 19:43, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

The article struck me as half-finished on several levels. There's nothing drastically wrong with it, but there's nothing particularly right with it either. The layout is odd - the written section is formatted differently from the TV section, for example. The writing is bitty and not that great - least of all my own edits. The history section is very small, and could use some expert attention. The top ten lists are out of date and filled with dead links - are they worthy of inclusion? Some pictures might be nice, as well. Finally, the police procedural section in the detective fiction article has a markedly different opinion on what constitutes a procedural. And there's probably lots more that I haven't noticed - hence the attention tag. I'm fairly new to Wikipedia so I wasn't aware that it was deemed essential to explain reasons for adding an attention tag, I just wanted to stimulate some interest in the article.--Nydas 22:00, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. At least I can see much more clearly now. Well, I guess the best thing to do is wait for one or two others to join in the discussion. My only contribution to this text was the top ten lists, which I added for historical reasons (what you consider out of date, while at the same time you think the history section is too small). Earlier novels are easily forgotten, so mentioning them might be an incentive for someone to write about them. (I just had a look at , which is exclusively dedicated to the Golden Age.) Anyway, feel free to overhaul the article. Best wishes, <KF> 23:18, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
I would be interested in your opinion on whether the article is correct in asserting that a police procedural must detail the activities of a team of officers, as opposed to a having single police protagonist. I'd say that it's perfectly legit to have a single main protagonist in a procedural, as long as that character interacts with other officers in a police-like manner, in a police setting.--Nydas 11:18, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Difficult to say, I'm not an expert in this field. It could be that by definition ("police procedural"), the police are seen as a team, not just one loner. Whatever, I'm afraid I can't really be of help here. <KF> 14:03, 13 April 2006 (UTC)
Pretty sure police can be used in the singular as well as the plural (somewhat like the word "religious" to refer to a single worshiper). On Homicide phrases like "he was a good police" pop up fairly often. My gut tells me this article should still mostly refer to teams of police working together, though.
"Police" in the context of the term "police procedural" refers to the profession of law enforcement, not necessarily to whether or not the police in a police procedural work as a team or as a single operative. For example, there are, in the United States, over 300 police departments that consist of one single officer. If a mystery writer wrote a novel depicting such a department, would it follow that it's not a police procedural simply because it depicts the operations of a one-officer force? Surely not. The defining element is neither teamwork nor the lack of teamwork, but whether or not the police work is depicted authentically (or, at the very least, with the illusion of authenticity).
The correct definition of "procedural" rules out the majority of Australian series / serials listed - most follow the standard non-procedural practice of cutting from the police investigation to the activity of the criminals, suspects, or victims, then back to the police, and so on. Some, most notably "Cop Shop" and "Blue Heelers"- spent much time on elements unrelated to the investigations, primarily the private lives and inter-personal relationships of the lead characters, with the non-investigation elements given equal prominence. One ("Small Claims") has almost no police involvement, revolving around around two housewives who team up to solve crimes - it's no more a "police procedural" than, say, "Murder She Wrote".Chris Keating (talk) 08:33, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

Underworld by Ernie Colon and Robert Loren Fleming[edit]

This series might count as a police procedural. Did Streets by James Hudnall pursue this approach? Enda80 (talk) 21:05, 2 October 2008 (UTC)


Doesn't the X-Files deserve to be mentioned on this page? Oliver9184 (talk) 14:09, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

The Wire?[edit]

While the creator of the Wire might refute the idea that it is a police procedural it is possibly only Detective drama that is realistic about police procedures.IrishTV (talk) 01:49, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

  • The Wire (2002-2008), is an HBO series that follows in the footsteps of Homicide (and was created by some of the talent behind that series). Like Homicide, it revolves around the tribulations of a group of Baltimore police officers and lawyers, but each season generally revolves around one coherent criminal plot or conspiracy, around which are entwined the various personal dramas of the protagonists and antagonists. The show goes into a great deal of depth about the legal technicalities of criminal investigation, such as gathering enough evidence to get warrants for wire-taps, as well as the political factors both in the police department and mayor's office that affect street-level police.

Added The Wire. Meets the definition of "Police Procedural" more than most shows listed here. Certainly more than "Columbo". (Don't get me wrong, Columbo's great.) Clark (talk) 13:15, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Doesn't a procedural require that the show hits the reset button after every episode, e.g. like Columbo, CSI? The Wire is heavily serialized. There is no case of the week, any given episode just seamlessly goes over into the next. (talk) 19:24, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

Hawaii 5-0[edit]

--— Tumadoireacht Talk/Stalk 11:51, 14 January 2011 (UTC)Poor old hawaii 5-0 never got a mention

Cagney and Lacey[edit]

It would go on to win 36 nominations and 14 wins during its run.

What are nominations and wins in this context? Some sort of TV awards or something? -- (talk) 14:16, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Template: opinion piece[edit]

I've added this template because many statements in the article lack a citation to a reliable source. For example:

Written stories

  • "The procedural became more prominent after World War II..."
  • "Over the next few years, the number of novelists who picked up on the procedural trend grew..."
  • "Perhaps ranking just behind McBain in importance to the development of the procedural as a distinct mystery subgenre is John Creasey..."
  • "A prolific author of police procedurals, whose work has fallen out of fashion in the years since her death..."
  • "These novels are often considered severely flawed..."
  • "It has been suggested that the Inspector Maigret novels of Georges Simenon aren't really procedurals..."
  • "... Joseph Wambaugh's success has caused him to become the exemplar of cops who turn their professional experiences into fiction..."

Televised stories:

  • "The Cops (1998–2000) – perhaps the most realistic police drama series yet seen on British TV..."

Comic Strips and books

  • "The comic strip Dick Tracy is often pointed to as an early procedural."
  • "Certainly Tracy creator Chester Gould seemed to be trying reflect the real world."

I'm not disagreeing with the accuracy of such statements - they seem to have been written by someone with a good knowledge of the genre (certainly better than mine), and they're useful and informative - but nonetheless they need backing up. Thanks. Meticulo (talk) 02:16, 1 January 2017 (UTC)