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25 Shows Like Mindhunter That Are Worth Your Time

Created by award-winning director David Fincher, the Netflix series "Mindhunter" proved to be one of the most enthralling crime dramas of the 2010s. Heavily inspired by the true-crime book "Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit" by former special agent John Douglas, the series centered on a small team of fictional FBI agents modeled after Douglas and other real-life investigators. For two seasons, the period drama shed new light on the science of behavioral psychology when it was in its infancy in the late 1970s.

Jonathan Groff plays Holden Ford, a young and idealistic agent excited to delve into the minds of serial killers, while Holt McCallany takes the role of Bill Tench, an older, wiser agent there to caution Ford on his overeagerness. Anna Torv appears as psychologist Wendy Carr, who believes that the new science can help them track the world's deadliest criminals. Together they formed the FBI's first Behavioral Science Unit, and through interviews and examinations of real-life convicted serial killers like Ed Kemper, Richard Speck, and David Berkowitz, they'd establish the unit as a force to be reckoned with.

With its mix of true crime and film noir style, it dazzled audiences and was met with rave reviews. Though Netflix's plans for the future of "Mindhunter" are unclear, creator Fincher has not closed the door on further seasons. Whether it continues or has ultimately concluded after two fantastic seasons, here's a list of 25 more shows like "Mindhunter" that are well worth a watch.


In 2015 Mads Mikkelsen took on the role of notorious fictional serial killer Hannibal Lecter in the eponymously titled "Hannibal," a series that chronicled the character's life before the events of "Silence Of The Lambs." As noted by Tech Times, the NBC series drew inspiration from the prequel story "Red Dragon" and sees young FBI agent Will Graham leaning heavily on consulting psychological profiler and personal friend Lecter in his criminal cases. Meanwhile, Lecter commits brutal murders of his own under everyone's noses.

A stylish and ambitious series from the mind of Bryan Fuller, "Hannibal" expands on characters and events from the novels of Thomas Harris and is led by the incredible performance of Mikkelsen. Thrilling audiences for three seasons, it struggled to maintain a big-enough audience to warrant continuing as a prime time network series, but fans continue to beg for a fourth years later

Be warned, though — despite being a network series, "Hannibal" is one of the more viscerally intense series on this list. Not for the faint of heart, it pushed the envelope with what was considered acceptable for prime time viewing.

Manhunt: Unabomber/Deadly Games

Produced for the Discovery Channel, the series "Manhunt" was a true-crime series that chronicled efforts by the FBI to track down notorious criminals. The first season, "Manhunt: Unabomber," starred Sam Worthington as FBI agent and criminal profiler Jim Fitzgerald and his efforts to identify and capture the elusive mystery man known as the Unabomber. Paul Bettany, of "WandaVision" fame, stars as Ted Kaczynski, the man who mailed deadly packages to unsuspecting victims, killing three and injuring more than 20 across the nation throughout the 1980s and '90s, sparking a nationwide manhunt that lasted over a decade.

The second season, dubbed "Manhunt: Deadly Games," dramatizes the FBI's efforts to discover the person responsible for a deadly bombing at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. "Mindhunter" co-star Cameron Britton appears as Richard Jewell, the security guard implicated in the bombing, while Carla Gugino appears as Kathy Scruggs, the reporter who follows the FBI's investigation and unwittingly helps implicate Jewell by revealing the details of their search. Both seasons were met with strong reviews and should be at the top of your queue if you liked "Mindhunter."

The Americans

If you like crime dramas like "Mindhunter" for their period setting, you'll have to add "The Americans" to your watchlist. A few years after Holden and Tench were tracking serial killers in the late '70s and early '80s, a pair of undercover Soviet spies were posing as a modern American family in suburban Virginia. Raised from a young age to be agents of the KGB, "Elizabeth" and "Phillip" appear to be the perfect suburban family but are secretly engaged in deadly spy games, stealing government secrets and sending stolen intelligence to their superiors across the globe. Their risky operation of playing a married couple becomes more dangerous as those around them become suspicious, leading to a deadly cat-and-mouse game with American operatives.

The series explores more than crime and espionage, though, with the complicated relationship between the loyal Elizabeth and the questioning Phillip turns the series into a domestic crime drama. Starring Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys, "The Americans" was one of the most spellbinding dramas of the decade. It ran for six seasons on FX and came to a close in 2018.


The Amazon original series "Hunters," starring Al Pacino, saw the legendary Hollywood icon suit up as a vengeful Holocaust survivor in his first regular TV role, as noted by the Los Angeles Times. Here he plays Meyer Offerman, a wealthy philanthropist who has decided to use what power he has to assemble a team of Nazi hunters to track and kill high-ranking officers in the Third Reich who've managed to elude justice. Another period drama, this time set in 1970s New York City, Offerman's team includes a young mathematician, whose grandmother Ruth was one of Meyer's initial recruits.

Debuting in 2020, the series was met with mixed reviews from critics, but many, including Thrillist, have noted clear inspiration from Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds," which is no bad thing. Offering a mix of over-the-top gore and heartfelt family drama, "Hunters" is a unique series that strikes a different tone but shares the same determined pursuit of justice that is seen in "Mindhunter." 

Criminal Minds

A less gritty but equally exciting series based on the FBI profilers, this time under the guise of the Behavioral Analysis Unit, "Criminal Minds" introduces a team of field agents who assist law enforcement data-driven insight into the psychology of deadly criminals. A procedural police drama, "Criminal Minds" boasts a rotating cast of brilliant agents, each with a unique specialty that they use in hunting down murderers, sex offenders, and criminal kingpins. From mathematics to forensics and psychoanalysis, the team uses every unconventional trick up their sleeve to apprehend their targets, and they always get the job done.

Its ensemble cast included some of the biggest names on TV over its 15 season run, including Mandy Patinkin, Jennifer Love-Hewitt, Aiesha Tyler, and many others. "Criminal Minds" also spawned two spin-offs and even an international remake in South Korea. A revival on Paramount+ sees several of its original stars returning to their roles (via Deadline), which makes now the perfect time to dig in to this classic crime drama.

Criminal: UK

Much like "Mindhunter," the British crime drama "Criminal: UK" focused on investigators' interrogation sessions, in this case by officers in the Metropolitan Police's Interrogation Unit. More of a police procedural, each episode features a suspect and interrogators engaged in a battle of wits, mind games, and psychological trickery. Set primarily within the interrogation room, the show's unique setting adds a claustrophobic sense of paranoia to the proceedings as the suspects attempt to dance around the officer's questions, and the investigators do their best to back their suspects into a verbal corner. 

With enough mystery to keep viewers guessing, it's as much a detective puzzle as an engaging crime drama. Between its two seasons, the series boasts appearances from David Tennant ("Doctor Who"), Kit Harington ("Game Of Thrones"), and Hayley Atwell ("Agent Carter"). In addition to its success in the United Kingdom, Netflix produced several international spinoffs, with original episodes airing in Spain, Germany, and France.

The Assets

Like "Mindhunter," the ABC miniseries "The Assets" is a true story set in the 1980s. The series also focused on a team of government agents tracking a slippery suspect and featured a fierce female investigator who's sorely underestimated. In this case, real-life CIA agent Sandy Grimes is brought in to launch an internal investigation into a suspected mole within the agency. The purported double agent is thought to be leaking classified intelligence on their operatives in Russia, forcing them to halt activities in the middle of the Cold War. 

As Grimes assembles a small crack team operating in relative secrecy, even from her colleagues, their target continues leaking sensitive information to the Russians, requiring them to take extraordinary action to find their man. A captivating eight-part miniseries with plenty of thrills and high-stakes espionage, "The Assets" is a highly accurate dramatization of the true story of the hunt for Aldrich Ames, whose arrest in 1994 ended one of the damaging leaks in American history, as noted by The New York Times


Anna Friel stars as the title character in "Marcella," a dour police drama about a troubled detective named Marcella Blackman who returns to London to resume her old position after a devastating split from her husband. As she battles her now ex-husband over custody of her children, she begins to experience dissociative identity disorder, which makes juggling her personal and professional lives nearly impossible. As her problems mount, she's brought in to investigate a cold case that's reignited after a fresh series of murders leads police to the conclusion that the same killer may be back at work after so many years. 

A frank and disturbing look at trauma through the lens of crime noir, "Marcella" deals with Blackman's mental health in a sensitive way but still may be disturbing to some viewers. However, if you're looking for a series like "Mindhunter," where a tough but troubled investigator tracks down a vicious serial killer while dealing with problems at home, "Marcella" is sure to scratch that itch.

The Following

Kevin Bacon stars as FBI agent Ryan Hardy in "The Following," a three-season series that ran on Fox in 2013 and was created by Kevin Williamson. Here, Bacon plays a veteran investigator with a crooked moral compass whose penchant for killing has made him nearly as bloodthirsty as the murderers he hunts. Though a standard procedural in some ways, it also featured distinct ongoing story arcs across its three seasons. The first saw Hardy on the trail of an elusive serial killer named James Carrol, played by "Rome" star James Purefoy. 

Having been caught once before by Hardy, Carrol has escaped prison and assembled a group of fanatics to help him in his latest scheme, and Hardy will stop at nothing to catch him a second time — no matter how many people he has to kill to do it. An engrossing psychological thriller with one of Hollywood's most famous talents at its center, its final storyline will no doubt recall shades of "Mindhunter" as Hardy consults with a convicted killer to nab his latest suspect. 


Thanks to complicated rights issues, audiences received not one but two different television series' based on Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter books in the last decade. Essentially, CBS retained the rights to the character of Clarice Starling, while MGM got pretty much everything else. The result was "Hannibal" on NBC for three seasons, and in 2020, "Clarice" debuted on CBS. Part horror thriller, part psychological crime drama, and police procedural, "Clarice" starred Rebecca Breeds as Starling, a determined FBI agent who's on leave following the successful investigation into and capture of notorious serial killer Buffalo Bill.

However, when the attorney general assigns Starling to a special task force to chase down the worst criminal offenders, she finds herself paired with Paul Krendler, the same agent she beat to the punch in her pursuit of Buffalo Bill. Overlooked and underestimated, Clarice must work harder than her colleagues to be taken seriously. 


While watching the 2020 series "Interrogation" on Paramount+, it's easy to imagine that the series took great influence from "Mindhunter" for its somber tone and investigative style. The series is set between 1982 and 2003 and features the unique gimmick in that the episodes are designed to be watched in any order — except for the series finale — as each story revolves around the interrogation of a single suspect. Inspired by a true story, according to the Daily News, the series stars Peter Sarsgaard as Detective David Russell, who is investigating the violent murder of a woman found strangled and beaten in her own home. To make things even more complex, her son is the prime suspect. 

Jumping around in time, the investigation takes decades to unfold. As each interrogation session unwinds the story of the murder, viewers are treated to dramatic flashbacks that expose the struggles of both the suspect and the victim. At the same time, Russell is under investigation by an Internal Affairs officer played by Vincent D'Onofrio, while the suspect's father works to prove his son's innocence.

Wire in the Blood

Like "Mindhunter," the British crime drama "Wire in the Blood" revolves around a highly-skilled investigator and criminal profiler who uses his knowledge of psychology to help police track serial killers. Based on a series of successful novels by author Val McDermid, the television adaptation ran for six seasons beginning in 2002. A standard procedural, it tackles a different killer each week, with Dr. Tony Hill — an expert in repeat violent offenders — lending his almost supernatural expertise in criminal psychology to the Major Incident Team of the Bradfield Criminal Investigation Department. 

Socially awkward but every bit a genius, Hill uses a combination of psychological skill, insightful brilliance, and gut instinct to solve his cases. Though it comes from the school of "dysfunctional genius detective" series' that defined the mid-2000s (think "Monk" or "Psych"), "Wire in the Blood" stands out with its darker tone and grisly subject matter.


The BBC limited series "Paranoid" stars Indira Varma ("Game Of Thrones") as Detective Nina Suresh of the Woodmere Police Force as she and her team work a case that begins with the stabbing death of a doctor at a local playground. Its solemn tone, unsettling story beats, and split focus on the investigator's personal relationships will recall "Mindhunter" as the investigation becomes complicated by her troubled personal life.

The investigation itself becomes further muddled when a shadowy figure dubbed the Ghost Detective begins sending the team new evidence to help point them to the correct targets, leading to bigger questions. The murder case threatens to take down major corporate players in the region when connections to a major pharmaceutical company become clear. Soon Detective Suresh is forced to consider that the murder may have been more than a personal grudge and could be part of a broader, far more disturbing conspiracy. 

The Blacklist

Part "Mindhunter" with its hunt for devious serial killers, and part "White Collar," the long-running NBC series "The Blacklist" sees James Spader take on the role of sinister arch-criminal and an FBI's most wanted criminal, Red. This mastermind is finally apprehended by the bright young FBI field agent and criminal profiler Liz Keen. After his capture, Red offers to trade his freedom in exchange for his services as a criminal psychologist, under the sole condition that he be paired with the agent who caught him.

In turn, Red offers up his own personal "Blacklist" — a meticulously organized catalog of the most diabolical criminals that he's ever come into contact with. Full of sharp twists and turns, the series offered one of television's most charismatic and devilishly charming criminal-turned-police consultants. Highly rated for more than just its stellar performances — which were led by Hollywood icon and three-time Emmy Award winner James Spader as Red — the show was a favorite of critics and fans during its nine-season run.


Set in 1967 and led by "X-Files" star David Duchovny, "Aquarius" sees LAPD detective Sam Hodiak investigate a grisly missing person case become unwittingly drawn into the orbit of criminal cult leader Charles Manson. Though it features a somewhat conventional charismatic and quirky cop tracking down criminals and following leads, "Aquarius" is not your standard police drama, as Duchovny brings a certain flair that would be hard to match with anyone else in the role. In different hands, a story about an unsettling crime against the backdrop of the 1960s civil rights movement that includes the notorious Manson might have become a cliche, but here it's stylish, fun, and engrossing — and managed to impress critics and audiences alike

Like "Mindhunter," "Aquarius" plays fast and loose with history, drawing in historic events and figures to give the proceedings extra weight and a certain subtle charm. While it handles the affairs with a bit more tongue-in-cheek humor, it should still evoke the same feelings for audiences with its dark story, period setting, and significant role for a real-life American criminal icon.

The Fall

Before Duchovney appeared in "Aquarius," his "X-Files" co-star Gillian Anderson starred in BBC's "The Fall," where she played fierce English detective Stella Gibson who is brought in when a murder investigation in Northern Ireland drags on too long. Now heading up the investigation herself, Gibson discovers a series of brutal murders across the region, leading to the inescapable conclusion that a serial killer is at work. Her prime suspect is a man named Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan). When he proves to be too slippery for her grasp, she's forced to go to great lengths to put the facts of the case together and bring him in.

Tense, suspenseful, and endlessly riveting, "The Fall" is an enthralling mystery that will have you questioning everything and everyone. Led by Anderson's indomitable performance as the intense atypical Gibson, the series ran for three seasons while hopes for a follow-up linger. A French adaptation titled "Insoupçonnable" is also highly recommended.

True Detective

HBO's criminal anthology series "True Detective" was a major coup for the cable network. The show attracted major Hollywood talent and delivered some of the best drama on TV. Impeccably written and stunningly shot, it received universal acclaim for its spectacular first season. Like "Mindhunter," the first season is a period piece, set in 1995, as detectives Rustin Cohle and Martin Hart investigate the murder of a young woman. However, it's much more than a simple murder mystery. Its emphasis on religion and lavish visuals overflowing with symbolism made it one of the most analyzed shows in recent memories. Vulture even invited philosopher Paul J. Ennis to consider the show's themes.

"True Detective" is often compared to "Mindhunter" for its grim tone, stylish production, and exceptional storytelling while some, such as critics at CBR, believe it to be superior to Fincher's Netflix series. Tackling everything from child murders to cult leaders and serial killers, it's only for those with a strong stomach but is not to be missed. With an all-star cast across its three seasons, including Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Rachel McAdams, Mahershala Ali, and Colin Farrell, it's as close as you can get to a movie on the small screen.


Described by Newsweek as "perfect for 'Mindhunter' fans," the Netflix miniseries "Unbelievable" is like Fincher's series in that it is also inspired by a well-chronicled real life event. In this case, the law enforcement hunts a serial rapist who committed his crimes in Washington and Colorado. The series opens following the disturbing rape of a teenage foster child named Marie, but as investigators pry into her story, many around her don't believe it, instead dismissing it as a cry for attention. But years later, when another rape victim, who is several states away, gives details that match Marie's, it reopens the case and sends detectives down a dark hole to get to the truth.

Utilizing a series of narrative time jumps that keep the audience guessing, "Unbelievable" stars Kaitlyn Devers and Toni Collette. The series was met with rave reviews on its release and was lauded for taking its troubling subject matter seriously and giving it the weight it deserves. Variety noted in their review that "there's no relish here, no sense that a young woman's pain is inherently entertaining ... as a document of trauma, overcome both through justice and through a hard-won fight to find self-worth, 'Unbelievable' soars."

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, you can report it by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673.

Prodigal Son

If you're looking for a series another series about an investigator who is hunting a serial killer while getting help from a once convicted murderer, look no further than "Prodigal Son." However, this series, which stars "Good Omens" alumni Michael Sheen alongside Tom Payne from "The Walking Dead," puts a familial twist on the story. Payne plays a former FBI criminal profiler who now works with the NYPD, while Sheen appears as his father, a convicted serial killer once dubbed the Surgeon who is serving a life sentence for murdering 23 people. 

When a new spate of killings rocks the city, Payne finds eerie similarities between the methods of the new killer and the Surgeon. To solve the case, he's forced to come face-to-face with his estranged father and rely on his unique insight into the mind of a serial killer to catch whoever is behind these new murders.


An international series that feels very "Mindhunter" in both its style and its subject matter is the UK miniseries "Des" starring David Tennant ("Doctor Who") as Scottish serial killer Dennis Nilsen. The Gaurdian notes that Nilsen killed up to 16 victims in the late '70s and early '80s, the same time that Tench and Holden were interviewing their own convicted killers. Tennant plays Nilsen as the series probes his inner mind through interviews with DCI Peter Jay (Daniel Mays,) the detective who is tasked with revealing the details of his crimes.

More than a sobering crime drama, "Des" is a meticulously produced three-part series that is particularly gruesome not because of gore but because of the way it probes the mind behind the haunting, cold, and sociopathic personality of Nilsen. Tennant would take home the International Emmy for best actor, while The Guardian called the series a "sensitive, finely worked drama [that] shows us the unrelentingly bleak reality of the monstrous narcissist Dennis Nilsen's macabre murders."

Real Detective

If you were to take Fincher's "Mindhunter" and splice it up to include commentary from the real people the series was based on, you'd have something not far from true crime docu-drama "Real Detective" on Netflix. Mixing documentary-style interviews from real-life criminal experts with dramatic re-enactments produced with as much slickness and intensity as any series on this list, the two-season series covered some terrifying true crime cases. Episodes featured investigations into rapists, murderers, and several infamous serial killers, including Westley Allan Dodd, who was active in Washington State in the late '80s, according to The Seattle Times.

A documentary procedural, each episode encapsulates a different case, with the actual detectives involved providing commentary and context to the on-screen investigations. Though most of the cast of the dramatizations are unknowns, two highlights include an episode in which Michael Madsen appears as a Texas Ranger investigating a cover-up and another where Tahmoh Penikett plays the Washinton cop hunting Dodd.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

"The Assassination of Gianni Versace" is the second season of the larger series "American Crime Story," itself a part of the "American Story" franchise. While the stories told in Seasons 1 and 3 don't have much in common with "Mindhunter," fans of David Fincher's series will enjoy the second, which focuses on the murder and subsequent investigation of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace. The series utilizes a unique narrative structure as each episode begins before the previous one, revealing new information on the crime and adding new context that changes the nature of the story with each installment. 

The story is as much about Versace himself as the killer, but it's the culprit — Andrew Cunanan — who audiences will find most fascinating. Cunanan, the serial killer who took eight lives, would commit suicide before his capture, leaving investigators — and this series — to ponder his motives and the details of his crimes after his death.


Placed by a Radio Times poll as being among the best British crime dramas, "Broadchurch" features an all-star roster of actors headlined by Olivia Colman and David Tennant — in a role that showed his range shortly after his stint as the titular "Doctor Who." David Bradley, Eve Myles, Charlotte Rampling, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and future "Doctor Who" star Jodie Whittaker round out the cast. 

Set in the fictional U.K. coastal town of Broadchurch, the first season begins with the mysterious death of a local boy. The subsequent investigation by a troubled out-of-town detective named Alec Hardy (Tennant), who is handed the case over the objections of a local detective Ellie Miller (Colman). As the case unfolds, they may do more than catch a killer, as tragedy threatens to throw the peaceful town into chaos when its residents' secrets begin to spill out into the open.

The second season deals with the fallout of the killer's murder trial, while a case from Hardy's past finds itself resurfacing in Broadchurch. The third season involves a suspected serial rapist and Hardy's obsessive quest to find the culprit. Each season of "Broadchurch" covers one investigation and a manhunt, with each episode often focusing on a single suspect. A gripping drama, it's as suspenseful as "Mindhunter," featuring some genuinely nail-biting crimes and a series of suspects that will leave you guessing until the very end.

The Killing

The 2011 murder mystery "The Killing," led by Mireille Enos as homicide detective Sarah Linden and Joel Kinnaman as Detective Stephen Holder, investigators who are attempting to solve a confounding murder case involving a young girl. However, the case becomes more than a straightforward search for a killer when the pair find connections to an aspirational politician and his next campaign. While the family of the murdered girl works through their grief, matters are further complicated by the government intrigue that threatens to derail the investigation. 

A psychological thriller that gets into the heads of both the criminals and the detectives ala "Mindhunter," the series is as much a captivating exploration of police politics as the hunt for a killer. Season 2 concludes the first investigation, while the third and fourth seasons introduce new cases that prove just as engaging as the first. Michelle Forbes, Peter Sarsgaard, and Billy Campbell all made memorable appearances throughout the series as part of its large rotating cast.

Mind of a Monster

Airing on Discovery in 2019, the documentary series "Mind of a Monster" features episodes that focus on different serial killers while delving into their minds and motives. A psychological examination of the infamous real-life villains as much an exploration of their grisly crimes, the series looks at real-life criminals such as Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Aileen Wuornos, and Gary Ridgway, who is also known as the Green River Killer. However, the episode that viewers of "Mindhunter" will find most relevant is the documentary feature "The Co-Ed Killer," which revolves around Ed Kemper. Kemper, of course, is the serial killer interviewed extensively by Bill Tench and William Holden on the Netflix series.

Viewers fascinated by actor Cameron Britton's unsettling portrayal of the calm, cool, but sociopathic murderer will find more information about his crimes in "Mind Of A Monster," a well-produced and informative documentary that sheds new light on Kemper and his victims.