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Most Popular Current Network Dramas

Unlike HBO, Showtime, or Netflix, the traditional broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox) need to attract advertisers, which means their dramas cannot be too edgy, dark, or explicit, which makes for lighter binging than Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones.

Shows Like Burn Notice: Crime Shows That Don't Take Themselves Too Seriously

These crime and police procedurals mix genuine thrills with just the right amount of lighthearted banter, reeling you in without leaving you too depressed to finish your dinner. The USA network is well represented.

Shows like Castle: Male Female Cop Partners

A twist on the classic buddy cop trope, where a man and woman team up to catch villains--the biggest mystery in these shows, however, is will they, won't they?

Shows like The Fall: Catching a Serial Killer Shows

Shows like The Fall, True Detective (season one), and Criminal Minds that focus on the detectives who chase serial killers for a living.

Good Cop, Non Cop

Not saying these lighthearted series are formulaic, but you can create your own by pairing an eccentric psychic, novelist, conman, anthropologist, magician, etc. with a grizzled cop, private investigator, FBI agent.

Shows like Psych: Lighthearted Criminal Profiler Shows

Unlike Hannibal or Mindhunter, the stars of these shows do not delve into the demented minds of serial killers. Instead they use their insight into human nature to solve less heinous crimes.

Shows like Bones: Lighthearted Buddy Cop Shows

Sure they have badges and carry guns, but these dynamic police duos do not take themselves too seriously.

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