A Police Procedural is concerned with an accurate representation of the day to day realities and procedures of the police. It's a very specific sub-genre of crime fiction. The Police Procedural is almost the antithesis of the Cop Show
. The Police Procedural is characterized by the lack of emphasis on the character's personal lives and the increased focus on the nuts-and-bolts of law enforcement.
This term is also sometimes used specifically to describe the "Reverse Whodunnit
" style of crime drama made famous by Columbo
, despite the fact that most examples have very little to do with actual police procedure.
Note that the focus on "realistic" police work doesn't mean the show has to be set in "reality". A show looking at the day-to-day routine of the Space Police
is still a procedural.
Both the Police Procedural and the Cop Show are sometimes called "Precinct Shows".
See also: Criminal Procedural
, Forensic Drama
, Buddy Cop Show
, Cop Show
Live Action TV
Anime and Manga
Film - Live Action
- Fell is about a detective in a Darker and Edgier part of town.
- Gotham Central follows the Major Case Squad of the Gotham City Police Department as they deal with crimes and the villians that plague the city.
- Top 10 is a Super Hero Police Procedural.
- High and Low: The second half of Akira Kurosawa's film, based on Ed McBain's 87th Precinct novel, King's Ransom.
- M by Fritz Lang's and its sort-of sequel Das Testament des Doktor Mabuse are some of the earliest cinematic examples, starring Otto Wernicke as Kommissar Lohmann of the Berlin police.
- The Next Generation -Patlabor-: The live-action sequel of the Patlabor series, based on the movie timeline.
- White Heat, despite being known mainly for James Cagney's manic performance ("Made it, Ma! Top of the world!"), with details on how undercover police go about gaining the trust of a villain, and details on how a vehicle tail is conducted.
- Fire In The Sky: Although this film is an alien abduction story, the focus is not on the abduction but on the police investigation. This police procedural takes up about half of the film time.
- 87th Precinct, Ed McBain's novels.
- Rivers of London
- Maurice Procter's "Granchester" novels featuring Detective Inspector Harry Martineau and the "Granchester" police force.
- The Provost's Dog trilogy in the Tortall Universe is a police procedural in a setting where policing is a fairly recent concept.
- Men at Arms (part of City Watch subseries in Discworld)
- Feet of Clay (part of City Watch subseries)
- Thud! (part of City Watch subseries)
- Most of the novels of Michael Slade revolve around Special X, a division of the Mounties who catch serial killers.