Crime has been one of television's favorite subjects since the birth of the medium. In the 1950s and 1960s, the detective story was as popular on television. As innovative programs introduced new styles, the crime drama was instrumental in changing the way that television drama overall was created. Large audiences began to watch crime shows.
Crime TV shows programming come in many different varieties. Detective stories and mysteries had their roots in other media, and they made the transition to television without modification. The detective story follows the actions of a single hero. He or she is usually a police detective or a private investigator. The hero attempts to solve a crime and apprehend its perpetrator. In a mystery, the identity of the perpetrator is typically kept from the audience until the end of the story.
The police procedural has its roots in popular novels, but as a sub genre of crime fiction it was most fully developed on televisions. These dramas follow the work of detectives or police officers. However, the police procedural is more concerned with creating a realistic and convincingly depiction of the police officers' daily duties.
Many crime dramas could also slip easily into the action genre. In terms of plot, these stories have the structure of detective stories or mysteries. But they emphasize the violence, physical confrontations and perilous situations that plague the hero as he tries to solve the crime.
Finally, true crime stories take advantage of non-fiction stories of crimes, criminals and victims. These programs may be either fictionalized, semi-documentary or fully documentary in nature. Fictionalized programs base their stories on actual crimes but may alter significant details for dramatic effect. Semi-documentary programs try to stay true to the details of the crime. They may include dramatic re-creations of events. Documentaries present the story of the real-life crime as accurately as possible.