Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

10 Shows Like Castle For Fans Of Fantastic Police Procedurals

shows like castle

From 2009 to 2016, the show Castle was the talk of the town. Nathan Fillion as the famous writer Richard Castle, and Stana Katic as the serious Detective Kate Beckett, the comedy-detective show was a hit. So whether you’re looking for lighthearted procedurals or complex detective shows like Castle, we have curated a great list that you should check out. Castle and Kate’s relationship resembles the typical odd couple forced to work together. Castle is a goofy man-child who truly loves his family, while Kate is a dedicated and robust detective. Castle is one of those rare shows where all supporting characters are an absolute delight. The show is a perfect blend of comedy, drama, and action. With a healthy dose of gruesome scenes, thrill, and sometimes a musical number, the flat-out fun show Castle has rightfully won many accolades in its run.

List of TV Shows Like Castle

  1. The Mentalist
  2. Sherlock
  3. The Rookie
  4. Bones
  5. True Detective
  6. White Collar
  7. Psych
  8. Criminal Minds
  9. Person of Interest
  10.  Lie To Me

1. The Mentalist (2008)

The Mentalist follows a ‘psychic’ turned detective Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) with extraordinary skills of observation. He works as a consultant with the Bureau of Investigation in California to solve crimes. Similar to Castle, the main character has great chemistry with his female boss, Teresa Lisbon, a Senior agent and leader of ‘Serious Crimes Unit’. Shows like The Mentalist fall in the same genre as Castle, detective mystery shows with a fun twist.

The main character, like Castle, is a cocky yet likeable man, absolutely full of himself. Simon Baker in The Mentalist brilliantly brings out the spiritual and physical struggles of the character. The Mentalist is funny, charming, thought-provoking and absolutely entertaining to watch. If you wish to watch TV shows like Castle, then you should probably watch this one. 

2. Sherlock (2010)

The show Sherlock, as the name suggests, is an adaptation of the iconic stories of detective Sherlock Holmes. This 2010 modern-day re-imagining has gained high popularity since its release with an insanely dedicated fan following. And it’s no mystery why; the show has an exceptionally talented cast of actors like Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, and Andrew Scott, to name a few. 

Sherlock uses technology and forensic science with his brilliant skills of deduction, observation, and logical reasoning, which makes the show go beyond perfection. The tales of Sherlock Holmes inspire every genius character in some way or another, and Castle is no exception. So, if you search for TV shows like Castle, Sherlock is an unmissable watch. 

3. The Rookie  (2018)

Ever wondered what if Castle was a police officer? This show is your answer. The Rookie is an American police procedural crime drama television series that follows John Nolan, a 45-year-old recently divorced man. After helping the police during a bank robbery, he is inspired to move to LA and pursue a new career as a police officer. John becomes the oldest rookie of the force.

The show is, however, not always as light-hearted as Castle. John is met with scepticism from higher-ups and must navigate the dangerous and unpredictable world of ‘young’ cops. Nevertheless, Nathan Fillion manages to keep humour present in the serious show- in a way that feels true to life. Binge-worthy, The Rookie is perfect if you miss Nathan and wish to watch shows similar to Castle

4. Bones (2005)

Bones is a crime procedural drama created by Hart Hanson with a forensic anthropology and forensic archaeology investigation. Bones is loosely based on the life and writings of Kathy Reichs, who also produced the show. The show ran a long course of 12 seasons before it was eventually cancelled. 

Bones follows the pairing of a doctor and an FBI agent,  Dr Temperance ‘Bones’ Brennan and FBI Agent Seeley Booth in an unusual approach to examining the remains of the victims for investigating the murder. The main characters have great chemistry and the show has a good balance of gravitas and humour. Bones has been a comfort watch for many viewers. If you are searching for TV shows similar to Castle that you can watch for a long time, Bones will be a great choice.

5. True Detective (2014)

The show True Detective is a seasonal fantasy series following a pair of detectives, namely Rustin Cohle (Matthew McConaughey)  and Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson). The detectives are in pursuit of a serial killer in Louisiana with links to occult crimes from over 17 years. True Detective is a fantastic TV series, the performances by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson left me speechless. 

The story unfolds in a way you won’t expect, True Detective is not just about a typical fashionable pair of detectives solving crimes through the streets of London but about two broken degenerating people struggling to resist the corrupting world around them. The show makes clever and witty use of vocabulary in the narrative to describe the feelings of the characters. Well, the second season of the show is quite weak but True Detective does manage to pick up where it started by its third season. If you want to see series like Castle, we recommend that you check out True Detective. 

6. White Collar (2009)

White Collar is a Police Procedural Drama that centres on a former con artist and criminal, Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer). Neal cuts a deal for his sentence and works as a criminal consultant with the Law Enforcement agency FBI under Special agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKey). Like Castle, Neal is an easy-going, charming, and cultured guy while Peter much like Kate Beckett is a buttoned-up professional. 

Here’s a clip from White Collar

Talented and undeniably gorgeous Matt Bomer’s performance as the sophisticated and highly skilled artist Neal Caffery is too good to miss. Just as well, the performances by the rest of the cast are absolutely on point. I really adore Willie Garson as Mozzie. The show decided to end on a high note with its 6th season. A 100% binge-worthy show has the protagonist you might be looking for. So I say, White Collar is a perfect match for you if you’re looking for shows like Castle.

7. Psych (2006)

Psych is an American detective comedy-drama series created by Steve Franks in 2006. The central character, Shawn Spencer (James Roday) is a young crime consultant for the Santa Barbara Police Department. Shawn has an eidetic memory and learns a lot about detailed observation from his father, former detective Henry. Often called a ‘Psych’, Shawn formerly insists that there’s no such thing but after police are suspicious about his involvement in a crime he solves, he tells everyone that he is indeed a Psychic.

The show Psych has been praised for its comedic-juvenile style of script writing, the dialogues are spontaneous and brilliant. The main characters of Shawn and his best friend and work partner Burton Guster form a hilariously engaging chemistry. A highly underrated show, Psych ran for 8 seasons and has 3 movies with consistent quality acting performances and humour. So, if you are looking for TV shows like Castle, Psych is the perfect choice for you.

8. Criminal Minds (2005)

The police procedural drama, Criminal Minds follows a group called the Behaviour Analyst Unit (BAU) of criminal profilers. They work for the FBI to help solve crimes and find a suspect known as ‘unknown-subject.’ The show manages to handle a large cast well. Every character gets the opportunity to shine. The dark and somewhat grim story of Criminal minds is very compelling.

Criminal Minds is action-packed and full of suspense. Having been on the air for 15 seasons, the show has gained a dedicated viewership. Much of the cast changes as the seasons progress, but the presence of the well-liked core cast keeps the viewers hooked. For a show running as long as Criminal Minds, writers managed to write new episodes with engaging plots almost every time. If you want to watch shows similar to Castle then Criminal Minds will be worthy of a watch. 

9. Person of Interest (2011)

Person of Interest is a Sci-fi crime drama. It follows John Reese, a former special forces soldier, and CIA operative. A bygone soldier, John is thought to be dead by everyone. But he is alive and now a homeless man in New York. Harold Finch, a billionaire software genius, builds a computer called ‘the Machine’ that monitors all electronic media and communications to predict future terrorist activities. Harold approaches Reese to intercept the possible threats. 

On the surface, Person of Interest seems like a standard procedural crime drama series. However, it is, in fact, a well-crafted action sci-fi that explores the concepts of AI vs. human nature. In addition, the main characters of the show are phenomenal. If you want to explore more shows like Castle with a sci-fi element, Person of Interest will keep you on the edge of your seat.

10. Lie to Me (2011)

Loosely based on Dr Paul Ekman and his real-life research, Lie to Me is a crime drama television series. The protagonist, Cal Lightman (Tim Rothe) is the world’s leading deception expert. To solve crimes and expose the truth, he uses his studies of facial expressions and involuntary body language. Like Castle, Lie to Me is highly engaging and suspenseful. 

Here’s a clip from Lie To Me

At the beginning of the show, Lightman’s team’s new associate, Ria Torres is labelled ‘natural’ at deception detection. Her innate talent does not sit well with Cal’s academic approach and so Cal often tries to show off while she proves a worthy opponent to his challenges. Even though the show only lasts 3 seasons before getting cancelled, it’s quite entertaining. If you want to see more shows like Castle, Lie to Me should be a great choice for you. 

Honourable Mentions

A couple of great investigative series like Castle didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Elementary
  2. Monk
  3. Body of Proof
  4. Rizzoli and Isles 

When Lost aired over a decade ago, its successful narrative created a pop culture impact and changed the landscape of television. If you are a fan and want to watch shows like Lost then you can have a look at this list we made just for you.

Lost

The hugely successful television series Lost aired in 2004. The premise, as we know, deals with a group of people surviving a commercial passenger plane crash on a remote island. The show masterfully explores supernatural and sci-fi elements on this mysterious south Pacific island. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTu8iDynwNc

The use of cliffhangers at the end of each episode of Lost kept the viewers on the edge of their seats, desperately craving for the next episode to come. Even though it's a large ensemble cast, most of the characters receive a justifiable personal arch. Lost was inspired by the movie Castaway and became one of the most expensive pilots to be shot at the time! Lost continues to be appreciated for its originality in storytelling and dynamic character arcs. 

List of TV Shows Like Lost

  1. The Leftovers
  2. Manifest
  3. Lost Room
  4. Twin Peaks
  5. The Prisoners
  6. Battlestar Galactica
  7. The New People
  8. Flight 29 Down
  9. Fringe
  10. Alcatraz
  11. Under the Dome
  12. Dark

1. The Leftovers (2014)

IMDB ratings: 8.3/10

Cast: Carrie Coon, Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman and Margaret Qualley

Creator: Damon Lindelof and Tom Perrotta

The director of Lost, Damon Lindel also created a supernatural drama series called The Leftovers. The show begins 3 years after an unexplainable global event called ‘Sudden Departure’  where almost 2 per cent of the population, nearly 140 million people, disappear. The Leftovers isn't about WHY people are gone, it's about how the ones who remain dealt with their loss, people often try to comfort themselves with dreams, angels, gods, or even death.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLT3YUALJno&t=8s

The Leftovers will leave you with so many questions but beyond words, you have to feel it and savour its unanswered questions to find peace. The Leftovers is an incredible television series that starts incredibly well but loses its way by the series's end. I have to say though, Carrie Coon has brilliant moments in the end. The Leftovers is so weird, fragmented and nonsensical at times that it reminds me of Lost. If you are looking for shows like Lost, I recommend that you give The Leftovers a try.

2. Manifest  (2018) 

IMDB ratings: 7.1/10

Cast: Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas and J.R. Ramirez 

Creator: Jeff Rake


The Manifest is a supernatural drama show about a bunch of people who discover that they lost 5 years of their lives when they landed in New York after their aeroplane faced severe turbulence. All the people on the plane were presumed to be dead. Now, these people have to find a way to adjust themselves to a new life around their loved ones. Mild spoiler! They learn their loved ones and the rest of society is not as they left it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1hNAIzkQWY

I found that the show’s premise was very intriguing and the actors give a very convincing performance. The narrative details of the show, however, in my opinion, are a bit sloppy and inconsistent. The writers surely have room for improvement but their concept is incredibly thrilling. Every episode of Manifest keeps you on your toes. Manifest has completed 3 seasons up until now and continues to be on air. Manifest is a pretty good choice if you want to watch TV shows like Lost.

3. Lost Room (2006)

IMDB ratings: 8.1/10

Cast: Peter Krause, Julianna Margulies and Peter Jacobson

Creator: Christopher Leone, Laura Harkcom

This lesser-known show The Lost Room is an American Sci-fi television miniseries which only had 3 episodes of 90 mins each and no follow-up seasons. The show was based on a very unique idea where the room in question (known as the ‘Lost Room’) and the objects in the said room had supernatural powers. This strange room is set in a 1960s motel along the iconic U.S. Route 66. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfWrECLnFYU

One day the protagonist (Peter Krause) Joe Miller’s daughter disappears inside the room. Joe, with the help of objects present in the room, tries to find his daughter Anna (Elle Fanning). The story of Lost Room was intensely engaging. I found the direction and the actor’s performances to be absolutely brilliant. It baffles me that the creators did not return to make another short season within the same concept. If you have been searching for TV series like Lost then I can assure you that Lost Room will be worth a watch.

4. Twins Peaks (1990) 

IMDB ratings: 8.8/10

Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Mädchen Amick, Sherilyn Fenn and David Lynch

Creator: David Lynch

David Lynch, the well-known director of weird and captivating films such as Eraserhead and Blue Velvet created an iconic show called Twin Peaks. It is a hauntingly eccentric show about the investigation of the mysterious murder of a small-town homecoming queen named Laura Palmer. Believe me, as odd as the show may seem at first, you will grow to love it, after all, it is considered to be one of the best mystery shows ever created. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zwn9ou_nf-I

With the mysteries, the supernatural elements and the list of bizarre characters, Twin Peaks has it all. In my opinion, the cinematography of the show was truly ahead of its time. Kyle’s Dale Cooper was especially entertaining. Twin Peaks’ experimental formula of the satirical soap opera is extremely unsettling yet rewarding to watch, I must warn you, it’s not for the faint-hearted!  If you are in search of TV shows like Lost then Twin Peaks won’t disappoint you.

The Prisoners (1967)

IMDB ratings: 8.5/10

Cast: Patrick McGoohan, Angelo Muscat and Geroge Markstien

Creator: Patrick McGoohan


The Prisoner centres around an unnamed British agent (Patrick McGoohan) who tries to flee his country after abruptly quitting his high-ranking government job. He is abducted and held captive in a strange ‘sea-side’ village that is isolated from the rest of the world. This village is a highly secure and monitored place filled with weird technology. There are only 17 episodes to this late 60s show but it manages to bring up such surreal surprises, it's sure to leave a great impact on the viewer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JrNr85fPms

The Prisoner’s unique concept influenced many popular shows including Lost. The creators of Lost even cited the show. I was very impressed by how ahead of its time The Prisoners proves to be. If you want to watch more shows similar to Lost the Prisoners should definitely be on your list.

6. Battlestar Galactica (2004)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Katee Sackhoff, Edward James Olmos and Tricia Helfer 

Creator: Glen A. Larson

The 2004 Battlestar Galactica is a reboot of the original 1978 miniseries of the same name. Do not be mistaken by the title, the show is not related to Star Trek.  Battlestar Galactica is set in the 7th millennium AD and follows Cylons, the robot enemy of humanity that resurfaces to destroy the 12 colonies of Mankind. Only a few survive and are able to escape on ships led by a powerful warship called Battlestar Galactica. Mankind struggles to fight the Cylons and work their own political agendas and disputes while finding their long-lost 13th colony Earth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnYsf2Yv8i8

The show is a dark, intense and gritty socio-political commentary with EPIC cinematic value. The script is especially clever and as a huge fan of sci-fi shows, this show ticks the boxes in all the right categories. When the show was released, it blew the viewers and critics away. As far as an obsessive and gripping story goes, Battlestar Galactica is one of the most similar to shows like Lost. 

7. The New People (1969)

IMDB ratings: 7.3/10

Cast: David Moses, Zooey hall and Tiffany Boiling

Creator: Larry Gordon Aaron Spelling

The New People is an American Tv series that aired only for 1 season and is focused on a couple of college students who survive a plane crash. The incident takes place while they were returning from a trip to Southeast Asia, their plane crashes on an island in the south of the Pacific ocean. 

By now this show must already be sounding a lot like Lost to you, and it surely is. The remaining group of people discover an unusual truth about the island: there’s an above-ground unused nuclear test site filled with supplies for the survivors. If you want to see more plane survival stories like Lost then The New People should definitely be on your list.

8. Flight 29 Down (2005)

IMDB ratings: 7.2/10

Cast: Allen Alvarado, Halle Hirsh and Corbin Bleu

Creator:  Stan Rowgow D. J. MacHale

The show Flight 29 Down is a drama series about a group of pre-teens/teens who are stranded on a South Pacific island after their plane crashes in a tropical storm while they were flying from an eco-adventure camping trip in Palau. The show is in many ways a younger version of the Adult-centred show Lost but sans the supernatural elements. I’d say that the show draws inspiration from the show The New People.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLeG0w3kL8k

Flight 29 Down uses the technique of a video diary as a plot device for the viewers to keep up with the story of these children. It was very engaging to watch young intelligent characters finding their way on the island. The first two seasons of the show are quite engaging but I seemed to lose interest in its 3rd and final season. Regardless, Flight 29 Down is a really good series to watch if you want to see TV shows like Lost.

9. Fringe (2008)

IMDB ratings: 8.4/10

Cast: Anna Torv, John Noble and Joshua Jackson

Creator: J. J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman, and Roberto Orci

Fringe is a popular Sci-fi crime drama television series. It may seem like a standard procedural drama at first, but the show actually explores the parallel universe, alternate versions of people filled with crazy scientific experiments. I personally had a great time watching this show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29bSzbqZ3xE

Fringe is actually inspired by shows like Lost, The X-files and The Twilight Zone. The 3 main characters of the show work with a special division called Fringe. There are so many brilliant twists and turns in Fringe that in my opinion, the show is at the top of its category. If you are searching for TV series like Lost, I strongly recommend you watch Fringe

10. Alcatraz (2012)

IMDB ratings: 6.9/10

Cast: Sarah Jones, George Garcia and Jonny Coyne 

Creator: Elizabeth Sarnoff, Steven Lilien, Bryan Wynbrandt

This American fiction show is based on the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary built on Alcatraz island in San Francisco Bay. The prison is now closed but once kept some of the most dangerous criminals of America. The show takes the liberty to make a show around the conspiracies of the place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V514ACIGp_k

In the interesting premise we see that under unknown circumstances, 256 inmates and 46 guards of the prison disappear without a trace. Later the disappeared ones start to appear one by one without ageing a day and resume their criminal activities with no realisation of disappearance. A special government unit is dedicated to finding and putting those criminals back in prison. If you are looking for mystery shows similar to Lost, try watching Alcatraz. 

11. Under the Dome (2013)

IMDB ratings: 6.5/10

Cast: Alexander Koch and Rachelle Lefevre

Creator: Stephen King

Based on a novel written by the sci-fi legend Stephen King, Under the Dome tells the story of the residents of the fictional small town called Chester's Mill, when a huge, transparent and indestructible dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Y5YeYrqUk

Now the trapped residents try to find a way to discover the truth, origin and purpose of these domes. This journey forces them into situations where they learn more about each other than they ever knew. Under the Dome may not be on the top of this list but it’s quite a decent watch if you’re looking for mystery shows similar to Lost

12. Dark (2017)

IMDB ratings: 8.7/10

Cast: Louis Hofmann, Lisa Vicari and Gina Stiebitz

Creator: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese

The German-language Netflix series Dark is an interesting blend of Science fiction and Mystery. Truly a compelling and mind-bending story to watch. At the beginning of Dark, many children suspiciously start disappearing in the German town of Winden. The dark past of generational mysteries of 4 families living in the town namely, Kahnwald, Nielsen, Doppler, and Tiedemann is brought to light.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrwycJ08PSA

After the discovery of a wormhole, the lives of the families intertwine more than one can imagine. I believe every element of the show is top-notch, especially Dark’s cinematography, which is a TRUE masterpiece. If you are looking for TV series similar to Lost then the intense and gripping story of Dark is sure to keep you engrossed.

Honourable Mentions

Here are a few TV shows like Lost that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless: 

  1. Carnivale
  2. Yellowjackets
  3. Game of Thrones
  4. Black Mirror
  5. Flashforward