9 Lighter Mysteries & Procedurals to Watch Right Now

Lighter Procedural TV Shows
F. Scott Schafer/NBC; Erik Heinila/©TNT/courtesy Everett Collection; David Giesbrecht / ©USA Network / courtesy Everett Collection

People love mysteries, but sometimes you need to take a break from the murder and violent and gruesome crimes at the heart of some TV procedurals.

Fortunately, there are plenty of mystery series you can watch to still get your crime-solving fix but with lighter notes. Maybe you’re looking for ones with consultants who lie about what they can do, like Psych. Maybe you need a bit of comedy like on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Maybe you’d rather watch an amateur sleuth connect all the dots on Murder, She Wrote.

Whatever your pick, we have you covered with the nine TV shows below.

Dule Hill James Roday Psych Gus Shawn
Alan Zenuk / © USA Network / Courtesy: Everett Collection


For eight seasons, the USA Network series followed fake psychic Shawn (James Roday) and his partner Gus (Dulé Hill) as they solved crime alongside the Santa Barbara Police Department. It was filled with numerous pop culture references (see above), comedy, and drama, and you’re guaranteed to have the theme song stuck in your head after (and love it). Plus, there was a musical episode and there’s a second movie coming this summer to Peacock.

Psych, Streaming Now, Amazon Prime Video

Angela Lansbury Murder She Wrote Jessica Fletcher
©Universal TV/courtesy Everett Collection

Murder, She Wrote

If you’re a fan of Hallmark’s cozy mystery movies with their amateur sleuths, why not check out one of the originals? Angela Lansbury stars as the professional writer who’s just as clever when it comes to solving crimes. (And since reruns air on Hallmark, you know it’s not going to be dark.)

Murder, She Wrote, Streaming Now, IMDb TV

Eric McCormack Perception Daniel Pierce
Trae Patton/©TNT/courtesy Everett Collection


Eric McCormack played the brilliant neuropsychiatrist, Dr. Daniel Pierce, on the TNT drama for three seasons. While he solved cases with the FBI, working with Rachael Leigh Cook‘s Special Agent Kate Moretti, the series also offered insight into the human brain and, of course, perception, especially through Pierce’s paranoid schizophrenia. It wasn’t just about the crimes.

Perception, Streaming Now, ABC.com

Leverage Team Cast TNT
Erik Heinila/©TNT/courtesy Everett Collection


Sometimes the best good guys are the bad guys, the TNT drama taught us for five seasons (and there’s going to be a revival!). Timothy Hutton’s Nathan Ford led the team of grifter Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman), hacker Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge), hitter Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane), and thief Parker (Beth Riesgraf) in righting wrongs done by corporations and governments against everyday people. If you like heists, this one’s for you.

Leverage, Streaming Now, IMDb TV

Ioan Gruffudd Forever Henry Morgan


For those who like a little fantasy to the mystery at the heart of their crime dramas, this ABC series, which sadly only lasted one season, is perfect. Ioan Gruffudd starred as Dr. Henry Morgan, a medical examiner in New York hiding a pretty big secret: he couldn’t stay dead. Not only was it a joy to watch him solve crimes while trying to figure out why he was immortal, but the father/son dynamic with Judd Hirsch’s Abe, who knew his secret, was one of the best parts of the series.

Forever, Streaming Now, CW Seed

Pushing Daisies ABC Cast Lee Pace

Pushing Daisies

There aren’t many fantasy mystery dramedies out there, and there was so much to love about this one. It was eye-catching, entertaining, and had such a unique concept. Lee Pace‘s Ned could bring back the dead with his touch — until the pie-maker touched them again, putting a wrench in a romance with his childhood crush, Chuck (Anna Friel) and causing them to have to get creative.

Pushing Daisies, Streaming Now, CW Seed

Matt Bomer Tim DeKay White Collar Neal Peter
David Giesbrecht / ©USA Network / courtesy Everett Collection

White Collar

This USA Network drama showed how intriguing every kind of crime, not just the more violent ones, can be. After catching con artist Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer), FBI Special Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) enlisted his help to catch other white collar criminals. And for six seasons, fans watched the two become friends as they did.

White Collar, Streaming Now, Hulu

Brooklyn Nine Nine Season 7 Cast
F. Scott Schafer/NBC

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Sometimes you just need a lot of humor with your procedural fix, and that’s exactly what the (now) NBC comedy brings. There’s a humorous spin on most of the series’ cases, and you always know that there will be a Halloween heist that takes over the precinct and doesn’t show the characters’ best qualities.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Streaming Now, Hulu

The Mentalist Robin Tunney Simon Baker
Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

The Mentalist

Simon Baker’s Patrick Jane had paranormal abilities … if you asked him. The fake medium worked as a consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation and helped solve crimes with his various skills (like reading people). Plus, you don’t have to wait until the end of the series for the case that haunted him (Red John) to be solved.

The Mentalist, Streaming Now, Amazon Prime Video