10 Lesser-Known Procedural Shows Like Bones To Watch If You Miss the Series
Yes, they are underrated, but also they are just as good.
1. Rizzoli & Isles
With an 7.6/10 on IMDb, Rizzoli & Isles is a fantastic exploration of female friendship in the gritty world of crime solving. The show features Angie Harmon as detective Jane Rizzoli and Sasha Alexander as medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles, set in Boston. Unlike the dark and often brooding atmosphere of Bones, Rizzoli & Isles often balances its murder mystery plots with humor and a strong dose of camaraderie between the leading ladies.
The series is based on a collection of novels written by Tess Gerritsen. This ensures that the plot never falls flat, as the authors supply an abundant source of inspiration.
2. White Collar
Here's one for all the high-stake theft and forgery enthusiasts. Though the main characters in Bones are on the right side of the law, White Collar introduces us to a charming con artist, Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer), who assists an FBI agent, Peter Burke (Tim DeKay), in solving white-collar crimes.
Their dynamic is amusingly reversed – instead of the procedural regularity of 'catching the criminal,' they're using one to catch others. Despite the sophisticated crime stories, the show does have a reputation for being quite light-hearted, even humorous at times.
The tone of The Mentalist often fluctuates between grim and playful, much like Bones. Patrick Jane (Simon Baker), a former psychic medium, uses his highly developed observational skills to help the California Bureau of Investigation solve crimes. Jane is an intriguing character, providing an element of unpredictability that keeps the audience on their toes.
The show boasts a 8.2/10 rating on IMDb. And here's a bit of trivia – Simon Baker's character is partially inspired by Sherlock Holmes, according to series creator Bruno Heller.
This may sound like a far-out suggestion, but bear with me. iZombie, much like Bones, focuses on solving murder cases using forensic evidence. However, the twist here is that the lead character, Liv Moore (Rose McIver), is a zombie who uses her ability to absorb the memories of the deceased by consuming their brains, thus assisting in solving their murder cases.
The premise is unique, the plots are always engaging, and despite the zombie element, it's actually quite a relatable show. Did you know that iZombie was developed by Rob Thomas, the creator of Veronica Mars?
If you enjoyed the fun chemistry between Brennan and Booth in Bones, Castle should be on your list. It's about a famous mystery novelist, Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion), who helps the NYPD solve murder mysteries.
Castle's wit and Detective Beckett's (Stana Katic) level-headedness make for a playful dynamic, making the gruesome murder investigations a bit more bearable. Despite its popularity, you might be surprised to know that Castle was never a big winner at the Emmys, garnering only four nominations in its eight-season run.
6. Crossing Jordan
This show is slightly older, but for fans of Bones, it's a veritable treasure trove. Jordan Cavanaugh (Jill Hennessy) is a forensic pathologist with the Boston Medical Examiner's Office, and she's known for bending a few rules to crack her cases. The compelling characters, humorous dialogue, and fascinating forensics are reminiscent of Bones. Ken Howard, who played Jordan's father, Max Cavanaugh, won an Emmy for his role. With a rating of 7/10 on IMDb, it's certainly worth a watch.
This underrated procedural drama features Eric McCormack as Dr. Daniel Pierce, a talented but eccentric neuroscience professor with paranoid schizophrenia who assists the FBI in solving complex cases. While Bones draws heavily on anthropology and forensic archaeology, Perception delves into the fascinating world of neuroscience. McCormack, known for his role in Will & Grace, does a stellar job portraying a character with a mental disorder, resulting in some impressive critical acclaim.
8. Body of Proof
Another hidden gem for all the Bones enthusiasts out there, Body of Proof stars Dana Delany as Dr. Megan Hunt, a neurosurgeon turned medical examiner after a car accident ended her surgical career. Her neurosurgeon background comes in handy in complex cases. The drama, suspense, and medical intrigue of Body of Proof might fill the hole left by Bones in your heart. Oh, and did you know that Jeri Ryan, of Star Trek: Voyager fame, also stars in this show?
As the title suggests, this show offers a unique spin on the procedural drama. Poppy Montgomery plays Carrie Wells, a former detective with hyperthymesia – a rare medical condition that gives her the ability to visually remember everything. She returns to the force after her neighbor's murder case goes cold.
The novelty of her photographic memory in solving crimes will be a delightful treat for Bones fans. Despite being cancelled twice by CBS and once by A&E, the show kept coming back due to popular demand, and hence it has four seasons in total!
10. Death in Paradise
If you want a procedural show with a tropical twist, this is it. Set on the fictional Caribbean island of Saint Marie, Death in Paradise mixes murder and sunny beaches in equal measure. Each episode features a complex murder case for DI Neville Parker (Ralf Little) and his team to solve. The show, with its beautiful setting and humorous plots, has an 7.8/10 rating on IMDb. A unique fact about the series – despite the tropical setting, the show is actually a British-French production.