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See how the star of TNT's Dark Blue stacks up against these top cops

Shaun Harrison
1 of 11 TNT


As Carter Shaw on TNT's new cop drama, Dark Blue, Dylan McDermott plays a tough cop who leads a group of undercover roughnecks. How does Shaw stack up against TV's best bad boys (and girls) in blue? Click ahead to find out.
2 of 11 Prashant Gupta/FX

Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis), The Shield

Corrupt cops may be TV's biggest cliché, but Vic Mackey was the only one to get his own show. Chiklis' quasi-sympathetic portrayal of a family man with a warped sense of ethics had audiences rooting for him. In the end, Vic got his: a soured immunity deal put the adrenaline junkie in a desk job.
3 of 11 Justin Stephens/NBC

Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay), Law & Order: SVU

Det. Benson turned her own sad history (she is a product of her mother's rape) into a career. She and partner Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) investigate sex crimes and offenses against children. She alternates smoothly between empathy for the victims and relentless determination in the pursuit of justice.
4 of 11 Everett Collection

Theo Kojak (Telly Savalas), Kojak

This Greek-American cop had three trademarks: bending the rules, his catchphrase ("Who loves ya, baby?") and his ever-present lollipop, a result of an anti-smoking trend on TV in the '70s. His character needed the suckers to curb his cigarette cravings.
5 of 11 HBO

Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West), The Wire

McNulty may be an alcoholic man-whore, but he won't let anything get in his way when it comes to solving cases. Whether breaking the chain of command or creating a fake serial killer, he'll do whatever it takes to catch his man.
6 of 11 Peter Iovino/Showtime

James Doakes (Erik King), Dexter

He's got a nose for police detective work, but he has the body (and temper) of the Special Forces operative he used to be. He's not afraid to use his weapon in the field, or stalk co-workers when he thinks they might be serial killers.
7 of 11 20th Century Fox/Everett Collection

Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz), NYPD Blue

Though Sipowicz started out as a racist drunk, once he cleaned up he was all about justice for the 15th Precinct. Though he's remembered for his personal tragedies (his older son and wife were murdered; his partner died young), his ruthless pursuit of arrests made him the moral center of this long-running show.
8 of 11 Prashant Gupta/FX

Shane Vendrell (Walton Goggins), The Shield

As Vic Mackey's gullible errand boy, the basically decent Shane was involved in most of the wrongdoings of the corrupt Strike Team. When he tried to escape from Vic's influence, a series of mishaps led to a heartbreaking murder-suicide, in which his family died by his desperate side.
9 of 11 ABC

Ana Lucia Cortez (Michelle Rodriguez), Lost

What's tougher than surviving four bullets to the abdomen and the mental anguish of losing your unborn child? Risking your badge to gun down the perp to get revenge. It's easy to forget that before her on-island arc she was a cop, but she was. A fierce one.
10 of 11 Sleuth Photo


Frank Pembleton (Andre Braugher), Homicide: Life on the Streets Pembleton was unbelievably dedicated to his work, but his particular way of handling cases often saw him butting heads with his fellow detectives and superiors. His tenacity paid off: he worked every murder equally, whether the victim was a drug dealer or a complete innocent.
11 of 11 TNT

Grace Handarko (Holly Hunter), Saving Grace

Grace is rough around the edges, but with good reason — she was molested by a priest as a child and her sister was killed in the Oklahoma City bombing. Her wounds make her the brave cop she is, heavy drinking and one-night stands aside.