ABC's The Catch might not have the same over-the-top success as other Shonda Rhimes-produced television shows like Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, or How To Get Away With Murder, but there's no denying that Alice Vaughan's (Mireille Enos) world of revenge, crime-solving, and Los Angeles glamour makes for some pretty compelling television. So now that Season 2 is wrapping up on May 11, will The Catch return for Season 3?
ABC has neither renewed nor cancelled The Catch yet, but things aren’t looking good for the sophomore series. According to TV By The Numbers, it was already the lowest-rated show to get renewed this year, and ratings have been dropping steadily since 2016. Still, being attached to superstar executive producer Shonda Rhimes does have its perks, and it’s entirely possible that ABC will chose to give The Catch another chance solely on the basis of Shondaland’s other successes. Until the network officially announces its plans, there’s no way to know for sure.
The Catch can’t be replaced in the hearts of its fans, of course, but at least the female private investigator is no longer quite a rarity on television. There are plenty of series to check out that feature competent woman detectives as their leads. Like these ones, for example!
True, Jessica Jones isn’t a detective show so much as a survivor narrative — Jessica spends most of her time wresting back control of her life from her dangerously superpowered stalker. But there’s still plenty of sleuthing and film noir grittiness to be had along that journey, and Krysten Ritter makes such a wonderfully compelling antiheroine. You can watch the first season on Netflix, and while it might be a while before Season 2 comes out, at least Jessica will be teaming up with Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist for The Defenders later this year.
The woman, the myth, the legend! Kristin Bell’s starmaking turn as high school-aged PI Veronica Mars was so beloved that when showrunner Rob Thomas started a Kickstarter to fund a movie based on the series, it broke all kinds of records and achieved its goal faster than any other campaign on the site at the time. Right now there’s nowhere to stream the original WB show, but according to Variety it will soon be available on Verizon’s new free streaming service, Go90.
Most people think of Pierce Brosnan when they think of this 1980s series, which makes sense given that he is the title character. But it’s his partner, private eye Laura Holt, who’s the actual crimefighter of the pair; “Remington Steele” is a fictional boss she made up to give her agency more credibility, which worked out really well for her until somebody showed up trying to pass themselves off as Steele. It’s basically Castle, except instead of a famous novelist the male lead is actually a con-man — and best of all, it’s all available on Hulu Plus.
4‘Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries’
This delightfully oddball costume drama is based on a series of mystery novels which, surprisingly, were not written by Agatha Christie — although Australian author Kerry Greenwood certainly owes her success to Christie’s legacy. Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) is an aristocratic private detective in the roaring 1920s, whose exploits lasted for three seasons on Australian television and are all available on Netflix. The producers told New Corp Australia last year that they’re angling to make Miss Fisher a Bond-style action movie hero in the future. Fingers crossed they get to make it happen!
Sure, maybe the original 1975 series isn’t free to stream anywhere (although you can buy Charlie’s Angel on Amazon if you’re really nostalgic for it), but how can you have a round-up of female private detectives and not include Farah Fawcett? Maybe it hasn’t aged all that well, but this show was revolutionary in the way that it depicted women in traditionally male roles as not only capable but successful in their fields — even if they also happened to be iconic '70s sex symbols.
I guess this show is supposed to be about Sherlock Holmes, in theory, but it’s not. It’s about Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) kicking butt and taking names as a consulting detective for the NYPD. Don’t get me wrong, Johnny Lee Miller is fun, too, but he’s no Lucy Liu. Nobody else can achieve that level of perfection. The fifth season of Elementary is about to wrap up on CBS this month, and you can find old episodes on CBS’s website or on Hulu Plus.
7‘Murder, She Wrote’
Another show that will be tough to find online these days (it was once on Netflix but has since been dropped) but still deserves a spot on this list. Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) was not just the best detective in her entire county, but it wasn’t even her job! She was solving crimes better than the police as a hobby! Not to mention that she was also a fiendishly tall 60-year old powerhouse of a woman. What more could you want from an investigator?
Odds are that even if the The Catch returns to television for another season, it won't run for as long as Murder, She Wrote did — it's hard to stay on the air for 12 years. Still, it's nice to know that if ABC does end up cancelling the show, there'll be plenty of opportunities to get your female detective fix.