Det. Lennie Briscoe and many others
Jerry Orbach played Det. Lennie Briscoe, right, on "Law & Order" for 12 seasons from 1992-2004. He was joined by Jesse L. Martin, right, as Det. Ed Green from 1999 until Orbach left the show in 2004.
Briscoe's other partners were Mike Logan (played by Chris Noth), Rey Curtis (played by Benjamin Bratt) and on the spin-off "Law & Order: Trial by Jury," Hector Salazar (played by Kirk Acevedo). Before Orbach joined the show, Paul Sorvino and George Dzundza played detectives on the series.
Credit: AP Photo/NBC
Chris Cagney and Mary Beth Lacey
Sharon Gless, left, as Chris Cagney, and Tyne Daly as Mary Beth Lacey from "Cagney & Lacey" chased down bad guys and personal demons for 125 episodes. Gless and Daly dominated the Best Actress in a Drama category for six years. Gless won two Emmys and Daly won four.
Jimmy McNulty and others
At the beginning of HBO's "The Wire," Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West), right, had one true partner, Bunk Moreland (Wendell Pierce). As the show progressed, he worked with lots of other police in a special unit, including Lester Freamon (pictured, left, played by Clarke Peters).
McNulty had lots of problems. He was a serious alcoholic, a womanizer and he bent the rules, finally breaking them when created a fictional criminal on the show for the police to pursue.
Credit: Paul Schiraldi
Maddie and David
On "Moonlighting," David Addison (played by Bruce Willis), a quick-thinking private eye, and his business partner, Maddie, frequently bickered and talked to the audience. The show put Willis and his now-famous smirk on the map.
After David and Maddie slept together on the show and Cybill Shepherd took a break when she was pregnant with twins, "Moonlighting" often got by on David's charm alone. Plus, the "Taming of the Shrew" episode is great.
Photo: Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis in "Moonlighting"
Rizzoli and Isles
Based on a series of novels by Tess Gerritsen, "Rizzoli & Isles" follows the partnership of Det. Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles. Like "Castle," this series begins with a copycat killing that brings the two professionals together.
Photo: Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander as Det. Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles.
Credit: Doug Hyun
Benson and Stabler
Mariska Hargitay, left, as Det. Olivia Benson, and Christopher Meloni as Det. Elliot Stabler on "Law & Order: SVU" are up to their elbows each week in the nastiest cases handled by the NYPD. Meloni will not return to the series for the 2011-2012 season. Who will play Benson's new partner?
Ricardo Tubbs and Sonny Crockett
They made pink look macho and introduced slouchy deconstructed Italian suits to the masses. They wore loafers with no socks and t-shirts under suits. And, of course, there was stubble.
Oh, and as "Miami Vice" cops, they killed a lot of bad guys, too.
Photo: Philip Michael Thomas as Ricardo Tubbs and Don Johnson as "Sonny" Crocket.
Ricardo Tubbs and Sonny Crockett
Tubbs and Crockett, played here by Jamie Foxx, left, and Colin Farrell in Michael Mann's 2006 film, were grubbier. They still killed lots of criminals, of course.
Credit: AP Photo/Universal Pictures
Ken Hutchinson and Dave Starsky
Robbery-homicide detectives Ken Hutchinson and Dave Starsky tore through the streets of Bay City, Calif., in a Ford Gran Torino for 92 episodes of "Starsky & Hutch" from 1975-1979. Whenever the call sign "Zebra Three" came over their radio, you knew there was going to be some action.
Photo: From left, David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser as Ken Hutchinson and Dave Starsky from "Starsky & Hutch"
Ken Hutchinson and Dave Starsky
For the big screen version of the 1970s show, Ben Stiller played Starsky and Owen Wilson was Hutch. At the end of the movie, the actors shared a scene with their television counterparts, Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul.
Photo: From left, Ben Stiller, Paul Michael Glaser, Owen Wilson and David Soul from "Starsky & Hutch," in London
Ponch and Jon Baker
Erik Estrada, left, and Larry Wilcox played California Highway Patrol motorcycle cops Francis Llewellyn "Ponch" Poncherello and Jon Baker, respectively, on "CHiPs." The show ran from 1977-1983 but Wilcox left after the fifth season. Estrada stayed on for the sixth.
Det. Andy Sipowicz and Dets. Kelly, Simone and Clark
Dennis Franz, left, played Det. Andy Sipowicz on "NYPD Blue" for the series' entire run, from 1993-2005. Rick Schroder was his partner Danny Sorrenson from 1998-2001. Sorrenson was killed off camera and was replaced by Det. John Clark, Jr., played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar.
Sipowicz, who struggled with everything on the series from alcoholism to being a racist to his wife getting shot and killed, was also partnered with Det. John Kelly (David Caruso) from 1993-1994 and Det. Bobby Simone (Jimmy Smits) from 1994-1998.
Det. Sgt. Joe Friday
Det. Sgt. Joe Friday from "Dragnet" had several partners during the show's two runs. Sgt. Ben Romero (played by Barton Yarborough), Sgt. Ed Jacobs (played by Barney Phillips) and Officer Frank Smith (Herbert Ellis and, later, Ben Alexander) worked with Friday from 1951-1959.
When the series returned in 1967, Bill Gannon (played by Harry Morgan) was Friday's partner until the show ended in 1970.
There were two more "Dragnet" TV series, but neither featured Friday.
Photo: Jack Webb as Joe Friday from the TV series "Dragnet," Aug. 1, 1956.
Friday and Streebek
Dan Aykroyd, left, and Tom Hanks starred in a misguided big screen version of "Dragnet" in 1987. Aykroyd is Joe Friday, nephew of Jack Webb's Joe Friday, and Hanks is Friday's goofy new partner, Pep Streebek.
Technically, Thomas Magnum didn't have a partner. However, he would have been lost without his friends Rick and T.C. (played by Larry Manetti and Roger E. Mosley, respectively) week in and week out. On "Magnum, P.I.," Magnum's pals were always bailing him out of a situation gone wrong or aiding him in his detective work.
Photo: Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum in "Magnum, P.I."
Bones and Seeley
Though technically not partners, where would FBI Special Agent Seeley Booth be without "Bones," Dr. Temperance Brennan? The two solve cases involving unidentified human remains.
Photo: Brennan (Emily Deschanel, left) and Booth (David Boreanaz) are surprised at what they find when they examine a sarcophagus in the "Bones" episode "A Night at the Bones Museum."
Credit: Greg Gayne/FOX
Charlie and Don Eppes
"Numb3rs" was a little different than the standard detective show. Don Eppes was an FBI agent and his brother, Charlie, a math genius and professor who consulted for the FBI and NSA.
Photo: David Krumholtz, left, and Rob Morrow, who play FBI agent brothers Charlie and Don Eppes, respectively, pose on the set of "Numb3rs."
Mulder and Scully
On "The X-Files," David Duchovny played FBI agent Fox Mulder and Gillian Anderson played his partner, Dana Scully (who was also an M.D.). Mulder believed in, among other things, extraterrestrial activity, and Scully was a skeptic. Ironically, Scully seemed to have more dealings with aliens on the show.
Photo: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from "The X-Files"
Steve and Danno
Alex O'Loughlin, left, and Scott Caan play Steve McGarrett and Daniel Williams on the rebooted "Hawaii Five-O." Jack Lord and James MacArthur played Steve and Danno in the original series, which ran from 1968-1980.
Willows and Grissom
Technically, they weren't partners, but Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) and Gil Grissom (William Petersen) worked together in the Clark County, Nevada, CSI unit. He was a forensic entomologist. She has a degree in medical science. When Grissom resigned, Willows got command of the night shift.
They paved the way for David Caruso as Horatio Cane in "CSI: Miami" and Gary Sinise as Mac Taylor and Melina Kanakaredes as Stella Bonasera on "CSI: NY."
Credit: Bill Inoshita/ CBS
Beckett and Castle
While suffering from writer's block, mystery novelist Richard Castle is questioned by police when a woman is murdered in a similar fashion as a murder in one of his novels. He uses the experience to help him plan his next book. For better or worse, he models the main character after Det. Kate Beckett. Hilarity and murder mysteries ensue on "Castle."
Photo: ABC's "Castle" stars Stana Katic as Detective Kate Beckett and Nathan Fillion as Richard Castle.
Credit: CBS/ABC/Bob D'Amico
Lisbon and Jane
Patrick Jane is a psychic (of sorts) who doesn't believe that psychic abilities exist. He's more of a con man. Nonetheless, he works with the California Bureau of Investigation as a consultant. (His goal in life is to bring the serial killer Red John to justice for the murder of his wife and child.) On the show, he works primarily with Teresa Lisbon, a senior agent for the CBI.
Photo: CBI Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon (Robin Tunney, left) shows CBI Consultant Patrick Jane (Simon Baker, right) her bridesmaid dress for an upcoming wedding on "The Mentalist."
Credit: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros.
Curatola and Reagan
On "Blue Bloods," Danny Reagan comes from a long line of cops. His father, played by Tom Selleck, is the NYPD commissioner. On the show's fourth episode, Danny was partnered up with Jackie Curatola.
Photo: Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) and Jackie (Jennifer Esposito) on "Blue Bloods."
Credit: John Paul Filo
Renzull and Reagan
Jamie Reagan is the youngest cop in a family of cops on "Blue Bloods." He ends up being instrumental in the investigation of his older brother's death, a police detective killed by other cops. Sgt. Anthony Renzull is Reagan's partner and training officer.
Photo: Sgt. Anthony Renzull (Nick Turturro) and Jamie Reagan (Will Estes) on "Blue Bloods."
Credit: John Paul Filo