1. Your detective must be single and straight. He/she might be divorced, engaged or in a relationship with a SO (significant other). Currently, there are few married or gay detectives on TV. Too bad. Does that give you any ideas? I guess being a married detectives is double jeopardy.
2. Your detective has, or has had, one or more significant personal issues. It might be drugs such as in the case of Sherlock in Elementary, alcohol and cigars in #Backstrom or exes in BattleCreek and #TheMysteriesofLaura.
3. Trust and honesty can be handled in one of two ways: your protagonist either lies to his/her boss or is totally honest. If your protagonist lies or doesn't share with the boss, he/she knows about clues and leads but keeps them secret. Peter Connelly in Dig is a good example. Protagonists who always share are represented by Avery Ryan in CSI:Cyber, Walter O'Brien in Scorpion (usually) and Everett Backstrom in Backstrom. For those detectives with SOs, there are four situations:
- They lie to their bosses and are honest with their SOs. They are called “heroes.”
- They lie to their SOs and are honest with their bosses. They are called “ass kissers.”
- They lie to both their bosses and SOs. They are called “losers” and “cheaters” among other names.
- They are totally honest with both their bosses and their SOs. They are called “boring” and never in up in a TV series.
They chase leads and clues without backup. This may be because they want all the glory. It may also be that they don't want to fell stupid if the lead doesn't pan out.
They race to save a victim even though calling ahead to the local law enforcement would save precious time and lives. I guess they do this to heighten suspense.
They walk into dark rooms with a tiny pen light so the perp can see them coming. I guess their departments can't afford those eight D batteries flashlights that can double as a nigh stick. They refuse to turn on the damn lights.
They sit in parked cars in plain sight directly across the street from the perp's house. Apparently, suspects can't see more than ten feet.
They refuse to wear head protection during SWAT raids. Your protagonist is so hard headed that bullets can't penetrate their their skulls.
They are obsessed about the current case. They work 24 hours per day. At home they set up bulletin boards and post pictures and clues on them. Their workaholism may be obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD).
5. Your protagonist is a team player (always) or a rogue/loose cannon (always). They either play well with others or don't. Team players are represented by shows like CSI, #Bones, NCIS, Castle and Scorpion. Rogues are shown in shows like The Following, Elementary and Chicago PD.
I'm sure you have noticed other traits. Please tell me about them.