I wonder what influence TV crime dramas do have, though.
I was a fan of CSI, but I never could get into CSI Miami. I only saw a few episodes, but in each the main CSI guy for Miami was after some improbable, absurdly "evil" serial killer, and he insisted on sentencing him to the death penalty. In the Miami-New York crossover, he makes a point of saying that new york has the death penalty, but they haven't used it for xx years.
As an opponent of the death penalty, I found his remarks offensive, and I wondered if it was on purpose that they created improbable "monsters", to justify state executions.