A short-lived series I quite liked was Eyes, which I thought was a pretty good modern take of the PI series. Other than that, it's just Veronica Mars as far as I can tell.
I think the PI style shows have been replaced by the amateur detective assisting the police or other enforcement department. I'm specifically thinking of The Mentalist, Chuck, and Castle. All of which I'm happy to enjoy as guilty pleasures. Mostly because the mysteries are okay, but the dialogue and characters are just plain fun (or really, really good looking).
I admit to loving 'Castle.' I've always liked Nathan Fillion, and he's particularly good in this, I think. His female foil is also good -- tough and smart without being a cardboard cut-out. The only thing I've found not to like about it is that one of the supporting characters, the Latino cop, talks like he's got a mouthful of marbles. What ever happened to teaching actors to enunciate? I have to watch it with the captions on. I figure it's got maybe another season before it's canceled. That's what usually happens to shows I like :-(
I love Castle and Nathan Fillion! He's absolutely wonderful as an amateur sleuth, and I think we all kind of wish we had such a sweet gig. I know I wouldn't mind being able to trail a cop, just so I could see what really happens!
One short-lived series (Midnight? Moonlight? Something like that) tried to cash in on the Twilight fiasco (kill me now) by creating a private eye who is also a vampire. Of course, it didn't work out. The whole private-eye-outsider-with-a-dark-past thing is taken to a whole new level there, which isn't necessarily a good thing. I'm all for mixing genres, but that was just stupid. Maybe the PI genre would come back in fashion if someone wrote a series that was actually good!
I read somewhere that people are less likely to be drawn to PI stories--written or televised--in socially conservative times, such as the Red Scare of the 1950s or the post-9/11 period. Fictional PIs are, by convention, outsiders, who work around the system instead of in it. In eras of enfoeced conformity such as this, these traits are not attractive to as many people as they might be when the social attitude is somewhat looser. Mickey Spillane created a more or less personal resurgence of PI ficiton in the late 402 and early 50s, but the Mike Hammer stories are heavy of Right and Wrong and retribution, as opposed to shades of gray PI stories do so well. There are exceptions, of course (Lew Archer ran through the 50s in good shape), but the idea accounts for high and low periods in PI fiction.
That's a cyclical thing, so I expect they'll be back.
Yes, I'm also intrigued by this. I had assumed that the genre died because we were running into endless cliches about the down-at-heels P.I. in his down-at-heels office when this stunning blonde walks in and all hell breaks loose.
Since I have the highest respect for PWA and its Shamus award, I'm currently working hard to turn my guy into a P.I. long enough to be eligible. My protagonist is frequently wrongly classified as amateur sleuth. Since he is a member of the Justice Ministry, he is certainly no amateur. I tend to look at my books as related to police procedurals.
Since PWA has broadened the definition to include, for example, lawyers who do their own investigations, I would think Mick Haller, Connelly's protagonist, would probably represent the hope of future P.I. greats.