UPDATED: U.S. streaming services Acorn TV and BritBox are to air episodes of long-running British crime drama Midsomer Murders ahead of their debut in the UK – a surprising coup for the SVOD platforms.
This comes after the two companies snapped up a deal with All3Media International to acquire the 20th season of the Bentley Productions crime drama. Acorn began airing episodes on May 3, while BBC and ITV-backed BritBox will begin airing episodes from the latest season in the U.S. on May 4. Both will appear before they air on commissioning broadcaster ITV, which has still yet to air all of the episodes from season 19.
Based on Caroline Graham’s book series and originally adapted by Anthony Horowitz, the long-running mystery follows the efforts of Detective Chief Inspector John Barnaby, played by Neil Dudgeon, as he solves crimes that occur in the wealthy, isolated English county of Midsomer. While it may look like a picturesque and peaceful place on the outside, Barnaby is astutely aware it is filled with amoral and snobbish eccentrics with all kinds of vices. He is joined by his wife Sarah Barnaby, played by Fiona Dolman, and his right hand man, Detective Sergeant Jamie Winter, played by Nick Hendrix.
“Fans have been asking for months when new episodes of Midsomer Murders will be coming to BritBox and we are thrilled to tell them the wait is over,” said Soumya Sriraman, President of BritBox. “In addition, it is especially exciting to be able to air these here in North America before our friends in the UK get to see them. For us, it usually works the other way around where we add international content to our “Now” section within hours of its premiere, but here we are able to give our loyal base a real treat with this special early access.”