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Babylon Berlin Confirms for 5th and Final Season Shooting this fall

Babylon Berlin Confirms for 5th and Final Season Shooting this fall

It’s official: After more than a year of negotiations and financial wrangling, the producers of Babylon Berlin have received the green light for a fifth and final season of the ground-breaking award-winning German period drama.

Volker Bruch and Liv Lisa Fries will return to reprise their lead roles as police detective Gereon Rath and assistant Charlotte Ritter for a final 8-episode arc set in February 1933 as the Nazis finally seize power in Germany. The season will be based on Volker Kutchers’ fifth Gereon Rath novel, The March Fallen. Series co-creators and showrunners Henk Handlogten, Achim von Borries and Tom Tykwer will return for the finale season, producing via X-Filme Creative Pool and directing all 8 episodes.

“In the final season of Babylon Berlin we put February 1933 under the magnifying glass: Rarely has a society been torn apart more radically in such a short period of time than Germany in this chaotic month,” Handloegten, Von Borries and Tykwer said in a statement. “Not only Gereon Rath and Charlotte Ritter, but all our protagonists must realize that they only have a few options left: Subordinate themselves, risk their lives in open opposition, retreat into inner emigration or flee into exile. However, this decisive month also opens the possibility of changing the course of history at the last second.”

Liv Lisa Fries in a S4 of ‘Babylon Berlin’

Frédéric Batier / X Filme, ARD Degeto, Sky, Beta

Babylon Berlin ends with this season in one of the most exciting and tragic phases of recent German history, democracy erodes in just a few weeks without the society really understanding what is happening,” adds Jörg Schönenborn, ARD Coordinator Fiction. When Babylon leaves Berlin, he notes, it illustrates how “democracy has not only died in the capital, but in the whole country.”

From the start, with the launch of S1 in 2017, Babylon Berlin has been a critical and commercial hit. It won the European Film Awards’s inaugural European Achievement in Fiction Series Award, swept Germany’s Emmy equivalent, the German TV awards and the Austrian TV honors the Romys. Beta Film, which handle international sales for the show, licensed it in 140 territories worldwide. In Germany, the show has racked up a total of 94 million views for the first four seasons (in a country with a population of 82 million), including 23 million views for season 4 alone.

Volker Bruch plays Gereon Rath in Babylon Berlin

Season 4 of Babylon Berlin aired in Germany in 2022, but production for the final season was delayed after pay-TV network Sky Deutschland, the German arm of Comcast’s European pay-TV group Sky, shut down its originals division, leaving a big hole in the budget. Babylon Berlin was also missing the U.S. audience after Netflix, which had aired the first three seasons of the show domestically, didn’t pick up S4. That changed when specialist streamer MHz Choice picked up the show earlier this year. Babylon Berlin season 4 premiered stateside on Tuesday, June 25.

Without Sky, financing for Babylon Berlin is coming from its public broadcasting partners: National network ARD, which is a co-producer through its acquisitions arm ARD Degeto, and regional channels SWR, WDR and Radio Bremen. Beta Film, which handles international sales on the series, licensing it to more than 140 territories worldwide, has put up a large minimum guarantee for season 5. Shooting for season 5 will begin in Germany this fall, pending the approval of the ARD committees.

Stefan Arndt, Uwe Schott and Michael Polle, who are executive producing the show for X-Filme, thanked ARD and Beta for “having the courage and trust” to back a final season of Babylon Berlin. “Over the many years of this production, the historical past and present have repeatedly intertwined in sometimes frightening ways. We are incredibly grateful that we can now end this cycle with 1933 and show what the end of a democracy looked like. We very much hope that the present won’t repeat the new season.”

Babylon Berlin is co-produced by Christoph Pellander and Carolin Haasis for ARD Degeto, Manfred Hattendorf and Monika Denisch for SWR and Alexander Bickel and Caren Toennissen-Brand for WDR. Co-producers for Beta Film are Jan Mojto, Dirk Schürhoff, and Moritz Herzogenberg.

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