If you were to ask me back in January 2023 what my most anticipated TV show of the year was, my answer would have been straightforward: “Babylon Berlin” season 4. This series had everything going for it, from its skillful construction of a gripping mystery in previous seasons to its exploration of the crumbling Weimar Republic.
But, here we are, another year later, and I’m left wondering where season 4 is. Much like the anticipation for Rihanna’s next album, the wait for “Babylon Berlin” has been a rollercoaster ride, filled with expectation and impatience. What’s even more frustrating is that, perplexingly, it’s already out – just not in the U.S.
The Long Wait
In an age where access to content is usually at our fingertips, it’s baffling that “Babylon Berlin” season 4 has been released in full in Germany but not in the United States. This mysterious delay has left American fans in a state of tantalizing frustration. It’s a puzzle worthy of Gereon and Charlotte, the show’s protagonists, as we yearn for the release that always seems just around the corner.
A Complex Situation
So, did Netflix cancel “Babylon Berlin” or something? The answer is a resounding no! Season 4 has already aired, and to add to the American audience’s longing, it’s been greenlit for season 5.
The Corporate Conundrum
The holdup in the U.S. release of “Babylon Berlin” season 4 boils down to corporate rights, a common hurdle in the world of streaming. “Babylon Berlin” is a co-production between ARD Degeto, a German free TV network, and Sky Deutschland, a subsidiary of Comcast and a satellite TV provider.
Sky has the privilege of airing the show first, and in the fall of 2022, it did just that. However, the licensing agreement allows ARD to secure the rights later, eventually making the series available on both channels’ platforms.
In a surprising twist, Sky decided to close its German scripted originals arm, which meant no new shows would be commissioned. Fortunately, “Babylon Berlin” escaped this fate, as ARD, along with producing partners X Filme and Beta Film, committed to a fifth season.
This decision highlights the show’s international success, having aired in 140 territories and amassed millions of views on ARD. The specifics of how the Sky portion of the budget would be covered remain undisclosed, but the key point is that we can look forward to more “Babylon Berlin.”
The Release Date Conundrum
Now, the burning question: when will “Babylon Berlin” season 4 hit screens in the U.S.? The answer is not as simple as we’d like. It won’t be available on U.S. Netflix until after it airs on ARD. As of May, it was set to air on ARD on October 1.
This should hopefully mean that the Netflix rights will be secured sometime after that. Whether it’s right away or a few months later, no one can say for sure. Netflix hasn’t provided any insights on a release date. When it does arrive, it will likely drop on the streaming platform in its entirety, just as previous seasons have.
In the end, we eagerly await the most anticipated show of the year, whenever that year may be. “Babylon Berlin” season 4 promises to be well worth the wait, and we’ll savor every moment once it finally lands on our screens.