Global media company MHz Networks is set to launch MHz Choice, the first and only subscription video-on-demand service dedicated to foreign language international television series in the US.
Stateside viewers with a penchant for international programming, particularly European TV mysteries and dramas such as the Swedish/Danish crime serial The Bridge (Bron/Broen), French police/legal drama Spiral (Engrenages), and Swedish mystery Wallander, should be well familiar with MHz Networks, as this is the company that has been bringing the lion’s share of these programs to the US for more than a decade. (No matter if one discovered these titles on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Instant Video, since they secured them from MHz.)
MHz’s nightly “International Mystery” programming block — screened on MHz Worldview broadcast, cable, and satellite affiliate channels covering more than 40 million households, as well as online to millions more viewers at MHz Worldview Live — is appointment viewing for MHz’s loyal and engaged fan base of American and ex-pat viewers who can’t get enough of Sweden’s Beck, Italy’s Detective Montalbano, and the network’s latest breakout hit, Germany’s multiple award-winning hit comedy Crime Scene Cleaner (Der Tatortreiniger).
But two hours worth of shows, aired from 9-11 PM ET and rerun at midnight each night, is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of international programming that MHz possesses. Programming that Euro TV fans (including yours truly) want more of.
Enter MHz Choice.
MHz Choice is the new, first, and only US-based subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) streaming service that, upon launch on May 3, 2015, gives subscribers access to critically-acclaimed programs from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden, and beyond, including international mystery, thriller, drama, and comedy series, plus movies and documentaries.
All programs are presented unedited, in their original languages with English subtitles, and without English dubbing or ads, and available 24/7 for viewers to watch, re-watch, and binge-watch at their convenience.
The 3,000+ hours of programming on MHz Choice include a wide range of classic favorites, recent releases, and new titles.
For the former, Euro TV enthusiasts can stream everything from German mystery Commissario Brunetti, Italian mystery Don Matteo, and French mystery Maigret, to crime thrillers The Eagle (Ørnen, Denmark), Johan Falk (Sweden), and The Octopus (La piovra, Italy).
Brand new titles that make their full-season US premieres exclusively on MHz Choice include:
Camilla Läckberg’s Fjällbacka Murders (Fjällbackamorden) — Swedish mystery series adapted from the novels by bestselling author Camilla Läckberg.
The Churchmen (Ainsi Soient-Ils) — double award-winning French drama about five young men who train for the priesthood at Paris’ historic Capuchin Seminary.
Codename Hunter (Kodenavn Hunter) — Norwegian thriller about the dark side of police work, starring award winners Mads Ousdal (Varg Veum) and Ane Dahl Torp (The Sandhamn Murders).
A French Village (Un Village Français) — award-winning French drama chronicling the lives of one village’s citizens upon its wartime occupation by the German army, and starring Audrey Fleurot and Thierry Godard of Spiral.
Homicide Unit Istanbul — German crime drama that follows a Turkish cop and his “trusty oddball sidekick” in Istanbul, starring Erol Sander and Oscar Ortega Sánchez of Tatort.
Kabul Kitchen (Kaboul Kitchen) — double award-winning French comedy series starring Gilbert Melki of Luc Besson’s Angel-A.
Medicine Man (Medicinmannen) — Swedish drama starring Mikael Persbrandt (Beck) as a pharmaceutical company CEO whose life gets turned upside following two high-stakes events.
Paris — French drama à la Robert Altman’s Short Cuts, starring Jérôme Robart of the hit costume drama mystery Nicolas Le Floch.
Talisman (Talismanen) — Swedish drama featuring characters from novels by bestselling authors Jan Guillou and Henning Mankell, including Kurt Wallander, as played by Lennart Jähkel of The Fjällbacka Murders.
The first episode of each of the above series will debut on MHz Worldview to give viewers a taste of what they can expect with MHz Choice. To watch the entire seasons, though, signing up for a subscription is required.
And more international series are coming to MHz Choice. After meeting yesterday with CEO Fred Thomas and Lance Schwulst, Vice President, Content Strategy, at the MHz Networks headquarter offices in Virginia, I can reveal to you that MHz Choice is the only place in the US where viewers can watch the highly-anticipated premieres of the award-winning Norwegian war drama The Heavy Water War (Kampen om tungtvannet), Norwegian thriller Mammon, and Season 5 of Spiral.
There’s more besides. Amongst the numerous other international TV series that will make their US debuts on MHz Choice are:
- Italian crime drama Anti-Drug Squad (Caccia al re – La narcotici)
- Italian sci-fi drama The Arrival of Wang (L’arrivo di Wang)
- French crime drama Caïn, starring Bruno Debrandt (Spiral)
- Italian historical/costume drama The Charterhouse of Parma (La certosa di Parma), adapted from the Stendahl novel
- German crime drama Flemming, starring Samuel Finzi (Tatort) and Claudia Michelsen (Bukow and König)
- French mystery Nestor Burma, adapted from the novels by Léo Malet
- German comedy Turkish for Beginners (Türkisch für Anfänger)
- Swiss German crime drama The Undertaker (Der Bestatter)
- Belgian thriller W – The Killer of Flanders Fields (Witse)
- German drama Weissensee, starring Uwe Kockisch (Commissario Brunetti)
With MHz Networks transitioning its “International Mystery” titles to MHz Choice, longtime and devoted viewers of the foreign language television series shown on MHz Worldview will have to subscribe to the SVoD service to get their fix of Euro TV. (The handful of shows available on other streaming services notwithstanding.)
Those who preregister for the $7.99/month service get one month free, with 24/7 viewing accessible online and on telly with the Roku streaming media player starting Sunday, May 3, 2015. Access via iPhone, iPad, Android devices, and Amazon Fire is coming soon.
However, before the transition completes on June 30, 2015, viewers will be able to watch the US premiere of another critically-acclaimed and highly-anticipated series — the first season of the multiple award-winning Danish drama The Legacy (Arvingerne) — exclusively on MHz Worldview.
Visit the MHz Choice website for more information about the SVoD service and to sign up for a subscription.
And stay tuned for details about the new series premiering on MHz Choice.