Euro TV — original-language TV shows from European countries — is a growing niche sub-genre that streaming and linear TV channels in the US (and UK) are paying keen attention to, given viewers’ growing appetites for these types of programs, whether Scandi noir crime dramas from Sweden and Norway or thrillers from Belgium and the Netherlands.
And it’s been around in the US much longer than most folks realize. To wit: MHz Networks has been broadcasting Euro TV titles since the late 1990s. A couple of its most popular titles are the hugely popular Italian mystery series Detective Montalbano (1999-present), which has new episodes launching in Italy in 2020, and Swedish detective series Beck (Sweden, 1997-2018), which recently completed its run but is still gaining fans.
The series that arguably made programming execs and viewers alike sit up and take notice of Euro TV in general and of Nordic noir TV in particular (at least in the UK) was the Danish crime drama The Killing (Forbrydelsen). It hit local screens in 2007 and programmers across Europe, Asia, South America, and Oceania (but not North America) began buying it in 2008.
And Euro TV, as well as the television industry overall, hasn’t been the same since.
So, where can you watch English-subtitled Euro TV in the US and UK? Read on to find out.
US STREAMING & DIGITAL DOWNLOAD SERVICES
Subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service Acorn TV dipped its toes into the Euro TV waters back in 2013, when it premiered the anthology series Les Petits Meurtres d’Agatha Christie. Since then, it has debuted Finnish dramas Easy Living and Hooked, Dutch mysteries Lord & Master and The Oldenheim Twelve, French mystery series Balthazar and The Disappearance, Italian dramas The Ladies’ Paradise and The Promised Life, Romanian drama Umbre, Scandinavian mystery-crime drama Black Widows, and Swedish Scandi noir crime dramas Rebecka Martinsson and The Truth Will Out, amongst others.
Acorn TV also produces DVDs of some of its Euro TV offerings, including:
A subscription to Acorn TV costs $5.99/month or $59.99/year, and comes with a free 7-day trial. Members of Amazon Prime can add an Acorn TV subscription for $4.99/month through Amazon Channels and watch Acorn TV shows through the Prime Video interface.
The number of Euro TV titles available to stream on Amazon.com has grown exponentially since 2015. Many are available on a TVOD (transactional video-on-demand) basis for individual episodes and seasons, while others are no-additional-cost offerings for Prime Video members.
In March 2017 Amazon released its first Amazon Original Euro TV series, the German thriller You Are Wanted, followed by the premieres of its Spanish Original football (soccer) documentary Six Dreams, in September 2018 and German Original crime thriller Beat in November 2018. Not an Original but an exclusive is the Icelandic mystery-crime drama Trapped, whose second season premiered in the US in July 2019.
For stateside Euro TV fans, one of the best benefits of Amazon Prime is its growing library of “included with Prime” Euro TV titles, which are free to watch for Prime members and not always available for purchase by non-members. Many of these shows have their US (and often UK) premieres on Prime Video, and are usually exclusive to the streaming service as well, such as Belgian drama Amigos, French mystery Origins, Spanish dramedy Infieles, and Swiss German historical drama Gotthard.
And if you enjoy shows from Eastern Europe and Russia, Prime Video has a wealth of titles, including Bulgarian crime drama Undercover, Czech crime drama The Fury, Serbian crime thriller Black Sun, and Ukrainian period drama Love in Chains, amongst many others.
Amazon Prime costs $119/year for most people, and comes with an array of benefits. If you only want Prime for its video streaming, read this article for info about a lower-cost subscription. Individuals with an EBT or Medicaid card qualify for Amazon’s discounted Prime program, which currently costs $5.99/month. And students can opt for Prime Student, which comes with a 6-month trial and currently costs half of the regular Prime membership price.
BritBox, the British TV-focused SVOD service from BBC Studios and ITV, began streaming its first (and so far only) Euro TV series on August 13, 2019: the Welsh language mystery drama 35 Days (35 Diwrnod). Read about it here.
A BritBox subscription costs $6.99/month or $69.99/year, and comes with a free 7-day trial. Members of Amazon Prime can add a BritBox subscription (same monthly price) through Amazon Channels and watch BritBox shows through the Prime Video interface.
Both hoopla digital and Kanopy are services that deliver digital content to their respective library partners, which allows the latter’s patrons to access that content for free by borrowing it with their valid library cards.
Kanopy’s Euro TV offerings are quite limited, whereas hoopla digital has a nice-sized selection, most of which is from MHz Networks. Read this article to learn more about hoopla digital.
The number of Euro TV shows on Hulu is starting to go up again, following the removals of French drama Pigalle, la nuit, Spanish drama Frágiles, Danish crime drama The Protectors, Swedish legal drama Verdict: Revised, and Swedish mystery series The Sandhamn Murders (now on MHz Choice), amongst other titles.
Programs that have remained available or been added from other channels include French period dramas A French Village and Maison Close, French cop dramas Braquo (Seasons 3-4 exclusive to Hulu in the US) and Spiral, German spy dramas Deutschland 83 and Deutschland 86, and Swedish mystery dramas Beck and Wallander.
Hulu’s Euro TV premieres between 2017 and 2019 included the US debuts of German thriller Bad Banks, Danish crime thriller Below the Surface, French-Swedish mystery-crime drama Midnight Sun, Swedish sci-fi drama Real Humans, Danish drama Veni Vidi Vici, the fourth and final season of the brilliant Swedish-Danish mystery-crime thriller The Bridge, and German wartime drama Das Boot.
Hulu has two basic subscription options: $5.99/month to stream programs with ads, and $11.99/month to watch shows commercial-free content. (Live TV and add-on options are available for additional costs.)
In 2015 Euro TV fans in the US, UK, and Canada who wanted to legally download the binge-worthy and award-winning Danish political drama Borgen were finally able to get them at iTunes, where all three seasons were made available as exclusive digital downloads.
Then in 2016 iTunes launched the first two seasons of the French spy thriller series The Bureau, the original Irish Gaelic version of period drama Dominion Creek, and the complete series of Italian crime drama Romanzo Criminale.
There are plenty of other titles that you can download from iTunes, too, including the German spy thriller Deutschland 83 and war drama Generation War, Swedish crime drama-mystery series Henning Mankell’s Wallander and Maria Wern, and French period drama Maison Close and crime drama Spiral, amongst others.
MHz Choice is the first and currently only SVOD streaming service in the US dedicated to Euro TV. At this time it has the largest stateside library of Euro TV titles, and screens more than 3,000 hours worth of new and classic European programs each month. According to the results of an online survey, the programs below were the top four favorites amongst its subscribers in 2019:
A number of shows that premiered in the US on MHz Choice have been made available on Amazon Video as Prime Video and TVOD offerings, so folks who don’t subscribe to MHz Choice can still get in on the goods. Here are a few:
Folks who live in a market where their public TV station is an affiliate of MHz Networks can still watch select MHz titles via broadcast TV on the MHz Worldview channel.
A subscription to MHz Choice costs $7.99/month or $89.99/year after the 7-day free trial. Members of Amazon Prime can add an MHz Choice subscription (same monthly price) through Amazon Channels and watch MHz Choice shows through the Prime Video interface.
(For Euro TV fans north of the US border, MHz Choice is also available in Canada.)
The largest SVOD platform on the planet (right now) — with 158.3 million subscribers worldwide, inclusive of the 60.62 million in the US (as of October 2019) — has been steadily adding Euro TV titles to its already massive library. More and more of them are acquired and commissioned/produced Netflix Original series, all of which are exclusives in the US.
A few of our favorite Euro TV shows that premiered in the US on Netflix include:
Not everything that debuts on Netflix stays an exclusive. Euro TV series that have since been added to other digital channels include French crime drama Witnesses, Norwegian historical drama The Heavy Water War and political thriller Occupied, and Turkish period romance drama Mahmut & Meryem.
The price for a Netflix subscription depends on the number of screens accessing content at the same time and whether you want content in SD, HD or Ultra HD. Plans start at $8.99/month after the 30-day free trial.
Best known for its selection of British TV programs, this SVOD service from PBS began offering Euro TV titles and other international TV shows from Walter Presents in mid-October 2018 — the first phase in a deal between PBS Distribution and Walter Presents. A few Euro TV series that recently premiered in the US include:
The PBS Masterpiece Prime Video channel, which exists only on Amazon, costs $5.99/month after the 7-day free trial.
PBS Passport is a streaming service that is provided as a member benefit to public TV viewers who contribute $60+ per year to their local PBS station. Titles available on Passport include shows from PBS and its member stations, as well as Euro TV series from Walter Presents (as of February 14, 2019), as part of the deal between WP and PBS Distribution.
Shudder is an SVOD streaming service specializing in horror, supernatural, and thriller programming. The majority of its content is films, but its list of TV titles is growing. Shudder has premiered a few Euro TV series, including French space thriller Missions (a Shudder Original series), German mystery drama The Valley, and Scandinavian horror drama Black Lake, as well as these Shudder Exclusives: French horror-mystery miniseries Beyond the Walls, Swedish fantasy-mystery drama Ängelby, and Swedish crime thriller Jordskott.
Shudder costs $5.99/month or $56.99/year and comes with a 7-day free trial. Members of Amazon Prime can add a Shudder subscription for $4,99/month through Amazon Channels and watch Shudder shows through the Prime Video interface.
Formerly known as DocClub, SVOD service Sundance Now has expanded its offerings to include acclaimed films and TV series, as well as documentaries, from the US and abroad. The streaming home of French spy thriller The Bureau, Sundance Now has debuted several Euro TV shows in the US, including Belgian crime thriller Public Enemy, Dutch-Flemish disaster drama The Swell, French sci-fi drama Trepalium, and Icelandic drama Prisoners.
Its most recent US premieres include German spy thriller Deutschland 86, Icelandic mystery-crime thriller Stella Blomkvist (starring Poldark‘s Heida Reed), Swedish period drama The Restaurant., and Norwegian mystery-crime drama Wisting.
Shudder and Sundance Now are owned by AMC, and recently certain shows have been made available on both services, including Scandi horror thriller Black Lake, French sci-fi thriller Trepalium, and German mystery-crime drama The Valley.
A subscription to Sundance Now costs $6.99/month or $59.99/year after the 7-day free trial. Members of Amazon Prime can add a Sundance Now subscription (same monthly price) through Amazon Channels and watch Sundance Now shows through the Prime Video interface.
SVOD service Topic launched in North America on November 21, 2019, and its initial program offerings included several Euro TV series, including Swedish thriller Honour, Finnish-Chilean historical drama Invisible Heroes, Italian drama The Miracle, and Pagan Peak, the Austrian-German version of The Bridge (Bron/Broen), amongst other titles. (Read this article for more details.)
A subscription to Topic costs $5.99/month or $59.99/year after the 30-day free trial. Members of Amazon Prime can add a Topic subscription for $4.99/month through Amazon Channels and watch Topic shows through the Prime Video interface.
Launched in early 2014, Tubi TV is an AVOD (ad-based video-on-demand) service in the US. Its Euro TV content currently includes 25 titles, all of them are free to stream.
Although Walter Presents shuttered its SVOD service and apps in the US on March 1, 2019, to focus on international TV distribution, stateside Euro TV fans can still access Walter Presents programs via its partners. PBS Distribution in one (see PBS Masterpiece channel and PBS Passport above, and PBS member stations below). Comcast is another; customers with both Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Internet can add the Walter Presents channel — found in the Xfinity X1 On-Demand section — to their services for $5.99/month (after the 7-day free trial). And Roku is the third; you can find Walter Presents in the Roku Channel Store for $5.99/month, also with a 7-day free trial.
US LINEAR TV CHANNELS
Eurochannel offers Euro TV series from across the continent, some of which premiered in the US under its “European Prime TV Series” banner. These shows recently premiered in the US on Eurochannel:
You can access Eurochannel through any of these international packages on Sling TV (pricing varies by package).
Likely the most notable Euro TV launch on this premium channel has been My Brilliant Friend, one of my favorite Euro TV premieres of 2018. Prior to that, HBO brought a few shows produced by HBO Europe to the US in late 2017 and 2018, including mystery-crime drama Wasteland and romantic comedy Head Over Heels from the Czech Republic, drama Golden Life and romantic comedy When Shall We Kiss from Hungary, and suspense thriller The Pact from Poland. Euro TV shows added in 2019 include Polish crime thriller Blinded by the Lights, the final season of Hungarian thriller Golden Life, German-Romanian thriller Hackerville, and Croatian crime drama Success.
You can get HBO through a cable or satellite TV package (price varies), with the standalone HBO NOW streaming product ($14.99/month), or as an add-on to Hulu or another platform (price varies). Members of Amazon Prime can add an HBO subscription for $14.99/month through Amazon Channels and watch HBO shows through the Prime Video interface.
KCET, the largest independent public TV station that recently merged with PBS affiliate PBS SoCal, and Link TV, KCET’s non-commercial satellite TV network partner (available on DirecTV and Dish), have had two Euro TV exclusives in the US: the megahit political drama Borgen (in 2012) and the crime thriller Follow the Money (in summer 2018), both from Denmark. Earlier in 2018, KCET launched the addictive Spanish period mystery drama Grand Hotel on American broadcast TV.
PBS Member Stations
The third part of the deal between PBS Distribution and Walter Presents calls for select international TV programs from Walter Presents to be broadcast on PBS member stations. The first title under this agreement was Season 1 of Swedish thriller Modus, and KLCS was the first station to air it (starting February 14, 2019). Other shows that have been broadcast are the ones streaming on PBS Passport.
This ad-supported sister channel to BBC America and AMC debuted the International Emmy® Award-winning French supernatural thriller The Returned to US audiences in 2013 and the show’s second season in 2015. Also in 2015 was something huge for Euro TV in the US: SundanceTV’s premiere of its co-production Deutschland 83, a bona fide worldwide hit and the first-ever German-language drama to be aired on a major US network. In 2016 SundanceTV debuted the Italian crime drama Gomorrah, followed by the series’ second season in 2017.
SundanceTV is available through cable and satellite TV packages (prices vary). Cord-cutters who would like to access SundanceTV (and 39+ basic channels) without having to pay a hefty cable or satellite TV bill can do so with a no-contract subscription to Philo ($16 or $20/month). Having a subscription through any of these means allows you to stream SundanceTV offerings on its website.
Another premium channel that recently jumped on the Euro TV bandwagon is Starz, which brought four Euro TV series to the US in 2018: Austrian historical drama Maximilian and Marie de Bourgogne, Norwegian crime thriller Monster, Italian mystery-crime drama Rocco Schiavone (another of my favorite Euro TV premieres in 2018), and Spanish crime drama La Zona.
Viewers can subscribe to Starz with a cable or satellite TV package (pricing varies) or via the Starz streaming app ($8.99/month). Members of Amazon Prime can add a Starz subscription for $8.99/month through Amazon Channels and watch Starz shows through the Prime Video interface.
TV5Monde USA is the American arm of the global French network, and its programs are from territories where French is the national language or one of them, including France, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, and French-speaking Africa. Shows that are subtitled in English on TV5Monde USA (not all of them are) tend to be dramas and mysteries; the latter includes titles in the “Meurtres à…” (“Murder in…”) and “Crime à…” (“Crime in…”) series of feature-length crime drama telefilms, such as Meurtres à Dunkerque and Crime à Aigues-Mortes.
While the “Murder in…” titles have been recent additions on MHz Choice, others of TV5Monde USA’s programs haven’t been available anywhere else — the exception being the French police procedural Main courante, aka Guilty as Charged.
TV5Monde USA is offered through cable and satellite TV packages (pricing varies), as well as the “Juste French” package on Sling ($15/month).
Basic cable and satellite channel WGN America has also premiered a Euro TV series in the US: the bilingual Swedish-English mystery-crime drama 100 Code, starring the late, great Michael Nyqvist. Whether the channel brings any more Euro TV shows to the US remains to be seen.
IN THE UK
Commercial-free public broadcast channel BBC Four has been airing TV programs and films from its European neighbors on Saturday evenings for years. Euro TV series that aired in recent years (and were available for streaming on iPlayer) include all three seasons of Danish crime drama Follow the Money, both seasons of Icelandic mystery-crime drama Trapped, recent episodes of Italian mystery drama Inspector Montalbano, and the first season of Danish thriller Below the Surface.
Channel 4, the ad-supported pubcaster, went Euro TV when it screened the French supernatural drama The Returned and Norwegian crime thriller Mammon several years ago, followed by the Norwegian wartime thriller The Saboteurs, French wartime drama Resistance, French crime thriller Witnesses, and Series 2 of The Returned in 2015.
That same year, Channel 4 announced that All 4, its free AVOD website, would be the home of Walter Presents, the branding for what would be the “world drama” section of All 4. Walter Presents launched in the UK on 3 January 2016 with nine programs,” and has been adding titles ever since. UK-based Euro TV fans can access then 24/7 via the “Walter Presents Collection” on All4, as well as via broadcast on More4. Popular titles include:
Co-founded by Walter Iuzzolino, the sole curator of the content on his namesake international TV service, Walter Presents launched in the US as an SVOD service in March 2017. However, in October 2018, took down its channel on Prime Video US and started transitioning its content to the PBS Masterpiece channel, then shuttered its US website in March 2019 to support its partnerships with Comcast and Roku.
In November 2017, Walter Presents launched on Foxtel in Australia, followed by Italy in May 2018 via a partnership with Discovery, and in mid-April 2019 in Belgium on the VTM GO digital service.
For UK viewers with a subscription to Sky, these two Sky channels screen Euro TV series on a fairly regular basis.
Sky Arts has premiered the Swedish drama 30 Degrees in February, French flic drama Braquo, Norwegian comedy Dag, French comedy Hard, Spanish mystery Grand Hotel, Danish drama The Legacy, French period drama Maison Close, the adult-themed Belgian drama Matrioshki, Norwegian thriller Occupied, and the French-Swedish crime drama Midnight Sun.
The most recent Euro TV premieres on Sky Atlantic were historical crime thriller Babylon Berlin and war drama Das Boot from Germany, and mystery drama The Miracle and period drama My Brilliant Friend from Italy. Other Euro TV series that debuted in the UK on Sky Atlantic include Italian Mafia dramas 1992, 1993, and Gomorrah, Swedish-English crime drama 100 Code, French-English crime thriller The Tunnel, and Belgian crime drama Public Enemy.
Offerings from both channels are available for catch-up viewing on Now TV.
Video Streaming Services
In addition to terrestrial and satellite channels, SVOD and TVOD streaming services such as Amazon Video, Netflix, Shudder, and Sundance Now offer a wide array of shows for Euro TV fans in the UK, including…
For Euro TV enthusiasts who are members of Amazon Prime UK, getting a subscription to the Arrow TV (£4.99/month), Shudder (£4.99/month), or Sundance Now (£5.99/month) channel under Amazon Channels on Prime Video UK saves a ton of money on streaming (as compared to buying their shows on an per-episode or per-season basis).
For information on where to watch Euro TV programs by language in the US and UK, visit the Euro TV Shows by Language pages.
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