'Vienna Blood' Returns For Season 2 In 2022

Matthew Beard as Max Liebermann Jürgen Maurer as Oskar Reinhardt in Vienna Blood Season 2
Matthew Beard as Max Liebermann and Jürgen Maurer as Oskar Reinhardt in 'Vienna Blood' Season 2 (Credit: Courtesy of © Endor Production Ltd/MR Film GmbH)

Though the premiere of Sanditon took up most of the attention in January 2020, Masterpiece actually debuted two brand new shows that winter, with a new period piece following the Jane Austen-inspired romance. Based on the Liebermann novels by Frank Tallis, Vienna Blood also made its PBS debut that year. The series, set in Vienna in the early years of the 1900s before the Great War broke out, featured Matthew Beard as Dr. Max Liebermann, a student of Sigmund Freud. He uses the radical new science of psychology to help solve crimes alongside Police Detective Oskar Rheinhardt (Jürgen Maurer).

The series struggled somewhat to find an audience here in the States, partly due to how it aired. Unlike its broadcast in Europe, including Austria's ORF, Germany's ZDF, and the U.K.'s BBC, where it ran as three 90 minute mysteries, due to being paired with Sanditon, Vienna Blood was chopped up into six 45 minute episodes covering three stories. Despite making it a bit abrupt in places, its focus on Jewish life during a time of growing anti-semitism helped it stand out in a field crowded with turn-of-the-last-century mysteries starring Sherlock Holmes types.

At the time of its run, the series was not immediately renewed, making it seem like neither show from that period would continue. But in July 2020, producers Endor Productions and MR Film announced the show would return for a second season, albeit one delayed by filming shutdowns. The new season took an extra year to get back to the small screen. However, with the show's premiere on BBC Two beginning Friday, Dec. 10, PBS has confirmed it will arrive over here in January.

Matthew Beard as Max Liebermann Jürgen Maurer as Oskar Reinhardt in Vienna Blood Season 2
Matthew Beard as Max Liebermann and Jürgen Maurer as Oskar Reinhardt in 'Vienna Blood' Season 2 (Credit: Courtesy of © Endor Production Ltd/MR Film GmbH)

Season 2 will follow the same structure as Season 1, with three 90 minute installments covering a trio of Tallis' stories. This year's adaptations include The Melancholy Countess, The Devil's Kiss, and Darkness Rising, taken from The Liebermann Papers Books 4-5. (Season 1 covered books 1-3.) PBS will again chop those episodes up into six 45-minute installments for the American broadcast and air them as a capper to an already stacked Sunday night lineup that includes David Tennant's Around The World In 80 Days and All Creatures Great and Small Season 2.

Both Beard and Maurer will return to reprise their roles as the unlikely detective team. Season 2 will also see the return of most of Max's family, including Conleth Hill and Amelia Bullmore as his parents Mendel and Rachel, and Charlene McKenna as his older sister Leah. Luise von Finckh will also be back as Max's now-ex-fiancee, Clara, while Lucy Griffiths (True Blood) will replace Season 1's Jessica De Gouw as Amelia Lydgate, the woman he fancies. Meanwhile, in the police world, Raphael von Bargen is expected to return as the hapless Inspector von Bulow and Simon Hatzl as the toadying Police Commissioner Strasser.

Vienna Blood Season 2 debuts on a weekly release schedule beginning Sunday, Jan. 9, at 10 p.m. ET on most PBS stations and is expected to be a binge-drop on PBS Passport starting the same day. As always, check your local listings.