The lazy days of summer are over, and the PBS TV season begins in earnest as September rolls in. Though the once-vaunted September-May TV calendar year was supposedly left for dead with the advent of the streaming revolution, PBS is still, at its heart, an over-the-air, linear broadcast service, and though most local stations have given in to modernity with PBS Passport (making lists like these a necessity to track what's coming and going) public television still treats September as the beginning of a new year, with a plethora of new debuts.
For the first time since the massive influx of Walter Presents titles began in December 2022, PBS Passport's streaming list finally reflects its ambitions for members who pledge to their local stations and receive a year's worth of PBS Passport streaming along with mug and tote bag. This month brings a dozen new titles, with binge-watches spaced out across the month so that viewers are neither overwhelmed by the deluge of offerings to the point of paralysis over what to watch but with enough arrivals to keep members watching all month long.
From a full complement of Masterpiece mysteries to a weekly dose of Walter Presents and a few extras, September brings plenty for PBS Passport members to enjoy. Remember, if you are not a member of your local stations yet, you can sign up here.
'Midsomer Murders' Season 22
As fan-favorite crime drama Midsomer Murders wraps up its weekly debut of Season 23 over on Acorn TV, the series is set to begin streaming on PBS Passport for the first time for those who have been waiting for it to debut on their public stations. The long-running series, starring Neil Dudgeon as DCI John Barnaby, premieres Season 22 on select PBS Passports on Friday, September 1, 2023, with all six feature-length episodes. As always, check your local listings and streaming services.
'Lolita Lobosco' (Le Indagini di Lolita Lobosco) Season 1
Based on the wildly popular novels by Italian writer Gabriella Genisi, Lolita Lobosco (Le Indagini di Lolita Lobosco) debuted on Rai 1 in February 2021. A vibrant crime series steeped in the beauty, vitality, creativity, warmth, and sensuality of Italy, Luisa Ranieri (Luisa Spagnoli) stars as the titular Deputy Chief Lolita Lobosco, assigned to return to her hometown of Bari. This mystery-of-the-week series sees her leading an all-male team of investigators, fighting sexism along with crime at every turn.
The series proved so popular that a second series was commissioned and aired in the spring of 2023, so there's more of this to come. All four episodes debut on Friday, September 1, 2023.
'Professor T' Season 2
The Eagle Eye Drama English language remake of the Belgian series Professor T returns with Ben Miller (Death in Paradise) playing the white-gloved professor who solves crimes, Professor Jasper Tempest. Professor T and his team will untangle mysteries-of-the-week, from an unexplained fire in a student block to the mystery of an entire family found dead in their home. Jasper will also start therapy with Dr. Helena (Juliet Stevenson) as he attempts to get a handle on his mother, Adelaide (Frances de la Tour), and the love of his life, Christina (Juliet Aubrey).
All six episodes of Professor T Season 2 arrive as a binge on Sunday, September 3, 2023. Season 3 already finished filming in the U.K., so expect more next year.
'Unforgotten' Season 5
Masterpiece's blockbuster contemporary mystery series Unforgotten returns for Season 5 after a two-year absence. In that time, original lead Nicola Walker has moved on to Masterpiece's *other* hit mystery show, Annika, after her character, Cassie Stuart, was killed off at the end of Season 4. But while audiences have moved on, her partner Sunny Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) has not, as he deals with a new case and a new boss in the form of Sinead Keenan's DCI Jess James.
All six episodes of Unforgotten Season 5 arrive as a binge-watch on Sunday, September 3, 2023. Season 6 is already greenlit in the U.K., so expect more in the next year or two.
'Van der Valk' Season 3
Unlike Professor T and Unforgotten, which are usually summer premieres, Van der Valk has always been a September arrival, with Seasons 1 and 2 airing as they do in the U.K. as three feature-length mysteries. However, to make room for its new partners, Season 3 will air on broadcast as six one-hour episodes, with the three stories divided into Parts 1 and 2. In them, Marc Warren returns as the titular detective with his partner Lucienne (Maimie McCoy) to lead two new recruits to solve three new crimes.
However, PBS Passport members can watch the three stories as initially intended, as all six episodes arrive as a binge on Sunday, September 3, 2023.
Van der Valk
'Acquitted' (Frikjent) Season 2
Acquitted (Frikjent), the 2015 Nordic mystery series that initially helped define Scandi-noir in the public imagination, originally debuted on PBS Passport with Season 1 in February 2023. Nicolai Cleve Broch returns as Aksel Borgen, whose search for justice appeared to be over at the end of the first set of episodes, and Season 2 starts with his reconciliation with his community. However, his nemeses close ranks, denying the truth and shielding the real killer of the crime of which Aksel was convicted.
Season 1 ran ten episodes; Acquitted (Frikjent) Season 2 runs eight, with all installments arriving on Friday, September 8, 2023.
'The Defence' (Chylka) Season 5
Originally renamed The Disappearance for an English audience and now under the name The Defence for the American one, the popular Polish series Chylka will debut its fifth and final season Seasons 1 and 2 initially arrived in January 2023, with Seasons 3 and 4 following in March 2023. The final set of episodes opens with Joanna Chylka (Magdalena Cielecka) waking in the hospital after being beaten unconscious. As she recovers, she receives a mysterious message from an old acquaintance of her mother’s, pointing her toward the past.
The Defence (Chylka)'s fifth and final season runs five episodes, all will arrive on Friday, September 15, 2023.
'Munch' Season 3
French's super popular police procedural, Munch, arrived with the first two seasons as a single binge drop in February 2023; now, after a six-month wait, Season 3 finally joins them. Isabelle Nanty returns as "maverick" French lawyer Gabrielle Munchovskican, aka Munch. She can handle anything with the help of her team – euthanasia, surrogacy, and animal activism. However, when another out-there maverick, Blanche Braque (Marilou Berry), joins the firm, things get topsy-turvy.
All six episodes of Munch Season 3 join the first two seasons on PBS Passport on Friday, September 15, 2023. The series ran five seasons before it ended, so there's more to come.
'Lady with the Black Veil' (La Dama Velata)
The Italian-Spanish limited series period drama Lady with the Black Veil (La Dama Velata) ran on Rai 1 in Italy and Telecinco in Spain in 2015. Miriam Leone (Thou Shalt Not Kill) stars as the titular black-veiled lady, Countess Clara Maria Elena Grandi Fossà. Set in the late nineteenth century in Trentino, Clara is locked up for hysteria after she discovers her husband, Count Guido, is a womanizer. When she is presumed drowned, it looks like suicide, but Clara returns – hidden behind a black veil – to unmask her attacker and set right the wrongs of the past.
All episodes of Lady with the Black Veil arrive Friday, September 22, 2023.
'The Nordic Murders' (Der Usedom-Krimi) Season 3
The Nordic Murders (Der Usedom-Krimi, technically The Usedom Mysteries, but also airs under Baltic Crimes) first debuted in 2014. Due to the vagarities of German TV and the network it airs on, Das Erste, it is considered one series, airing for eight years and counting. Walter Presents and PBS have broken that down into seasons for American viewers, with the first five episodes as Season 1 in December 2022 and the next five as Season 2 in April 2023. Season 3 will run slightly longer, six in all, with Lisa Maria Potthoff returning as DCS Julia Thiel to solve new murders along with Katrin Sass as her mother and partner in crime solving, retired DA Karin Lossow.
The next set of The Nordic Murders episodes, under the "Season 3" moniker, will arrive on Friday, September 29, 2023. The series was renewed for another batch of episodes to air in October/November 2023, so there's still much more to come.