A ‘Midsomer’ Day’s Binge

(Above: Barnaby and Jones in ‘Midsomer Murders,’ season 13, currently running on public TV stations)

Midsomer Murders, a British detective series boasting 116 episodes over 19 seasons, is apparently perfect for binge-watching – and subscription service sharing. You can now can stream the show on both BritBox and Acorn TV, the two competing anglophile-targeted services, as well as on Netflix.

BritBox today became the latest addition to the Midsomer Murders arsenal, which also includes airings on public TV stations. Perhaps in anticipation, Acorn TV last Friday decided to celebrate the show’s 21st anniversary by extending its usual one-week free trial to 30 days. (For the record, Midsomer Murders premiered March 23, 1997 on the UK’s ITV, which co-owns BritBox).

We’ll let BritBox provide the show’s synopsis: “The quintessential British mystery series, Midsomer Murders follows the efforts of Detective Chief Inspector John Barnaby to solve crimes that occur in the wealthy, isolated English county of Midsomer, a picturesque and peaceful place on the outside but one filled with amoral and snobbish eccentrics with all kinds of vices.”

Note though that John Barnaby – played by Neil Dudgeon – has only been around since season 14. Before that, the protagonist was Tom Barnaby, played by John Nettles. If you want to choose specific episodes to stream, you can also find guest stars like Orlando Bloom, Peter Capaldi, Henry Cavill, Colin Farrell, Samantha Bond, Emily Mortimer and Hugh Bonneville in early roles. The series is based on novels by Caroline Graham.

A six-episode 20th season is scheduled to premiere later this year.

To take advantage of Acorn TV’s offer, enter promo code MIDSOMER on the service’s sign-up page through May 21. After the trial, Acorn TV costs $4.99 monthly or $49.99 for a year. BritBox costs $6.99 per month following its one-week free trial. And, for completists, Netflix starts at $7.99 a month, with a one-month free trial.

Over-the-air viewing, meanwhile, is free to watch with an antenna hooked up to your TV. And Midsomer Murders is currently in season 13 on public TV. To find your local station and times, visit American Public Television’s Midsomer Murders page, click on “TV Listings” and enter your zip code.

We couldn’t help noticing in the above promo that Barnaby’s partner is named Jones, with ‘Barnaby and Jones’ investigating the murder. So naturally we thought of Barnaby Jones, the ’70s CBS detective series starring a post-Beverly Hillbillies Buddy Ebsen. There were 178 episodes over eight seasons, but good luck finding them all!  Thankfully, however, a YouTuber named ItsFearlessOx has posted 12 of them. Here’s one:

About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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