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SRF's crime series "Bashater" threatens to end after one season

SRF’s crime series “Bashater” threatens to end after one season

Critics thought the shadows were cool, but the audience didn’t.Photo: SRF/Pascal Mora

“Shadows” doesn’t even reach the audience of earlier detective stories like “Wilder” and “Bestatre”. Now the continuation of the series in Basel on the edge of the abyss.

Francesco Benigni / ch media

Critics of major Swiss newspapers unanimously agree that “shadows” are good. NZZ has found that the new crime series on Swiss television clearly leads “The Undertaker”. But the audience came to a different conclusion.

“Bestatre” reached an average of 700,000 viewers. The success was so great that SRF had seven seasons. The series, based in Aargau, has been on the program for six years.

Production of “Pechater” is carried out in Basel. At the end of October, 441,000 viewers watched the first episode – it was a slow start. The second watched 321,000 people. And last Tuesday, 291,000 people showed interest in the third event. The trend is negative. “Shadows” lost a third of the spectators who watched the start.

Swiss television is vigilant. “The audience numbers worry us,” says Nadine Gleich, a media spokeswoman for SRF.

TV series production is expensive

Filming a series costs a lot of money. Production of feature series is exempt from austerity programmes, Jill Marchand, general manager of SRG, said in interviews. Last but not least, public broadcasting wants to appeal to a younger audience. Television consumption among young people is declining; You can still reach them through live sports, comedy, and series.

Why not address the “shadows” the audience? where is the problem? If you look at the six episodes on Play SRF, you will notice that the second half of the series is better than the first. Shadows belongs to the crime comedy genre. The balance between suspense and humor is delicate. The funny moments seem like they’re trying a bit at first.

It also takes time to warm up with the six main characters – the head of the detective school and his five students. It seems that many viewers do not want to participate. Get off now. Play SRF has so far scored 125,000 clicks for the six episodes. This number is not huge either.

Despite the notable names, success is a long way off

The scripts for the series were written by a team led by Simon Schmid, who succeeded in the feature film “Zwingli”, and also wrote several episodes of “Bestatters”. Swiss television commissioned Michael Steiner – a well-known name – to direct the film. His successful feature films include “Grounding”, “My name is Eugen” and “Sennentuntschi”. Steiner is working with SRF again for the first time in 19 years. Many were looking forward to Leutschenbach’s great success.

Now the Basel Crimes series is doing so poorly that a sequel is in jeopardy. Planning for the second “shadow” squadron has already begun. If the audience’s interest in episodes four to six did not increase, then their continuation is doubtful.

SRF spokeswoman Nadine Gleich explains: “The audience numbers for The Shattered are below our expectations. However, we can’t yet explain the exact reasons for this. The overall response to the series has ranged from positive to enthusiastic, and we continue to see great successes and many strengths in The Shadowers”. Swiss television wants to analyze “accurately and self-critically” the reasons for the poor ratings and the series’ further run. “Only then can we decide how to proceed with The Beshatter,” says Gliesche.

Hope for a belated uptrend

The people responsible for SRF’s fantasy series have mostly had their luck in recent years: local and German cultural journalists have jammed several episodes of the Swiss “Tatort”. But “Bestatter” was well received by the audience, as well as “Wilder”, “Neumatt” and “Tschugger”. The thriller “Wilder” ran for four seasons, the drama “Neumatt” and the comedy “Tschugger” will continue because the first seasons were successful.

Do the “shadows” remain? In Leutschenbach, some are not giving up hope that the crime thriller Basel is off to a slow start and still has a huge fan base. On November 8, Swiss TV will show the fourth episode. (

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