Donna Leon (TV series)

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Television series
Original title Donna Leon
Country of production Germany
original language German
Year (s) 2000-2019
Trebitsch Production International
teamWorx Television & Film
UFA Fiction
length 90 minutes
Episodes 26th
genre Thriller
Theme music André Rieu , Herbst in Venice / Autumn in Venice (from episode 3)
idea Donna Leon
First broadcast October 12, 2000 on Das Erste

Main actor:

Supporting cast:

  • Signora Amelia Brunetti † (Guido's mother) : Christel Peters  † (episodes 7-14)
  • Conte Orazio Falier (Paola's father) : Peter Fitz  † (until episode 18)
  • Contessa Donatella Falier (Paola's mother) : Carola Regnier  † (only episode 11)

Donna Leon is a German crime film series on ARD , which was produced from 2000 to 2019 by the film buying organization Degeto Film . The films in the television series are loosely based on the Commissario Brunetti novels by the American writer Donna Leon , who lived in Venice for over 30 years from 1981 . In the first four episodes, Joachim Król played the role of Commissario Guido Brunetti, who was the focus of the series and who took over from Uwe Kockisch from the fifth episode .


The television series was filmed mostly with German-speaking actors on locations in Venice . Italian actors, among others, were also used as extras and for small roles, whose lines of dialogue were synchronized if necessary.

There were some differences between the novel and the films: The scriptwriters added new people and subplots, and the resolution of the cases was partially changed. The order of the films in the first 13 film adaptations did not correspond to the order of publication of the respective crime novels .

The first case, Vendetta , premiered in October 2000. Christian von Castelberg directed the first two episodes, and later Sigi Rothemund . For the striking entrance music of the series was the third episode of the song The Old Castle of André Rieu used. The composer of the (remaining) film music was Stefan Schulzki from 2004 .

In November 2019 it was announced that the series would be discontinued at the end of the year. The last episode was shown on December 25, 2019 in the first . It did not appear from their plot that the series would end.

Unlike the TV series, Donna Leon's book series will continue until further notice.


No. title First shipment Novel
01 Donna Leon - Vendetta Oct 12, 2000 04th case 1995
02 Donna Leon - Venetian Charade Oct 16, 2000 03rd case 1994
03 Donna Leon - In matters of Signora Brunetti Oct 10, 2002 08th case 1999
04th Donna Leon - Nobiltà Oct 17, 2002 07th case 1998
05 Donna Leon - Venetian Final Oct 23, 2003 01st case 1992
06th Donna Leon - Fine friends Oct 31, 2003 09th case 2000
07th Donna Leon - Sleep gently Oct 28, 2004 06th case 1997
08th Donna Leon - Acqua Alta Nov 11, 2004 05th case 1996
09 Donna Leon - Evidence It's Evil Oct 13, 2005 13th case 2004
10 Donna Leon - Secret channels Nov 10, 2005 12th case 2003
11 Donna Leon - Venice terminus Oct 19, 2006 02nd case 1993
12 Donna Leon - The Law of the Lagoon 0Nov 2, 2006 10th case 2001
13 Donna Leon - The dark hour of the Serenissima May 15, 2008 11th case 2002
14th Donna Leon - Bloody Stones May 22, 2008 14th case 2005
15th Donna Leon - As if through a dark glass Oct 22, 2009 15th case 2006
16 Donna Leon - Let the children come to me 0Oct 7, 2010 16th case 2007
17th Donna Leon - the girl of his dreams Apr 28, 2011 17th case 2008
18th Donna Leon - beautiful appearance Apr 14, 2012 18th case 2009
19th Donna Leon - In good faith May 11th, 2013 19th case 2010
20th Donna Leon - Rich Legacy 0May 1, 2014 20th case 2011
21st Donna Leon - Animal Profits 23 Apr 2015 21st case 2012
22nd Donna Leon - The Golden Egg 31 Mar 2016 22nd case 2013
23 Donna Leon - Death Between the Lines 13 Apr 2017 23rd case 2014
24 Donna Leon - finally mine 29 Mar 2018 24th case 2015
25th Donna Leon - Eternal Youth April 18, 2019 25th case 2016
26th Donna Leon - Still Waters December 25, 2019 26th case 2017


Exterior shots in Venice

Exterior scenes in front of the " Questura " headquarters were filmed in Venice on the Campo della Confraternità between the Church of San Francesco della Vigna and the Rio di San Francesco ( 45 ° 26 ′ 17 ″  N , 12 ° 20 ′ 51 ″  E ). The outer front of the Palazzo della Nunziatura Apostolica in this square represents the facade of the Questura .

The outdoor seating , a roof terrace of the apartment of Brunetti's where they often sit in the movies, is located in a house in the inner corner of the confluence of the Rio de San Polo and Rio de le heritage, immediately prior to the Grand Canal . ( 45 ° 26 ′ 10.5 ″  N , 12 ° 19 ′ 47.3 ″  E ) The large terrace of the opposite Palazzo Barbarigo della Terrazza can often be seen in the exterior shots . a. the German Study Center Venice is housed.


Tilmann P. Gangloff reported in April 2019 for the Frankfurter Rundschau in a review of the 25th episode in the series (Ewige Jugend) that Donna Leon was "a fine example of continuity". “It could be stated less benevolently: television from yesterday; A large part of the regular audience doesn’t seem to mind if films and series trigger a certain nostalgic effect. ”As with other Degeto“ foreign thrillers ”-“ always keep in mind that the cityscapes are not neglected ”. Many of the film adaptations of Leon's Commissario Brunetti novels are, however, "well worth seeing, exciting and of an attractive aesthetic". - "Because Venice is also worth a trip for actors", many episodes were also characterized by a well-known cast.

Ursula Scheer described the series in an article written for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on the occasion of the last episode (Still Waters) as a “technically flawless muse of the easy escape from reality”. The Brunetti thrillers would have paved the way for the German TV phenomenon of the “foreign investigator with a Teutonic accent”, which can be traced back to the Father Brown films. This is due to the "love of the Germans in the country where the lemons bloom" and the "secret dream of the sunlit German as a better Italian". Donna Leon served such “weird longings” “reliably and - as always well set - as stylishly as possible”, “without sinking into the sticky entertainment swamp like her older sister Rosamunde Pilcher at the second ”.


Episodes 1 to 16 and episodes 1 to 20 are available as a DVD box, and all episodes 1 to 26 are also available individually on DVD. In addition, episodes 1 to 26 were also released as audio books on CD.


  • Elisabeth Hoffmann, Karl-L. Heinrich: Behind the scenes of Commissario Brunetti with a separate city map (description and marking of approx. 200 locations of the film adaptations). Harms-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-86026-201-6

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. In the TV episode 9, Donna Leon - Proof that It's Evil (2005), Patta receives new business cards on the occasion of an honorary doctorate expected from him. Brunetti receives one of them from Elettra. The menu says: Dottore Giuseppe Patta.
  2. Not to be confused with the second movement ( The Old Castle ) from Mussorgski's Pictures at an Exhibition, also mentioned by André Rieu .
  3. ARD series ends in December. November 14, 2019, accessed November 14, 2019 .
  4. ^ Elisabeth Hoffmann, Karl-L. Heinrich: Behind the scenes by Commissario Brunetti , Harms-Verlag, ISBN 978-3-86026-201-6 , p. 21
  5. ^ Tilmann P. Gangloff: ARD, "Donna Leon: Ewige Jugend" - Nobility obliges. In: Frankfurter Rundschau, April 18, 2019, accessed on February 9, 2020 .
  6. Ursula Scheer: Donna Leon: Still Waters - Addio, commissario! In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, December 25, 2019, accessed on February 14, 2020 .