German Stars Christian Ulmen, Nora Tschirner Join Hit Crime Show 'Tatort'

Some of the country’s biggest film stars, including Til Schweiger and Sibel Kekilli, have taken roles in the top-rated weekly crime series.

BERLIN – Christian Ulmen and Nora Tschirner, two of Germany’s biggest box office draws, will join the country’s most successful TV series.

German public network MDR has confirmed that Ulmen and Tschirner will join the long line of local A-listers as members of the cast of long-running crime series Tatort (Scene of the Crime).  The pair – who both started their careers as VJs on MTV Germany – will re-team as detectives in a special Christmas edition of the series.

Wiedemann & Berg, the production company behind Oscar-winner The Lives of Others, will produce.

German tabloid Bild, which originally broke the story, said MDR plans to commission one Ulmen/Tschirner Tatort special every year, to be broadcast during the holiday season. The first is set to air in 2013.  

Both Ulmen and Tschirner are major box office draws in Germany. He had his film debut with Berlin Blues (2003) and was part of the ensemble cast of hit comedy Men in the City (2009) and its sequel. In one of his rare dramatic roles, Ulmen also starred alongside Moritz Bleibtreu and Martina Gedeck in Atomized, Oskar Roehler’s 2006 adaptation of the controversial novel by French writer Michel Houellebecq.

Tschirner’s credits include Til Schweiger’s romantic comedy Rabbit Without Ears (2007), which was a big hit in Germany, and the young adult franchise The Crocodiles.

Schweiger himself, Germany’s biggest film star, took a role in Tatort earlier this year in an episode, which will also be broadcast next year. The show’s impressive list of local talent also includes Game of Thrones actress Sibel Kekilli, Ulrich Tukur of The Lives of Others and The White Ribbon actor Burghart Klaussner. Even Christoph Waltz, before he won an Oscar for Inglourious Basterds, had been in talks to take on a recurring role in the series.