Between 1985 and 1989, the networks ARD from Germany and ORF from Austria co-produced thirteen episodes, which were only aired in Austria (see Tatort (1985)).

The introduction of the character Horst Schimanski (Götz George) in 1981 marked a strong change regarding the depiction of cops on German television. He became notorious for his rebellious and politically incorrect attitude, his frequent drinking, use of foul language and occasional use of violence. As those traits were unprecedented at the time, it gained the character a cult-status. Schimanski is also credited for making the word "shit" more socially acceptable, and in 1991, the German newspaper BILD even counted the number of times he used it. In many polls, Schimanski was voted the most popular character of the show.

The longest-running German TV drama series, which is running continuously since 1970.