Positive half-yearly results for UFA
Successful productions in all genres in the first half-year 2006
Potsdam, 21 July 2006. No other production company in Germany supplies programme contents to a larger number of TV channels, no other company offers a bigger range of different genres or more than 30 established, long running programme brands than UFA does, the market leader in the area of film and television production.
With 15 formats in the first half-year, UFA has generated by far the biggest output in new programs. During the 2005/06 season, the proportion of successful new UFA programs – that is, of newly launched programs reaching scores above the channel's average – was 47%, whereas in the overall market, only 35% of the newly introduced programmes were successful. According to UFA, the first half-year 2006 was a complete success!
The telenovela boom has not yet abated. Verliebt in Berlin on Sat.1 reached record audience scores in May achieving a market share of 27% in the 14-49 audience group, Julia – Wege zum Glück (ZDF) generated market shares of up to 20% in the global market. Owing to their success, both series have been extended by one year. But also the telenovela Sophie - Braut wider Willen which has ended in the meantime, proved to be the second most successful format on ARD on weekdays at 6.50 p.m., even though the series failed to meet higher expectations. Tessa – Leben für die Liebe, a second telenovela for ZDF, did not manage to assert itself against the already established telenovela Sturm der Liebe.
The unabating demand for telenovelas did not adversely affect the popularity of daily soaps. Gute Zeiten - Schlechte Zeiten (RTL) thus is regularly the strongest day-time programme in the 14-49 target group. Verbotene Liebe (ARD) and Unter Uns (RTL) is watched by some 2.2 million viewers every day. At the site of the Babelsberg film production studios, the first cut of the spade was carried out for the construction of a sumptuous outdoor set for GZSZ at the end of June. Besides, Grundy UFA is currently producing a third daily soap for RTL, Alles was zählt, which is scheduled to launch on 4 September at 7.05 p.m.
The big TV-drama events by teamWorx met with a sensational success: 12.66 million viewers (market share of 32.6 %) watched the first part on ZDF, and 11.29 million saw the second part of the teamWorx production Dresden. After the record-breaking audience figures of Die Luftbrücke (Sat.1, 27 and 28 November 2005, 8.97 and 7. 83 million respectively) and Die Sturmflut (RTL, 19 and 20 February, 11.58 and 11.2 million viewers respectively) Dresden was the third outstanding ratings success for teamWorx in the winter season 2005/2006. For other TV-highlights, production has either already been completed, is underway or at the planning stage. On 4 October 2006, "Das Erste" is airing the teamWorx production Die Mauer – Berlin 61, a moving picture on the construction of the wall in August 1961. Moreover, in autumn the film Tornado will be aired. The two-part picture produced for ProSieben offers a cornucopia of special effects. Moreover, on 1 November, ARD will air the film version of Michael Degen's biography "Nicht alle waren Mörder". Shooting of the spectacular pictures for Flucht und Vertreibung has just been completed. This teamWorx produced two-part event movie for "Das Erste" featuring Maria Furtwängler picks up the theme of the dramatic flight of millions of people at the end of World War II. Another film dwelling on a subject of contemporary history is currently produced by UFA Fernsehproduktion. Veronica Ferres is starring in Die Frau vom Checkpoint Charlie (ARD), which is currently being shot in original filming locations, whereas shooting of Die Jagd nach dem Schatz von Troja (AT) produced for Sat.1 has just begun. This teamWorx picture recounts the story of Heinrich Schliemann and the discovery of Troy.
As to the production of serials and series, UFA boasts positive results. In August "UFA Fernsehproduktion" is celebrating 30 years of the production of SOKO 5113. Until 1996, the crime series which in the meantime has reached cult status was produced by Elan Film of Consul Max Gierke and afterwards by UFA Fernsehproduktion. The most successful SOKO series produced for ZDF is SOKO Leipzig, which during prime time regularly attracts 5 million viewers. Shooting of Die Spezialisten produced by UFA Film & Medienproduktion for ZDF has just started. The two Phoenix-Film produced series Unser Charly and Hallo Robbie continue to enjoy outstanding popularity among the family audience. Phoenix-Film furthermore will show the historic family series Unter den Linden – Das Haus Gravenhorst on Sat.1 from 16 July on Sundays at 7.15 p.m. Allein unter Bauern with Edel & Starck star Christoph M. Ohrt, will follow in autumn, also on Sat.1.
The TV movie serials Bella Block, Donna Leon and Ein starkes Team have established themselves as outstanding programme brands of their respective channels. In March and April, the episodes Sippenhaft and Dunkle Schatten of the series Ein Starkes Team attracted 5.5 and 4 million viewers respectively. And Bella Block - Das Glück der Anderen was watched by more than 5 million fans, among them the team members of the jury of the German TV Crime fiction Award which the movie received on 4 March. Moreover, two new episodes of the gripping crime stories based on the Donna Leon bestselling novels featuring Commissario Brunetti alias Uwe Kockisch are being produced in Venice.
And finally UFA is going from success to success with its entertainment formats produced by GRUNDY Light Entertainment and UFA Entertainment, which have specialised in this programme genre. With the third season of Deutschland sucht den Superstar, RTL achieved market shares of 30% in 14-49 age group, with the final show achieving a market share of more than 50%. In-house productions such as Promi ärgere Dich nicht produced for Sat.1 or Der große drei-Länder-Check for ZDF met with such success that sequels have already been ordered and preparatory work is in full swing. There will also be two seasons for programmes by UFA Entertainment. Currently new 90-minutes docu soaps entitled Zuhause im Glück are being produced for RTLII and as regards the Austrian version of Bauer sucht Frau, the programme achieving the highest ratings on ATV+, production of the third season is already underway.
„All in all, I'm more than satisfied with the first half-year and as can be anticipated, the second half year will be equally good, if not better. We've been piloting new promising formats and have already completed the shooting of spectacular movies. In the mobile TV area we will launch innovative programmes on the market in autumn, programmes which have originally been produced for handsets. The challenge to remain in the lead both in quality and quantity will remain exciting“, said UFA CEO Wolf Bauer.