BBC Studios and Germany’s ZDF have renewed  their long-term strategic partnership to develop and co-produce content.

The multi-year deal will extend co-development on scripted TV content, with ZDF and BBC Studios partnering to co-produce scripted titles across the BBC Studios’ content pipeline. This follows ZDF’s first co-production with AMC Network’s Acorn TV for The Chelsea Detective instructed under the initial partnership with BBC Studios. A second series is in production.

Alongside scripted, ZDF and BBC Studios will continue their collaboration co-producing factual shows across all genres including the forthcoming landmarks Mammals and Asia from BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit.

The new agreement extends first option on pre-sales and acquisitions across BBC Studios’ catalogue of scripted and all factual genre content that are available in Germany. Pre-sales already confirmed include Kingdoms from the BBC Studios Natural History Unit and first run exclusives of Make Me Famous and Mood and Free-TV premieres of This is Going to Hurt, and The Outlaws for ZDFneo.

Since 2019, when the strategic partnership was originally forged, the two organisations have partnered on numerous titles including Death in Paradise, Frozen Planet II, A Perfect Planet and The Green Planet.

Nick Percy, President, Global Markets, BBC Studios said “The impact of the strategic partnership between BBC Studios’ and ZDF over the past few years has been remarkable, with award-winning titles like Frozen Planet II and new scripted commissions such as The Chelsea Detective only possible with that early backing. This renewal is a win for audiences not only in the UK and Germany but internationally as well, as partnerships like this with shared editorial values allow us to deliver more ambitious and premium quality programming.”

Dr. Nadine Bilke, Chief Content Officer, ZDF said “We look back on an extremely fruitful cooperation with BBC Studios. Since 2019, we have been working together on high-quality and extraordinary productions that enrich the ZDF programme and inspire viewers. We are delighted to be able to continue and further expand this cooperation with BBC Studios.”

The agreements were brokered by Jessica Wirdemann Head of Scripted and Hana Hadzikaric Head of Unscripted, BBC Studios Germany, Chris Kinsman Director of Factual, Content Sales EMEA and Salim Mukaddam, Senior Vice President for Content Sales EMEA.


Jon Creamer

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