Article: What's on the box in Germany

By voyage reporter Linda Harnisch

Many TV programmes in Germany are just translated from English to German. The influence of American and British formats is enormous. However, there are lots of TV programmes produced in Germany, too.

Casting show boom

Casting shows have gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Deutschland sucht den Superstar (DSDS) is the German counterpart to The X-Factor and has 'produced' seven solo-singers so far. Popstars on the other hand focuses on a whole group of singers and comes up with a different concept every year. The most famous German casting show band are No angels. This German girl group started their career through Popstars in 2001.

A mix of new...

In 2006 the German model Heidi Klum launched the show Germany's next Topmodel, which has gained mixed reviews. It has been harshly criticised for promoting an unhealthy image of girls and young women. But nevertheless it is highly successful and liked by German girls and boys alike.

A relatively new show is Schlag den Raab ('Beat Raab') which has been created by entertainer and comedian Stefan Raab. A contestant competes with multitalented Stefan Raab in several sporting games with the chance of winning 500,000 Euro or more.

...and traditional formats

A show that still draws in high quotas and has been watched by generations of German families is Wetten dass ...? ('Wanna Bet…?'), hosted by Thomas Gottschalk. International and national celebrities engage in unusual bets and have to clear their betting debts during the show. The first episode was shown in 1981.

Soap operas play an integral part in German TV as well. Almost every TV channel has its own soap opera – some more successful than others. The most popular one is Gute Zeiten Schlechte Zeiten ('Good times, bad times') which is set in Berlin and is just known as GZSZ among German teenagers.

However, young people in Germany like to watch the same series as their British pals, for example Gossip Girl, Heroes, Greys Anatomy, Gilmore Girls or Hanna Montana.