MIPCOM 2022: ZDF Studios unveils new slate of content

The list of titles features dramas, nature series, and a quiz shows, including "War Gamers," "Quiz Hunt," and season 4 of "The Crimson Rivers," among various others.


ZDF Studios recently detailed its new slate of content for this year's Mipcom event, scheduled to take place in Cannes. The new catalog features dramas, nature series, and a quiz show format. “I’m very much looking forward to MIPCOM, which promises to be a very busy market with an impressive number of international participants," Markus Schäfer, President and CEO, ZDF Studios, said. "The range and quality of new programming that we’ll be showcasing in Cannes is a result of the great partnerships we have with top-class producers both in the global market and within the ZDF Studios group. All of them have worked with such skill and diligence to produce engaging and entertaining content. We are delighted to be able to work with such a large pool of outstanding creative talents."

The company will also soon host its International Launch Screening for its blue-chip natural history series "Africa from Above" in Auditorium A at the Palais des Festivals on Monday, 17th October at 16.15. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Ralf, Rueckauer, ZDF Studios’ VP Unscripted, and executives from Off the Fence, UKTV/BBC Studios, ARTE, and ZDF, freeing the stand for delegates to discuss the series, as well as a case study session for "Naked - Generation Gender.”

The drama slate features "Boundless - Magellan’s and Elcano’s Journey to the Edge of the Earth." Directed by Simon West, it tells the story of Juan Sebastián Elcano and Ferdinand Magellan and their voyage 500 years ago in pursuit of the mythical Spice Islands. With five Spanish ships and 265 men, they endured unimaginable suffering; starvation, death, punishing weather, mutinies, and madness. Their odyssey to the earth’s unknown ends established that the world was, indeed, round and that an ocean route west did exist. Produced by Mono Films in coproduction with Fulwell 73 Productions, in association with RTVE, in collaboration with Prime Video, in cooperation with ZDF Studios.

In the dark thriller category, "Clean Sweep " shows Irish actress Charlene McKenna as Shelly Mohan, a housewife and mother of three married to a Garda detective, who kills her former partner-in-crime when he threatens to expose her dark past. With her unsuspecting husband hunting for the killer, Shelly must cope with the pressures of the tightening noose and caring for an ailing son in this compelling and relentless story of mothering and the price paid for long-buried sins. Produced by ShinAwiL & Incendo. Joining the title is "The Crimson Rivers S4," now in season four, is set in a world full of gruesome criminal cases, sadistic killers, creepy rituals, and mysterious incidents. The remake of the bestseller from cult writer Jean-Christophe Grangé remains true to the original screenplay of the year 2000's box-office hit starring Jean Reno. The series follows detective Pierre Niémans (brilliantly portrayed by Olivier Marchal) and his new partner Camille Delauney as they investigate a series of bizarre crimes in remote regions of France. Produced by Storia Television in co-production with MAZE PICTURES for France Télévisions and ZDF in cooperation with ZDF Enterprises.

Unscripted titles heading to MIPCOM include the breathtaking nature series "Africa from Above" (10 x 50’) which will have its first international screening during the market (17th Oct, 16.15 in Audi A). Showing a fresh perspective of the continent, each episode takes viewers on a spectacular aerial adventure, soaring over natural wonders and diverse habitats. From the air, we gain fresh insight into the wild animals who have adapted to flourish in sometimes inhospitable surroundings and celebrate the people who live and work in the vibrant cities and deep in the African bush. An uplifting and visually captivating series that shows the remarkable diversity of the continent. Produced by Off the Fence for ZDF Studios, in association with ZDF, Arte, ORF and UKTV.

Also making the list is "Surviving Hothouse Earth," which explores how humanity is determining the changes in Earth’s climate. Many scientists assume that our Earth could be headed for a new hothouse period. The series investigates our planet’s distant past to understand its present and unravel our future. Experts are looking at previous hot periods in Earth’s history to find clues to how we could survive in the future. Produced by Bilderfest Factual Entertainment for ZDF in association with Arte and ZDF Studios 

"War Gamers," a new history title, takes viewers back in time to WWII. U-boat attacks have reduced Britain's supply line from the United States to a trickle. If Britain runs out of supplies, it will lose the war. A Royal Navy captain, talented in recruiting and training war gamers, with no men available, chooses a team of women - all members of the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRENS) to unpick the German U-boat strategy. Together these WRENS, who have never been to sea, devise tactics to defeat them. Their story has never been told until now. Produced by World Media Rights for Curiosity Stream, in association with ZDF Studios.  

"Quiz Hunt" is a human sized board game that has the two contestants trying to outmanoeuvre each other by taking risks to advance themselves or move their opponent back a certain number of fields. There can only be one winner - and this person becomes the hunted in the next round.  This addictive game show is the ideal format, with a proven track record in a daily pre-prime time slot having quadrupled its market share within three years. Produced by Interspot Film for Servus TV. "Naked - Generation Gender " raises big questions of how our biological sexes and assigned genders affect humanity and seeks answers in lived realities and current research from around the world. This fascinating science series will be presented as a non-scripted case study at MIPCOM on Wednesday, October 19 at 14.30 (Seaview Producer’s Hub, Riviera 9). The session will be hosted by Peter Hamilton from Documentary Business with panellists Kay Siering (SPIEGEL TV), Michael McMahon (Primitive Entertainment) and Ralf Rueckauer (ZDF Studios).

Lastly, the catalog also inlcudes three new animated series, Grisù, Törtle and Mimo & Leva - "Back to the Bronze Age." Produced by MondoTV and Toon2Tango, "Grisù" also forms part of the catalog, following a small dragon who dreams of becoming a firefighter. Even if there’s no job available at the fire station, he is always ready to help! He travels the world to accomplish his missions because Firefighters never give up! Dragons breathe fire! Unfortunately, all positions are filled when he visits the fire chief… However, the chief finds him a role. The small dragon puffs out his chest – “I’m always ready!” – and helps out as a shepherd, cook, florist, archaeologist, pilot or even a sailor.

Produced by Caligari Film and Traffix Entertainment, "Törtle" lives in a tranquil little town on Muddle Lake, where wild animals come into conflict with the residents and their pets. Törtle grew up in a pet store where he has had plenty of time to closely observe people and animals whether they are pets or wild and understands their behaviour. He finds solutions that you wouldn’t expect from such a slow creature and in every episode Törtle gets caught up in the culture clash between humans and animals but always emerges as the unexpected hero. .""Mimo & Leva - Back to the Bronze Age" is the story of two youngsters whose paths are predetermined - Mimo is to become chief of the village one day while Leva must remain decorous. BUT the two of them have different plans. Their shenanigans with other children in the village, while leaving the adults bemused, has them experiencing exciting adventures, overcoming traditions and forgoing their own futures. Produced by Mideu Films GmbH.