ZDF Studios to globally distribute "Housemates – Vacation Without Parents"

The award-winning children’s series has been airing on Germany’s popular KiKA channel since 2009.

13 JUL 2023

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ZDF Studios has secured international format distribution rights for "Housemates – Vacation Without Parents." "Zonder Ouders op Vakantie (ZOOV) is the Dutch version of Housemates - Vacation without Parents," Lisa Boersen, Head of Children's department NTR - Public Television in the Netherlands, said.

"Housemates – Vacation Without Parents" has been airing on Germany’s popular KiKA channel since 2009.  The reality series ranks as ZDF Mediathek’s most watched children’s program and has amassed an enormous fan community on social media sites such as TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. The show has achieved the status of a true evergreen on German TV by now. The boys edition of "Housemates – Vacation Without Parents" has accumulated over 140 episodes in 8 seasons, while the girls edition now has more than 130 episodes in 7 seasons. In addition, several specials, spin-offs, and brand extensions have taken the franchise to even higher levels. “'Housemates – Vacation Without Parents' is captivating for young viewers because they get to see their peers in a unique set-up," Jan-Frederik Maul, Director Junior, ZDF Studios said. "Getting in the shoes of an adult for a limited amount of time with both its freedom and responsibilities is a unique experience for the protagonists and viewers."

"Housemates – Vacation Without Parents" has been recognized by a German TV award Grimme Preis, the Golden Sparrow Award and was nominated for the Prix Jeunesse. Last year both Belgium (VRT MAX) and the Netherlands (NTR) launched their own versions of the show. In Germany, FUNK, the public service channel for young adults, aired the special series "Housemates – the Reunion" on the 10th anniversary of the “Housemates” living together. "The success of the format is partly based on the fact that the young viewers can identify with the cast and project themselves into the situation of living together with the Housemates," Maul said.

The title follows a group of five girls and/or 5 boys on the threshold of adulthood whose dream has come true when they are invited to spend 3 weeks without their parents in a luxurious villa in a beautiful spot somewhere in Europe. During their time together not only do they have lots of fun and make strong friendships but, for the first time, they must take responsibility for their everyday lives. Household chores such as cooking, cleaning and doing the laundry come into play as well as general activities like shopping or visiting a hairdresser.

The children also learn and gain new experiences, such as ice hockey training, attending a cooking school, and doing a one-day internship in a retirement home. "It is wonderful to see how during the trip, the young teenagers not only get to know each other, but also themselves," Boersen said. "By taking on challenges and overcoming fears, they realize that they can already do a lot on their own, but may still have some things to learn."

'Housemates – Vacation Without Parents' is captivating for young viewers because they get to see their peers in a unique set-up.” Jan-Frederik Maul Director Junior, ZDF Studios