23 MAR 2021


Commissioned by ZDF for their top rating Terra X slot, production on "One Day in..." begins this month with delivery expected in autumn.


Ralf Rueckauer, Vice President ZDFE.unscripted, ZDF Enterprises


ZDF Enterprises has secured global distribution rights from Story House Productions for their new three-part documentary "One Day in..." (3 x 50’).  The unique series explores a day in the life of ordinary people living in three different, fascinating historical settings. Commissioned by ZDF for their top rating Terra X slot, production on "One Day in..." begins this month with delivery expected in autumn. ZDF Enterprises has a long-standing relationship with Story House Productions having distributed numerous factual titles for them such as "History of Weapons", "Myths - The Greatest Mysteries of Humanity", "World War A - When Aliens Attack" and "How Climate Made History".

Ralf Rueckauer, Vice President ZDFE.unscripted, ZDF Enterprises, said: “This series presents an exciting concept. Viewers will be taken on a journey into the past, not to see how kings or rulers lived, but to experience the life of a common person. And it will throw up some surprises along the way as we see striking differences and parallels to our modern lives.”

Going back in time to a castle in the High Middle Ages, New York at the height of industrialization, and Dresden in the post-war era, the series tells the story of everyday life in three diverse settings. High-end CGI, in-depth research, and superb dramatic reenactments, featuring a cast of well-known actors from international successes such as Paul Lux (Dark, Babylon Berlin), Leon Blaschke (The Boat, Perfume, The Wall between us), and Henrike von Kuick (Baader-Meinhoff-Complex), make the stories come alive. Top experts such as David Huyssen, a Senior Lecturer in American History, and Dr. Katherine Lloyd (Lecturer, Museum Studies), are interviewed in the series giving valuable insight into the daily life of a common citizen in these historical times.

"One Day at the Castle…" follows the life of a young knight in 1194 and leads us into the microcosm of a castle. Ulrich von Münzenberg’s job is to collect taxes, oversee squire training and the water supply but he dreams of joining the crusade. As a second-born, advancement is bleak but he spots an opportunity when the Hohenstaufen king, Henry VI, is expected for one of his regular visits. His family, of lower nobility, transform the castle for their royal visitor, an enormous task for all the inhabitants. But, if they are successful hosts they can secure privileges that will change their lives for generations to come.

The second part of the show is "One Day in New York" and it is 1889. A young German migrant, Johannes Schmidt, arrives in the city like millions of others to start a new and better life. However,  everyday existence here turns out to be hard and ruthless and the reality is segregation rather than a melting pot. Johannes's ambition is to take advantage of inexpensive schooling and become a lawyer. As a paralegal, he finds himself navigating two worlds, his neighborhood where most flats don’t have windows and the mansions and shopping palaces of the rich. Most soul-destroying though is realizing that he must get involved with New York’s underworld in order to make his dream come true.

Finally, "One Day in Dresden" sees refugee Ida Mayer struggling to survive in the city in 1946. Dresden, having suffered devastating destruction from the Second World War, is where over 15 million people fled in the spring of 1945 to escape the Red Army. Ida’s life is a daily struggle in the ruins of this once beautiful city. To support her family, the former music teacher works as a ‘rubble woman’ but there is a glimmer of hope. A concert during the long, dreary winter offers her an opportunity to return to her profession.