27/04/2020, Potsdam / Cologne
The TV series “Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten” has been on air on RTL for 27 years now. On April 29, the 7,000th episode of the format produced by UFA Serial Drama will be broadcast – in feature length to mark the occasion. This new milestone makes GZSZ the longest running daily soap on German television.
It feels like no time at all since UFA Serial Drama and RTL celebrated the 5,000th and 6,000th episodes of Germany’s most popular daily soap – and now the 7,000th episode is already approaching fast: On Wednesday, April 29, RTL will air the next milestone episode of the TV series “Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten,” or “GZSZ,” produced by UFA Serial Drama for RTL, as a feature-length special; it will be followed by a “GZSZ” documentary. No other German TV series has had more episodes. Even the current coronavirus pandemic cannot change that: After a short break over Easter, UFA Serial Drama recently resumed filming in compliance with strict hygiene measures, to ensure that there is no interruption to the daily broadcasts.
“To keep telling captivating stories while also addressing socially relevant issues – that is the strength of this format,” says UFA CEO Nico Hofmann. “‘GZSZ’ has not only managed to thrill an audience of millions every evening for 7,000 episodes over 27 years now, but has also taken a stand on many issues. I would like to extend a big and heartfelt thank-you to everyone involved in front of and behind the camera – and especially to Christiane Ghosh and RTL as well as our producer Petra Kolle. The fact that UFA produces the longest-running daily soap on German TV together with RTL really fills me with pride.”
Joachim Kosack, Managing Director of UFA and UFA Serial Drama, adds: “‘GZSZ’ has been part of German television history for many years. The daily series remains true to its great strength of emotional storytelling, yet always manages to reinvent itself. This tremendous accomplishment is owed to a passionate team in front of and behind the camera, to whom I would like to express my greatest thanks.”
And Jörg Graf, Managing Director of RTL, explains: “‘GZSZ’ is RTL, and RTL is ‘GZSZ’. What other program reaches so many people every day, and what other program has been so incredibly successful worldwide for so many years? I take my hat off to the extraordinary ‘GZSZ’ team – in front of and behind the camera! Congratulations on the anniversary episode no. 7,000!”
Surprise guest on Fuerteventura
Part of the production team had travelled to Fuerteventura with the four actresses Maria Wedig, Eva Mona Rodekirchen, Gisa Zach and Ulrike Frank for the special anniversary episode – back in February, before the coronavirus pandemic outbreak in Germany – while filming also continued in Babelsberg.
“GZSZ produces 250 episodes of very successful TV drama every year,” says GZSZ producer Petra Kolle, highlighting the immense workload that goes into the TV series. “That alone is a feat of skill at a level few are capable of. How the team manages to put together a primetime special in Spain, on top of this and at the same time, is sensational. Especially when, with all the stress, they never stop having fun with their work!” In the anniversary episode, girlfriends friends Nina, Maren and Yvonne are eagerly looking forward to their holiday together – never suspecting that they will be caught unawares by a surprise guest just before leaving. Still, the friends refuse to let this spoil their fun. Joyfully, they embark on a luxurious holiday on Fuerteventura, but paradise turns out to have unforeseen dark sides …