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Netflix produces first German TV series

February 25, 2016

First Amazon, now Netflix. The big names in television streaming now see Germany as an attractive place to make and market TV series. The Netflix drama is a family saga with a supernatural twist.

Chief Content Officer of Netflix Ted Sarandos (L) and the CEO of Netflix Reed Hastings, Copyright: picture-alliance/dpa/Miguel A. Lopes
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/Miguel A. Lopes

Netflix announced Wednesday (24.02.2016) that it will produce its first German-language series. It is to be a drama set in a small German town in the wake of the mysterious disappearance of two young children, which exposes the double lives and fractured relationships among four families.

In 10 hour-long episodes, the story takes on a supernatural twist that links back to the same town in 1986.

The series, entitled "Dark," will be directed by Baran bo Odar, who scored a success last year at the German box office with "Who Am I - No System is Safe," starring Tom Schilling and Elyas M'Barek, and will be produced by the team behind the 2007 Stasi spy thiller, "The Lives of Others."

Regarding the cast, Odar said, "As 'Dark' will be an ensemble mystery series, I especially look forward to discovering and working with new German talent."

The announcement is part of a $5 billion investment in programming as part of a global push for the streaming giant. The company plans to spread its subscription streaming video service to a total of 200 countries this year, essentially making it the first global Internet TV provider.

The series, which is set to be available to Netflix subscribers worldwide in 2017, will be entirely written, shot and produced in Germany. Production is to begin this year.

A few weeks ago, Netflix rival Amazon announced it was hiring German actor and director Matthias Schweighöfer for its own first original German series, called "Wanted," which would comprise six hour-long episodes.

rb/kbm (AFP, dpa)