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ZDF Enterprises acquires exclusive distribution rights to new true crime docuseries “Deep Undercover”

Joe Pistone (aka Donnie Brasco) presents exciting details from global undercover operations involving real agents

Mainz, 30th June 2016

ZDF Enterprises has acquired the exclusive distribution rights to the new US true crime docuseries “Deep Undercover” in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The docuseries is also meeting with great interest internationally and has been sold to broadcasters in the UK, France and Germany.

In the new series, co-produced by Televisa USA and Bellum Entertainment, the host and producer Joe Pistone (aka Donnie Brasco) presents exciting details from global undercover operations involving real agents for the first time.

“‘Deep Undercover’ fulfills all requirements of our German target audiences, and comes along at the ideal time to replenish our sizable portfolio of documentaries and factual series,” says Ralf Rückauer, Vice President of ZDFE.factual.

Sales of the docuseries that is still in production started at MIPTV 2016. Pre-sales in major international markets indicate the high level of interest we have seen in “Deep Undercover’ since we recently introduced it to the global market,” said Jonathan South, Director of Sales, Worldwide for Televisa USA. The first 30 of 52 30-minute episodes will be broadcast starting in the fall of 2016.

About the production
The producers are Mary Carole McDonnell from Bellum Entertainment, Chris Philip from Televisa USA, Peter McDonnell  and Joe Pistone (aka Donnie Brasco), a former undercover agent who serves as the show’s host.
Tapping into his vast network of contacts and unique access to highly intriguing global undercover cases throughout the underworld, Pistone helps bring to life a wealth of nail-biting stories, letting viewers hear for the first time directly from many of the agents who put their lives on the line to ensure that justice was served. “Deep Undercover” rides the TV crime wave by chronicling the stories of former undercover agents. These stories are retold in a dynamic documentary style format by the agents, experts and others interspersed with clips of historical footage, photos, audio recordings and recreations to set the tone.

About Joe Pistone
Joe Pistone is a former undercover agent turned author, executive producer and expert who came to fame after detailing his undercover infiltration in his 1988 book “Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia.” The book served as the basis for the critically acclaimed film “Donnie Brasco,” starring Johnny Depp as Pistone and Al Pacino as "Lefty" Ruggiero for whom Pistone acted as a consultant. His life was also chronicled in an episode of “FBI: The Untold Stories” and in a subsequent play based on Donnie Brasco.


About ZDF Enterprises
ZDF Enterprises was founded in 1993 as a commercial subsidiary of ZDF, one of the largest and most renowned TV broadcasters in Europe. Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, ZDF Enterprises is responsible for the worldwide sale of programs, the making of international coproductions, the acquisition of licenses as well as the merchandising of strong program brands in its own name, for the ZDF, and for third parties. ZDF Enterprises has successfully established itself as an independent market player on the German and international stage. Bound into a strong group, the company manages the largest German-language stock of programs in the world and, next to this, a continuously growing portfolio of international productions consisting of series and miniseries, TV movies, documentaries and children’s programs. In the course of the development and diversification process carried out up to now, many business fields in the television and media domains were made accessible in the ZDF Enterprises group. Thus ZDF Enterprises can provide a comprehensive, full-service offering today, and covers every step in the chain of origin and exploitation of successful TV programs, from development to production and up to the marketing of TV licenses, merchandising rights, online rights and much more.

Contact ZDF Enterprises
Christine Denilauler (Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications), ZDF Enterprises GmbH, Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1, D-55127 Mainz/Germany, Phone: +49 6131-9911130, Fax: +49 6131-9912130, e-mail:,


About Bellum Entertainment
Bellum Entertainment is an independently owned production and distribution company that specializes in development, production and distribution of TV projects for international, syndication, cable, digital and ancillary markets.  The company is currently producing ten (10) new series for the international marketplace in addition to producing nationally syndicated series including “What Went Down,” “Zoo Clues,” “Coolest Places on Earth” and “On the Spot.” Bellum Entertainment is based in Burbank, California and has a production facility in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Carrie Simons, Triple 7 Public Relations, 310.571.8217,


About Televisa USA
Televisa USA is a division of Televisa, S.A. de C.V., a subsidiary of the Mexican media and telecommunications corporation Grupo Televisa, S.A.B. the largest and most dynamic producer and distributor of Spanish-language content in the world. Televisa USA develops, finances, coproduces and distributes to the U.S. and international audiences high quality, mainstream English-language programming based on existing formats and original concepts.
The division is actively teaming with leading talent, producers, and studios and networks to create scripted and unscripted content across all genres that significantly over index the coveted American-born or English-speaking Latino audiences. Televisa USA also has access to Grupo Televisa’s enormous library, which includes many of the world’s most popular telenovelas, for adaptation in the English language as high quality productions.

Jim Benson, The Lippin Group, 323.965.1990 ext. 327,


Christine Denilauler

Christine Denilauler

Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications

+49 (0) 6131 / 991–1130
+49 (0) 6131 / 991–2130
ZDF Enterprises GmbH
Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1
55127 Mainz | Germany