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ZDF Enterprises and production partners launch innovative documentary series “Great Inventions” at MIPdoc

Mainz, August, 19th, 2019

ZDF Enterprises, together with internationally recognised production companies, is starting a new series about the greatest inventions of mankind. There are many things in our day-to-day lives that have a long, exciting and surprising history but which we take for granted. All is revealed in this series.

“Great Inventions” will be a long-running series explaining what lies behind the inventions which we use every day, and which have shaped our world. The series shows how these breakthroughs came about, how they developed and reveals new stories about their discovery.

Production has already begun and the first 35 episodes (format for each: 50 minutes) will be gradually completed between the end of 2019 and the middle of 2020. The first commissioned producers involved in “Great Inventions” are World Media Rights, Off the Fence, doc.station and k22film. Other seasons are already planned. Rights are available for all media worldwide. ZDF Enterprises is responsible for marketing.

The subjects of the productions cover an unusually broad spectrum spanning the most diverse areas of interest. Topics range from batteries, beer, cars, combine harvesters, computer games, condoms, the fridge, glass, jeans and lasers to rollercoasters, satellites, the submarine, sun cream, the supermarket, suspension bridges, the velcro fastener and X-rays.

Ralf Rückauer, VP ZDFE.unscripted at ZDF Enterprises: “We are very proud of our collaboration with some of the greatest production companies in Europe. Here we have a new long-running series being created with a consistent look. The series talks in a modern and entertaining way about all the things that we tend to take for granted in our modern civilisation, highlighting their history and their meaning for our lives in the past, present and future.”


About Off the Fence

Off the Fence was founded in 1994 and is an independent television distribution and production company specialising in non-fiction programming for the international market. In January 2019, ZDF Enterprises GmbH acquired a 100% shareholding in Off the Fence B.V. The production company is known internationally for its commitment to high quality, integrity and innovation. Off the Fence develops, finances, produces and co-produces international non-fiction programmes in a variety of genres including natural history, science, health, adventure, history and social documentaries. Over the past ten years, the company has produced over 500 programme hours and won more than 80 awards (including nominations for two Emmys). In 2018, Off the Fence Productions was ranked 14th among independent TV production companies in the televisual survey “Production 100”.

Contact Off the Fence: Ellen Windemuth, CEO ( or Stefanie Fischer, Managing Director of Sales and Co-production (


About doc.station                                                                                                            

doc.station was founded in 1999 and is a 100% subsidiary of ZDF Enterprises. It focuses on producing non-fiction programme formats such as history and science documentaries, docu-dramas – many of them complex productions – as well as reports and nature films from across the world, entertaining docu-soap formats with a scientific or political background, political talk-shows and science magazines. Many of the reports and documentaries produced by doc.station receive nominations and awards at a range of international festivals.

Contact doc.station: Jasmin Gravenhorst, CEO at doc.station Medienproduktion GmbH, tel.: +49 40-669627-0; e-mail:


About World Media Rights

World Media Rights (WMR) is one of the most successful and long-standing producers of factual entertainment programmes for the international market. The company, founded in 2007, supplies factual TV series to more than 55 countries worldwide, which are regularly broadcast on channels and platforms such as Discovery, CCTV in China, Planete, ZDF, Foxtel, Mediaset and UKTV. It now makes Netflix Originals for Netflix in Los Angeles. It also produces successful series such as “Black Ops”, “Air Crash Confidential” and “Myth Hunters” for broadcast on US cable TV and international sale. In July 2017, ZDF Enterprises acquired a minority holding in World Media Rights.

Contact for World Media Rights: Alan Griffiths, CEO at WMR, telephone: +44 208 600 7910, e-mail:


About k22film

The production company k22film, based in Mainz, was founded in 2011 by Ralf Blasius and Wolfram Giese and has since produced, edited and facilitated films for international and German clients. The company is internationally positioned and represents the international production and distribution company Off the Fence – one of the world’s largest providers in the documentary film sector with branches in Amsterdam, London, Bristol, Singapore, New York and Los Angeles. K22film produces high-quality science and nature documentaries, image films and German versions of international documentaries. The company collaborates with outstanding specialists, be it in camera technology or in post-production, and guarantees the highest quality standards.

Contact k22film: Wolfram Giese (Managing Director), telephone: +49 6131 6961635, e-mail:


About ZDF Enterprises

ZDF Enterprises was founded in 1993 as a private subsidiary of ZDF, one of the largest and most renowned television broadcasters in Europe. Headquartered in Mainz, ZDF Enterprises is responsible for global distribution, international co-productions and licence purchasing, as well as the merchandising of strong programme brands in their own name, for ZDF and for third parties. ZDF Enterprises has successfully established itself as an independent market player on the national and international stage. In a strong alliance, the company has the largest German-speaking programme library worldwide as well as an ever-growing inventory of international productions, comprising series and mini-series, TV films, documentaries and children’s programmes. Over the course of its development and diversification process to date, the ZDF Enterprises Group has developed numerous business areas in TV and media, meaning that today, ZDF Enterprises has the means to offer a comprehensive, full service covering every step in the process of creation and utilisation of successful TV productions, from development and production to the marketing of TV licences, merchandising, online rights and much more.

Contact ZDF Enterprises: Christine Denilauler (VP Marketing and Corporate Communications), ZDF Enterprises GmbH, tel.: +49 6131-9911130, e-mail:


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