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ZDF Enterprises mourns the loss of Helmut Ringelmann

Producer of "Derrick" and "Der Alte" dies at the age of 84

Mainz, 23 February 2011

ZDF Enterprises mourns the loss of Helmut Ringelmann, Germany's most successful producer of crime series. Ringelmann was responsible for long-running series such as "Siska," "Der Alte" (The Old Fox) and, above all, "Derrick," productions that stand for the international success of German TV programs. Ringelmann was 84 years old.

As a producer, Ringelmann practiced a philosophy that still applies to police thrillers today: he set up a model that placed the psychological aspect – the "Why?" – at the center of the production. The series he produced were hits in over a hundred territories, from France and Italy to Northern and Central Europe, and from the Middle East and China to Latin America.

Deeply affected by his death, Dr. Alexander Coridass, President and CEO at ZDF Enterprises, said: "Helmut Ringelmann created works that continue to set standards in TV production not only in Germany but also throughout the world. He invested all of his exceptional creativity and strength into the development and production of his series, and if ever anyone deserved the mention 'A series created by...' in the opening credits, then he. His crime series were the first German TV programs to be sold abroad in great volumes, thus paving the way for German productions on the international market. Helmut Ringelmann was also always concerned about the needs of the global market and took these needs into consideration. We had an active and regular exchange of ideas on how to achieve success on the international market. The worldwide distribution of his productions was one of the major keystones for the success of ZDF Enterprises. We lose a friend, a partner and an adviser. Our thoughts go out to his wife Evelyn Opela and his family."


About ZDF Enterprises

Founded in 1993, ZDF Enterprises GmbH is the wholly-owned subsidiary and commercial arm of ZDF German Television Network, one of Europe's largest and most respected broadcasters. Headquartered in Mainz, Germany, ZDF Enterprises is responsible for the development, production and global distribution of quality original programming. The company is also responsible for all program acquisitions and international co-productions on behalf of the network, and acquires programming for world-wide distribution. Its vast program library ranks as the largest in the German language. The extensive catalogue includes television movies and mini-series, drama series and comedies, documentaries, family entertainment and children's programming. ZDF Enterprises also oversees all licensing and merchandising activities based on its high-profile programs, including book and music publishing and the licensing of its program properties in all key product categories. Committed to the future, ZDF Enterprises has embarked on numerous New Media initiatives, ranging from opportunities within the burgeoning e-commerce industry to the creation of themed edutainment dimensions featuring the recognized program brands with which ZDF has become synonymous.

Contact ZDF Enterprises

Christine Denilauler (Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications), Erich-Dombrowski-Str. 1, D-55127 Mainz/Germany, tel.: +49 6131-9911130, fax: +49 6131-9912130, 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