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ZDF / Gruppe 5 documentary "The History of the Oceans" rates well on National Geographic Channel US

ZDF Enterprises in charge of distribution of 3-part documentary based on book by Frank Schätzing

Mainz, 29th September 2010

The 3-part documentary "The History of the Oceans" performed well in the ratings on National Geographic Channel US (NGC). Steve Burns, EVP Content at NGC says: "The program looked beautiful on the air and performed well in the ratings. I have received many compliments from top executives at the National Geographic Society who appreciate how well it dovetails with the Society's Oceans Initiative Project, a five year effort to stop over fishing. Executives at Fox are equally pleased to be associated with the film. The spectacular photography, cutting edge research aboard the Meteor and other ships, dynamic CGI and feature film quality dramatizations all contribute to a rich and emotional tapestry about our planet's most important feature. I am so proud to have this program on the channel. It will inspire viewers for years to come."

Based on the non-fiction book "News from an Unknown Universe" by internationally bestselling author Frank Schätzing, the spectacular documentary was produced by Gruppe 5, a production company within the ZDF Enterprises group of companies, for ZDF and co-produced by ARTE. It was Peter Arens, Head of ZDF's Department of Culture and Science, who initiated the production of a 3-parter on the history of the oceans as a follow-up project to the "Update – The World in 50 Years", an internationally very successful documentary in three parts, which was also based on the books by Frank Schätzing and produced by Gruppe 5 as well.

The 3-parter has recently also been sold to Japan's NHK and several other deals are being signed at the moment.

"The History of the Oceans" tells the fascinating story of the oceans, starting 4 billion years ago when the first water came to our planet, until today. It presents new theories about the origin of the oceans, evolutionary facts and details about the long chain of life in the world of water and give an idea of what profound implications they will have on our own species.

In this three-part documentary the audience embarks upon a breathtaking journey through time and space to explore the secrets of the world's oceans. We are in the front row when researchers illuminate mysteries surrounding the evolution of the oceans and how life in the deep was able to develop. With cutting edge computer animations Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion brings prehistoric creatures back to life and reveal the truth behind myths and legends. In photorealistic sequences they show how scientists imagine the past and the future of the seas.

Alexander Coridass, President and CEO of ZDF Enterprises confirms: "This production is just another example of the unparalleled creativity and production quality of Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion. Programs produced by Gruppe 5 have become a brand and are appreciated by audiences all over the world. We are proud that this great company is part of the ZDF Enterprises-group."

Uwe Kersken, Managing Director of Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion and Executive Producer of all films, adds: "This is not just another film about the oceans. In combining natural history, history and science, Gruppe 5 created a never before seen big picture of the oceans: Where did the seas come from, how did they change and how the marine creatures evolved over millions of years? Just like time travelers we are watching these creatures when they fight their eternal battle for survival. State of the art animations allows the viewer to witness when the very first ocean was created, when the moon came to life due to the impact of a huge asteroid. We see how the mid-Atlantic ridge is formed, when the dam between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean breaks to refill the once dried out sea as it happened millions of years ago."


**About Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion**
The Cologne based Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion GmbH was founded at the end of 1989. Shareholders are ZDF Enterprises, Studio Hamburg Produktion, Christel Fomm and Uwe Kersken, who is the Managing Director of Gruppe 5 and the Executive Producer of all films and series which are co-produced with international partners. Uwe Kersken was born in 1949. He is a licensed psychotherapist, since 1985 he is a TV-producer, author and director with emphasis on history, science, wildlife and nature programs for the German and international TV market. Since 2006 he is member of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and currently, already for the third time, he has been elected a member of the Steering Committee of the World Congress of Science and Factual Producers. His credits include programs such as "Harpy" (The Spirit of the Kamuku Tree), "The American Travels of Alexander von Humboldt", "Dead Men Tell Tales" (The History of Forensic Medicine), "Storm over Europe" (The Wandering Tribes), "Masters of Life and Death (Medicine in the Third Reich)", "Ways out of Darkness" (Europe in the Middle Ages), "The Day X" (Days that changed the World). Recently produced are e. g. the following programmes: "The Germanic Tribes", "Update 2057" (The World in 50 Years), "Supercomet – After the Impact", and "Welcome to China" (including "China's Forbidden City", "China's Great Wall", "Secrets of the First Emperor", "The Glass Mountain -The Secret of Zhao Ling"), "The History of the Germans", "Welcome to India", "The Varus Battle", "1492 – America before Columbus", "The History of South Africa", "The History of the Oceans" and "German Icons". All programs are productions for German Public TV stations such as ZDF / ZDF Enterprises, and for or in association with international partners such as ARTE, Canal+, Docstar, Explore, France 5, BBC, Granada, RTE, S4C, ORF, TVE, Mediaset, NHK, Discovery, Discovery International, Science Channel, History Channel, National Geographic Channel US, National Geographic Channels International, Smithsonian Channel, HBO, RAI, SBS, CCTV and others.

**Contact Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion**
Gruppe 5 Filmproduktion GmbH, Kartäuserwall 19 - 21, D-50678 Köln/Cologne, Phone +49 221 946 7070, Fax +49 221 946 707, e-mail: []


**About Frank Schaetzing**
Frank Schaetzing is the author of the international bestseller "The Swarm". He studied communication and marketing, learned to play the piano and the guitar, played in several bands and started to work as a writer in an advertising agency. In the nineties, he founded his own advertising agency in Cologne together with friends and worked as the creative director for fifteen years. Alongside, he started to write down his inner movies (influenced especially by Stanley Kubrick's films) and published his first novel "Tod und Teufel" ("Death and the Devil"), a novel from the medieval times, which became an instant bestseller. Further novels followed. The bestselling novel "Der Schwarm" ("The Swarm") was his international breakthrough in 2004. It was translated into 27 languages. A winner of the Köln Literatur Prize, the Corine Award, and the German Science Fiction Award, Schatzing lives and works in Cologne, Germany.


**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