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Erinnert ihr euch an meinen ersten Blogpost? Back in Dezember, I wrote about the season premiere of the new German TV show Neo Magazin mit Jan Böhmermann. Things started off with a bang with an amazing musical number, and the episodes to follow did not disappoint (all episodes are archived and viewable at the ZDF Mediathek). For the final episode of the groundbreaking first season, Jan and co. pulled off a stunt to keep people talking about the show during its well-deserved Sommerpause.
“Es gibt im deutschen Fernsehen viele Sendungen, denen es nicht so gut geht…”
In the following clip from last week’s season finale, Jan begins by explaining how in the world of German television there are many shows that aren’t doing so well. He then introduces a new element to the show to join bits like “Prism is a Dancer” and (my favorite) “Das Digitale Quartett” – the Neo Magazin Fernsehnothilfe, or, Television Emergency Relief. His chosen beneficiary for the first installment of Fernsehnothilfe? None other than German television titan Stefan Raab. Herr Raab is host of the ever popular talk show TV Total, which Jan claims has been on so long that the producers are in need of assistance to keep things fresh after being on the air for fifteen years. And so in order to give the TV Total production team something to talk about, he digs up evidence of Chinese plagiary of Raab’s show… or does he?
As you can see, Stefan Raab is convinced that a Chinese TV show stole TV Total’s game segment “Blamieren oder Kassieren” (approx. “Disgrace or Cash-in”). “Wusstest du, dass das, was wir machen hier, zum Teil um den Globus geht, ohne dass wir ein einziges Mal gefragt werden?” – “Did you know that what we do here sometimes goes around the globe, without us being asked a single time?” – He goes on to show the TV Total audience the clip of the Chinese ripoff, shocked by their audacity.
Only then does Herr Böhmermann reveal that the entire plagiarism was in fact pulled off by his team at Neo Magazin. “In China kennt euch leider keine Sau” – “Unfortunately nobody in China knows who you are”. Beginning at 5:26, we see a “making of”, which illustrates how the Chinese production was actually made in front of a green screen in Cologne.
“Wir wollen einfach, dass unsere Ideen ins große Fernsehen kommen. Wenn schon die Sendung bei Neo bleibt, dann sollen die Ideen wenigstens strahlen, über Neo hinaus.”
Just like with the series’s opening musical number, much of Neo Magazin’s first season has been devoted to playful self-deprecation of its belonging to the “Spartensender” channel ZDF Neo. As Jan ironically explains in the quote above, the program should not limit its ambition by only producing content for its own show. If it needs to send in a trojan horse to get on channels with higher viewership like TV Total’s home ProSieben, then that’s just what they need to do. And it seems to have worked! The final episode of the season was viewed by three times as many people as any other episode, and next week Neo Magazin will be decorated with a Grimme Preis, a prestigious award in German television. Gut gemacht!
Was meint ihr? Were you able to follow along with the video?