Beginning of the end? Several weeks break for ARD telenovelas

Anyone who counts the ARD Dailys “Rote Rosen” and “Sturm der Liebe” as part of their television routine may experience withdrawal symptoms for some time this summer. Both formats are being paused. Corresponding information that is available to was confirmed by a spokesman for the first on Thursday. He spoke of a “short” break that will begin at the end of July. The exact timetable has apparently not yet been finalised, there is currently talk of three or four broadcast weeks in which the stories from Lüneburg and Bichlheim cannot be seen.

The fact that both series pause for a while in the summer is not new – especially in summers without major sporting events taking over the slots, there have been such pauses from time to time since the broadcast started. What is completely new, however, is that the plans are currently not going in the direction of bridging the summer break with repetitions of both formats. While the broadcaster does not yet want to officially comment on the program plans for the period from the end of July, it can be heard from Flurfunk that new formats are to be tested in the time slots at 2:10 p.m. and 3:10 p.m. This should also be seen against the background that the future of telenovelas is on the brink.

© ARD/Laurence Chaperone
Christine Strobel

As early as 2021, ARD program director Christine Strobl counted both “Red Roses” and “Storm of Love” more clearly than ever. In an interview last August, she explained that she was looking for financial solutions to extend both series, but was also already looking around for replacement programs. Such a solution was apparently found in the case of “Storm of Love” – a previous season of the series was sold to Netflix and can now be viewed there.

In December, everyone involved in the production of the series breathed a sigh of relief. Strobl confirmed that both formats had been extended again. The episodes ordered at that time will now last until late summer/autumn 2023. However, she emphasized again to what a tour de force it was. “In view of our limited resources, we have to consider whether we can still afford a fictional offer in the afternoon,” said Strobl. It is therefore quite possible that the approaching summer should provide information about how well the ARD audience can get used to other programs and other program colors in the afternoons on the first.

According to ARD, both “Red Roses” and “Storm of Love” are real hits in the ARD media library. Linearly, both series have lost viewers on a larger scale over the years. “Rote Rosen” has currently stabilized and has almost twelve percent of the total market and roughly 1.1 million viewers. The situation is similar with “Sturm der Liebe”, which entertains around 1.3 million people linearly in the current year and achieves a 12.3 percent market share.

However, the fact that the series works well online should not reassure those responsible at Bavaria Fiction and the Hamburg Serial Shipyard studio. “Both ‘Rote Rosen’ and ‘Storm of Love’ have a large fan base, which is also reflected in the strong online use. However, we will probably not reach any new target groups with either series in the media library,” said Christine Strobl half a year ago year to consider. But the program director urgently wants to reach them in order to grow online.

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