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Gripping hostage drama “54 Hours” draws in younger audiences

Mar 09 2018

Munich, 9 March 2018. 30 years ago, in August 1988, a bank robbery in Western Germany turned into a 54–hour long, dramatic public ordeal, leaving two teenagers dead in front of the cameras of the world’s media. Ziegler Film (Weissensee) and ARD recount this drama, described by the media as “one of the most spectacular and dramatic crimes in German post-WWII history” (SWR), and with extraordinary success of over nine million viewers on both nights. The first episode alone attracted more than 1.7 million younger viewers with a market share of 15 percent, doubling the normal average among the group of 14–49 years. In all, 54 hours reached a prime-time winning market share of up to 15.3 percent, the best numbers the broadcaster has reached within four years at its Wednesday night slot.

54 hours (four hours) spearheads Beta Film’s MIPTV lineup of 250 hours high-quality fictional content from all over the world. The broadcast on public channel ARD was flanked by huge media coverage. Germany’s biggest tabloid BILD called it “A Masterpiece! One of the best German mini-series of the last few years,” the prestigious broadsheet Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described 54 hours as “captivating television, engrossing the viewer from the first to the last agonizing minute”.