Frank Doelger’s eco-thriller drama The Swarm has made a splash on German TV.
The eight-part series launched last night and took 6.8 million on the ZDF network after achieving more than 10 million views during its first 12 days on ZDF’s digital service, per census data from AGF in cooperation with Nielsen.
The overnights equal a 24.4% share and 11.7% of 14-49s, according to AGF in cooperation with GfK / VIDEOSCOPE 1.4.
In Austria, the show debuted on ORF with a 23% share.
The Swarm follows an unknown enemy from the depths of the sea that strikes back due to the reckless treatment of the oceans. It debuted out of competition in Berlin last month before transferring to ZDF’s streaming service.
The series, considered one of Europe’s biggest TV drama swings in some time, stars Alexander Karim (The Lawyer), Cécile de France (The New Pope), Leonie Benesch (Babylon Berlin, The Crown), Barbara Sukowa (Hannah Arendt) and Takuya Kimura (2046, I Come With The Rain).
Doelger, an exec producer on Game of Thrones oversees the series as executive producer alongside Eric Welbers.
Schwarm TV Productions, a joint venture between Intaglio Films and ndF, produces the show for for ZDF, France Télévisions, Italy’s Rai Fiction, streamer Viaplay, Hulu Japan, ORF and Switzerland’s SRF, in co-production with Bravado Fiction and Beside Production, in co-operation with ATHOS. Beta Film and ZDF Studios have been jointly handling world sales in an unusual distribution arrangement.
In Berlin last month, ZDF Studios VP of Drama Robert Franke pointed to the series as an example of a European series that is cutting through the clutter as he assessed how the market has turned from “push to pull” away from U.S. content.
“Now it’s really more about finding topics that resonate,” he added. “What I have learned talking to American producers is that they now know they have to learn what the Europeans are actually looking for. If we don’t create content that is meaningful for them, they will just spend time on Instagram.”
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