StoryScout 2024

Documentary Business

Peter Hamilton Consultants, Inc

ZDF’s Ricarda Schlosshan shares Terra X’s Programming Strategy. A Podcast from Sunny Side of the Doc

Ricarda Schlosshan is a supervising editor and commissioner for Terra X, the popular primetime documentary slot of German public broadcaster ZDF.

Ricarda described what Terra X is looking for at Sunny Side‘s Science-themed Meet The Executive session.

She shared the details of Terra X’s pipeline:

  • 45 new programs per year
  • Each film is 44 minutes, sometimes 60 minutes
  • 30 are full commissions
  • 5-7 are international coproductions
  • 7-8 are in house productions.

We are publishing Ricarda’s very informative session as a podcast, though without clips and PPTs that she presented.

Podcast: Listen to Ricarda Schlosshan

Photo: Jean-Francois Auge

More about Ricarda

“I live in Frankfurt am Main and work in Mainz, ZDF headquarters. I started my work as a journalist for the German newspaper “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. In 1996 I joined ZDF, German Public Television, where I have been working as author/producer and as supervising editor for documentary strands ever since. I started off with the department of contemporary history (“Hitlers Henchmen”, “The Germans”; “Royals dynasties” etc.), and then worked for ZDF-Zeit, a program closer to current affairs or consumer-oriented documentaries.

“Since 2013 I am with Terra X, ZDF’s 37 year old prominent prime-time slot for documentaries, mainly as a supervising editor.

“For Terra X, when I attend a documentary market like Sunny Side, I also act as commission editor (I am not the only one in my department) for this slot.

“My latest productions were:

  • “Serengeti” (an acquisition from BBC)
  • “The Fascination of Water” (a two-part scientific documentary),
  • “Lost Knowledge” (a two-part historical documentary).”

Terra X Average Audience

  • Four million viewers per week
  • 13.2% share of all viewers
  • 6.5% share of younger audiences
  • So far this year, Terra X is averaging 14% of all viewers.

Listen to all the Sunny Side Science Executive Podcasts

Learn what the buyers and funders are looking for, and how to reach them:

Sweet Spot Study 2019