The BEST ZDF shows of all time

Every ZDF show, ranked

We've compiled the average episode rating for every ZDF show to compile this list of best shows!

Die Anstalt
59 votes

#1 - Die Anstalt

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Shades of Guilt
53 votes

#2 - Shades of Guilt

In the final analysis, it all comes down to guilt. Different shades of guilt that one assumes in a single moment of thoughtlessness, or in months of planning. Defense Attorney Friedrich Kronberg knows that he must try to tip the scale in favor of the defendant, no matter how guilty the defendant is. He probes a model young couple accused of having committed a murder 19 years earlier and who would rather die than go to jail... boarding-school teens whose hazing of a fellow student nearly turns fatal... a group of men who savagely raped a young woman yet must be let off free.. a man who tells his wife that he is going to sexually abuse their daughter and is then found dead... Crimes that are never what they seem to be and are never black and white.

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570 votes

#3 - heute-show

As a German adaption of 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' Oliver Welke and his team report on political topics as well as international news giving them their own satirical, comedic twist.

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Maya the Bee (2013)
253 votes

#4 - Maya the Bee (2013)

A young bee named Maya leaves her hive to discover the beauty and mysteries of nature, making new insect friends along the way.

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Frag den Lesch
214 votes

#5 - Frag den Lesch

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Die Rosenheim Cops
438 votes

#6 - Die Rosenheim Cops

The Rosenheim cops were originally Kriminalhauptkommissar Ulrich Satori (Markus Böker) and Kriminalhauptkommissar Korbinian Hofer (Joseph Hannesschläger). Korbinian Hofer also runs a farm with his sister Marie Hofer (Karin Thaler). Marie Hofer was later elected to the city council. Her work as a local politician brings her since then often in contact with the superiors of her brother. So was Criminal Director Dr. Heppt also a colleague in the culture committee. His successor KD Achtziger takes over honorary leadership of a music school and likes to write his speeches from Marie Hofer. On the other hand, her activities leave her less time for the farm work. As a result, Chief Commissioner Hofer faces the constant difficulty of reconciling his duties as a civil servant and a farmer. (Wiki)

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Ijon Tichy: Raumpilot
278 votes

#7 - Ijon Tichy: Raumpilot

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35 votes
Generation War
612 votes

#9 - Generation War

Generation War: Our Mothers, Our Fathers. The story of five German friends in the years from 1941 to 1945. Their friendship was meant to last their whole lives, but the war changed everything.

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Mia and Me
279 votes

#10 - Mia and Me

Mia is an awkward 12-year-old who recently arrived at a new boarding school, where she is given a book and bracelet that are more than they appear to be on the surface. The items have the power to transport Mia to a magical storybook world, Centopia, where she becomes a flying elf who has the ability to talk to unicorns. In Centopia, Mia is given the task of saving the land's unicorns from an evil queen. Helping her in that mission are her new friends, elven warriors Mo -- the son of elven King Raynor -- and Yuko, who has been chosen as a protector of the unicorns.

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369 votes

#11 - Derrick

"Harry, fahr den Wagen vor." One of the most popular murder mystery series of Germany from the 70s to the 90s. With Horst Tappert as Oberinspektor Stephan Derrick and Fritz Wepper as his assistant, Inspektor Harry Klein.

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Ku'damm 56
143 votes

#12 - Ku'damm 56

Ku'damm 56 is a drama miniseries which tells the story of the family Schöllack in Berlin, Germany in the 1950s. Caterina Schöllack runs a prestigious dance school in Berlin. Her main concerns are marrying off her three daughters--Monika, Eva, and Helga--to wealthy or well-established gentlemen and keeping the traditions in her dance school 'Galant'. But one daughter, Monika, struggles with adulthood and her role as a woman in this time; she is fascinated by a whole new world with quiffs, leather jackets, petticoats and American rock'n'roll.

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Notruf Hafenkante
161 votes

#13 - Notruf Hafenkante

Notruf Hafenkante plays in the Hamburg Police Department 21 (PK 21). Several events are processed in a sequence. It can be about kidnapping a child or about theft. The police officers work closely with the doctors at the Elbkrankenhaus (EKH), as their cases are linked there again and again. Head of the Police Senior Counselor Wolf Haller and his team carry out the police investigative work; Dr. Jasmin Jonas, the niece of the former district manager, Chief Police Officer Martin Berger, and her colleagues provide medical help, regardless of whether they are victims or perpetrators. Overall, Notruf Hafenkante is about an entanglement of two different and yet close working days and the private life of the rescuers.

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Hotel Adlon: A Family Saga
222 votes

#14 - Hotel Adlon: A Family Saga

Hotel Adlon: A Family Saga - It's where commerce and politics meet money and glamour, and where sin can count on discretion – the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, one of the grandest of the world's grand hotels. This is the story of a vision made reality, a family saga inspired by the events that marked the first 90 years of Germany's most extraordinary hotel. It begins with the birth of Sonja, whose life will be inextricably bound up with the Adlon's fate. The tragedies to come are heralded by the dark secret surrounding Sonja's origins. Financial problems soon plague the hotel, and the Kaiser ends his patronage after abdicating. Louis Adlon and his father Lorenz continue to prize their independence, and Louis' new wife Hedda proves to have an uncanny business sense, organizing spectacular balls and other lucrative events in the Roaring Twenties. It is in the lobby of the hotel that has become her home that Sonja meets Julian, a Jewish musician, and falls in love with him. But it is now the late 1930s, and Julian must flee, with their little daughter. A new period of sorrow and suffering begins, as Sonja steadfastly guides the Adlon through the war and post-war years, while burning to know what has happened to Julian and her daughter...

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Morgen hör ich auf
286 votes

#15 - Morgen hör ich auf

Auf den ersten Blick wirken die Lehmanns wie eine ganz normale Familie: Vater Jochen (Bastian Pastewka) besitzt eine Druckerei im beschaulichen Bad Nauheim, die er von seinem Schwiegervater geerbt hat, seine Frau Julia jobbt in der Boutique ihrer besten Freundin. Sie haben drei Kinder - zwei Pubertierende und ein Nesthäkchen. Doch wer näher hinguckt, erkennt: Hinter der Fassade bröckelt es gewaltig, die Lehmanns sind komplett pleite, die Druckerei hat schon lange keine Aufträge mehr. Jochen trifft daraufhin die Entscheidung, Geld zu drucken, um seine Schulden begleichen zu können – und stürzt seine Familie damit ins totale Chaos. "Morgen hör ich auf" dokumentiert Familienleben in der Abwärtsspirale.

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The Love Boat (DE)
233 votes

#16 - The Love Boat (DE)

The Crew of a luxury liner brighten their passengers' cruises to the most beautiful holiday destinations in the world, while family and love stories take place on board.

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Tannbach - Fate of a Village
93 votes

#17 - Tannbach - Fate of a Village

Tannbach attempts to encompass the history of divided Germany in the years following the Second World War by dramatising the fate of the inhabitants of a small village on the border between the two Germanys.

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ZDF Magazin Royale
45 votes

#18 - ZDF Magazin Royale

Jan Böhmermann welcomes you to his new late-night satire in the main program. He sparks debates, welcomes contentious guests to the studio and plays music with the Rundfunk-Tanzorchester Ehrenfeld.

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Familie Braun
94 votes

#19 - Familie Braun

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The Germans
170 votes

#20 - The Germans

Each episode recounts a selected epoch of German history. Historical events are recreated through a combination of live action scenes and computer generated animations. The series was filmed at over 200 different locations in Germany, Malta, and Romania at a cost of approximately €500,000 per episode.

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Vicky the Viking
350 votes

#21 - Vicky the Viking

To help his son be a little more courageous Halvar, chief of the Vikings, takes Vicky on adventures to experience what is to be a real Viking.

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Merz versus Merz
47 votes

#22 - Merz versus Merz

This long-married couple's relationship has waned, but breaking up is hard to do, thanks to a demanding family and business.

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Professor T. (DE)
63 votes

#23 - Professor T. (DE)

About a man who, in his own words, is not Sherlock Holmes - but a scientist. German adaptation of the 2015 Flemish Belgian series.

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Maya the Bee
539 votes

#24 - Maya the Bee

The story of a young honeybee named Maya and her adventures.

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The Black Forest Hospital
90 votes

#25 - The Black Forest Hospital

Against the background of one of today's most up-to-date hospitals in Germany's spectacular Black Forest, the working and private lives of the patients and staff are played out in a riveting human drama.

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The Palace (2021)
26 votes

#26 - The Palace (2021)

The focus of the German-German family history are the twin sisters Chris and Marlene, who met for the first time in their lives at the end of the 1980s. This fateful encounter between the two women not only conjures up their own dreams, wishes and hopes, but also the desire to enjoy life beyond all outer and inner walls. For the first time ever, Berlin's Friedrichstadt-Palast is the setting for a fictional series. (Text: GR)

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The Same Sky
91 votes

#27 - The Same Sky

Lars is a "Romeo agent" from East Germany in the 1970s. His task is to go West, first to seduce and then to spy on Western women who worked in government or defense institutions.

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191 votes

#28 - Shadowplay

In 1946 Berlin, an American cop searches for his missing brother while helping a novice German policewoman fight the violent crimes engulfing the city.

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27 votes

#29 - Verbrechen

The most peculiar and crazy stories and cases defense attorney Friedrich Leonhard has to offer.

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The Swarm
341 votes

#30 - The Swarm

The global environmental thriller is set in the present day, where anomalies and unnatural behavior in marine animals are causing upheaval all over the world. The Swarm follows a global group of scientists who come together to tackle one of the biggest challenges mankind has ever faced. They make the chilling discovery that deep at the bottom of the sea resides a collective intelligence which has suffered the ravages of civilization on its habitat - and decided to fight back.

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