Germany’s upstart 7-year-old private TV network, RTL, pushed its way to the top in the December ratings, reaching 19.4% of the country’s 34 million households.

“It’s the first time it’s happened in modern history,” said Peter Trunk, RTL’s Los Angeles rep. “It would be the equivalent if Fox had the highest market share for one month. And like Fox, RTL is the new kid on the block.”

RTL reaches 5 million fewer households than its rivals, semi-public networks ARD and ZDF, which garnered 18.8% and 18.5% respectively in December.

Trunk said “programming is basically the reason.” And while U.S. shows dubbed into German make up less than 50% of sked, RTL’s best-rated show is “Columbo.”

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