Pubcasters stole the show at Germany’s 30th annual TV prizes, the country’s Emmy equivalent, leaving former ratings champion private web RTL out in the cold.

Broadcast live on Friday from Marl by pay TVer Premiere, 55 Golden prizes were presented during the two-hour ceremony.

In a move to tighten the circle of award winners, the traditional silver and bronze awards were dropped for the first time. Last year, 82 prizes were given out.

Ten of the top 15 TV show awards went to German pubcasters, the rest to foreign co-prods. Lutz Hachmeister, head of the private Adolf Grimme Institute, which presents the awards, explained the lack of honors for private stations as proof that “the quality level of commercial stations in Germany, and also internationally, needs working on.”

With one exception — the Special Honor prize — decisions are made by a jury of media journalists. Nominations are accepted either at the request of a station or according to viewer reaction. This year saw 402 noms.

Among those honored:

SHOW

“Bella Block,” ZDF. Writer/director, Max Farberbock.

SERIES OR MINISERIES

“The Big Bellheim,” ZDF. Writer/director, Dieter Wedel.

SPECIAL AWARDS

Walter Moers for idea and conception of “Kapt’n Blaubart” on WDR; Helene Guetary, Lothaire Burg for the idea conception and production of station designs at Arte.

SPECIAL HONOR

Dieter Meichsner, author and former NDR television boss, for his work in the promotion of television culture. (Award not in competition.)

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