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Germany: ‘Quincy’ quintessential coroner

Mipcom 2005: Hot show

BERLIN — Coroners travel well.

“‘Quincy’ is classic, it’s cult,” says Claude Schmit, managing director of leading tyke channel Super RTL.

Glen A. Larson’s medical mystery skein, starring Jack Klugman as a crime-solving L.A. county medical examiner, premiered in 1976 as part of NBC’s Sunday Mystery Movie, rotating weekly with other dramas “Columbo,” “McCloud” and “McMillan and Wife.”

It’s not exactly kids’ stuff, so why is it airing in primetime on Germany’s top children’s channel?

“Plenty of parents continue to watch Super RTL after the children’s programming has ended,” explains Schmit. Among the web’s older series, “Quincy” remains the most popular, he adds.

Indeed, the channel airs back-to-back episodes on Wednesday nights.

“Quincy” is part of Super RTL’s new primetime lineup that also includes TV icons “Magnum P.I.” and “Simon & Simon.”

Before coming to Super RTL this year, “Quincy” ran for years in primetime on parent channel RTL Television.

Like other classic hit series that are still beloved by local viewers, including “Columbo” and “Murder, She Wrote,” “Quincy” has wide appeal among Germans who seem to prefer intelligent and non-violent sleuths who use their brains rather than brawn and bullets to solve crimes.

In fact, “Quincy” is so popular it’s also in the starting lineup of NBC Universal’s new German free-to-air TV channel Das Vierte (The Fourth), which launched Sept. 29.

Das Vierte also will air other oldies such as “Ironside” and “Knight Rider” as well as “Magnum P.I.” and “Simon & Simon.”

Schmit admits that Das Vierte may dig into Super RTL’s primetime audience, but stresses that Super RTL’s overall focus remains children’s programming.

“There’s still great interest in these classic series,” adds Wolfram Winter, managing director of NBC Universal Global Networks Deutschland.

With German TV production up, there has been a general decline of U.S. programming here. It’s a shortage NBC U is now seeking to exploit.

“We also have the advantage of representing a well-known Hollywood brand, and that’s also part of the mystique,” adds Winter.

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