Warner drops thalidomide drama

German DVD release canceled

Warner Home Video Germany has canceled the DVD release of pubcaster ARD’s TV two-parter “Side Effects” (Contergan — eine einzige tablette) amidst ongoing litigation regarding the film, which chronicles the thalidomide scandal.

A Warner spokeswoman declined to comment on why the title was dropped, although the litigation surrounding the film may have played a part in the decision. Warner was due to release the DVD on Nov. 9.

A district court in Hamburg is to rule in January whether the film — a fictionalized account of the thalidomide scandal of the early 1960s that resulted in birth defects in thousands of babies in Europe — violates the personal rights of actual people portrayed in the film.

“Side Effects” has been the subject of a lengthy and much publicized court battle since early 2006, when Gruenenthal, the pharmaceutical company that manufactured the drug, tried to block the film from airing on German TV. The country’s highest court ultimately greenlit the broadcast two months ago, a decision that also paved the way for international sales. That ruling does not effect the ongoing litigation in Hamburg regarding potential violation of personal rights, however.

Beta Film, which is handling domestic and international sales for the TV movie, is in negotiations with a slew of domestic home entertainment distribs eager to land the title, which last week proved a ratings bonanza for ARD.

Pic, which was produced by Cologne-based Zeitsprung Entertainment, attracted nearly 7.3 million viewers and garnered a 22.2% market share.

More TV

  • La Catedral del Mar - Diagonal

    Netflix Agrees With Atresmedia Preferential Access to Spanish TV Dramas

    Warner Home Video Germany has canceled the DVD release of pubcaster ARD’s TV two-parter “Side Effects” (Contergan — eine einzige tablette) amidst ongoing litigation regarding the film, which chronicles the thalidomide scandal. A Warner spokeswoman declined to comment on why the title was dropped, although the litigation surrounding the film may have played a part […]

  • Ron Satlof

    Ron Satlof, Veteran TV Director, Dies at 79

    Warner Home Video Germany has canceled the DVD release of pubcaster ARD’s TV two-parter “Side Effects” (Contergan — eine einzige tablette) amidst ongoing litigation regarding the film, which chronicles the thalidomide scandal. A Warner spokeswoman declined to comment on why the title was dropped, although the litigation surrounding the film may have played a part […]

  • Comic Con Hall H Panel Gender

    Comic-Con: Why Is Hall H Still Lacking in Female Panelists?

    Warner Home Video Germany has canceled the DVD release of pubcaster ARD’s TV two-parter “Side Effects” (Contergan — eine einzige tablette) amidst ongoing litigation regarding the film, which chronicles the thalidomide scandal. A Warner spokeswoman declined to comment on why the title was dropped, although the litigation surrounding the film may have played a part […]

  • Who Is America Review

    Sacha Baron Cohen's 'Who Is America?' Enjoys Solid Debut Ratings

    Warner Home Video Germany has canceled the DVD release of pubcaster ARD’s TV two-parter “Side Effects” (Contergan — eine einzige tablette) amidst ongoing litigation regarding the film, which chronicles the thalidomide scandal. A Warner spokeswoman declined to comment on why the title was dropped, although the litigation surrounding the film may have played a part […]

  • TV Ratings: 'Bachelorette' Ticks Up for

    TV Ratings: 'Bachelorette' Ticks Up for Another Monday Win

    Warner Home Video Germany has canceled the DVD release of pubcaster ARD’s TV two-parter “Side Effects” (Contergan — eine einzige tablette) amidst ongoing litigation regarding the film, which chronicles the thalidomide scandal. A Warner spokeswoman declined to comment on why the title was dropped, although the litigation surrounding the film may have played a part […]

  • Isaac Lee Exits as Content Chief

    Isaac Lee Exits as Content Chief for Univision and Televisa, Sets Production Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

    Warner Home Video Germany has canceled the DVD release of pubcaster ARD’s TV two-parter “Side Effects” (Contergan — eine einzige tablette) amidst ongoing litigation regarding the film, which chronicles the thalidomide scandal. A Warner spokeswoman declined to comment on why the title was dropped, although the litigation surrounding the film may have played a part […]

  • Mark Millar

    Netflix to Develop Series Based on Mark Millar's 'American Jesus,' 'Jupiter's Legacy'

    Warner Home Video Germany has canceled the DVD release of pubcaster ARD’s TV two-parter “Side Effects” (Contergan — eine einzige tablette) amidst ongoing litigation regarding the film, which chronicles the thalidomide scandal. A Warner spokeswoman declined to comment on why the title was dropped, although the litigation surrounding the film may have played a part […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content