One child star, the other critics’ favourite: satirist Jan Böhmermann and the famous sandman from children’s television will be awarded Grimme prizes this year. The Grimme Institute announced this on Tuesday in Cologne. The Grimme Prize is considered the most prestigious award that can be received for a television production in Germany.

Böhmermann, already decorated with many trophies, will receive the honor in 2023 together with his team for his ZDF program “ZDF Magazin Royale”, which combines satire and comedy with investigative research. Böhmermann had established the format in the ZDF main program after moving from the niche channel ZDFneo. According to the Grimme Institute, it is the sixth Grimme Prize in the moderator’s career.

First Grimme Prize for “Our Sandman”

“In-house research and satirical information for a larger audience, which would otherwise only have reached a specialist audience, have become the trademark of “ZDF Magazin Royale””, the jury explained the decision. Böhmermann’s concept is based on a “simple consideration”: In a world in which politicians act “like clowns”, real clowns have no choice but to become political themselves. “That’s exactly what the clown Jan Böhmermann, who has become political, does (…).”

According to the Grimme Institute, the children’s classic “Our Sandman” received the coveted trophy for the first time. The award goes to Stefan Schomerus (script/director) and Tine Kluth (animation) for an RBB production that was broadcast for the first time on the children’s channel (KiKA) in June 2022. The sandman film deals with a so-called recycling vehicle – at the push of a button, something new is created from used and defective things.

“The jury found the modernization of the animation and the focus on the important issue of sustainability particularly successful, which – as always without words – is made understandable for children,” the statement said. The sandman, who accompanies children to bedtime on television in the evening, is more than 60 years old – in 1959 “Our Sandman” was first broadcast on GDR television. The little man is Germany’s longest-serving children’s television character and survived the Sandman from the west.

RBB political magazine “Contrasts” is awarded

A total of 16 Grimme Prizes and three special prizes were announced in Cologne on Tuesday. Although the awards are not linked to money, they are considered highly prestigious among television people. They have been awarded annually since 1964. This year, the trophies will be presented on April 21 in Marl.

ZDF did particularly well in 2023. In addition to Böhmermann, the series “Neuland” and the film “Die Wannseekonferenz” were also convincing. The drama “In the Fire – Two Sisters” was also awarded a Grimme Prize. It accompanies a young Bundeswehr soldier in search of her missing sister in Iraq.

There was also good news for Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) after times of crisis. The Grimme jury honored the editors of the RBB political magazine “Contrasts” with the prize for “special journalistic achievement”. Her “continuous investigative research on peripheral issues of right-wing radicalism” was recognized.

Several documentaries were also able to get hold of Grimme prizes – including “Atomic Power Forever” (SWR / NDR) and “The Story in the First: Life after Butscha – Trauma and Hope” (WDR).

Even with the nominations for the Grimme Prize – this year 71 productions and individual achievements were entered – it had already become apparent that the topic of diversity in society could become a formative factor for this year’s Grimme class. In part, that turned out to be true. Several formats from this spectrum were pleased to receive an award on Tuesday.

Grimme Prize for the Netflix series “Kleo” with Jella Haase

For example, an award was given to the “Queer Eye Germany” format of the Netflix streaming service, in which queer lifestyle experts want to change the lives of their candidates for the better. “True empathy and sensitivity of expression is a rare commodity in the realm of reality television,” the jury praised the show. Netflix received another prize for the series “KLEO” with actress Jella Haase.

The Vox format “Zum Schwarzwälder Hirsch – an extraordinary kitchen crew and Tim Mälzer” was also considered. In the show, TV chef Tim Mälzer makes people with trisomy 21 fit for restaurant operations. The format not only won a Grimme Prize, but also the so-called audience award.

The so-called special honor as part of the Grimme Prize in 2023 goes to cabaret artist and actress Maren Kroymann. With her work and work, the 73-year-old “stands for the powerful diversity of female identities on German television,” the statement said. “In doing so, she had to live through the hurdles and devaluations of the traditionally male-dominated television culture, which did not discourage her, on the contrary.”

The special honor as part of the Grimme Prize is a special award given by the German Adult Education Association (DVV) – the sponsor of the Grimme Prize. According to the statute, it is awarded to personalities who have made outstanding contributions to television.