News | RTL Group | Cologne, 03/22/2023

Vox Show ‘Zum Schwarzwälder Hirsch’ Wins Two Grimme Awards

The TV channel Vox can celebrate two of the prestigious Grimme Awards this year. Yesterday, the winners were announced, and the three-part docuseries “Zum Schwarzwälder Hirsch – Eine außergewöhnliche Küchencrew und Tim Mälzer” was recognized in the “Entertainment” category and received the Audience Award of the Marler Gruppe.

The annual Grimme Awards honor television shows and achievements in Germany that are “exemplary and serve as models for program practice.” They are considered the most renowned German media awards. Yesterday, this year’s award winners were announced, and the TV channel Vox has two reasons to celebrate: the three-part docuseries “Zum Schwarzwälder Hirsch – Eine außergewöhnliche Küchencrew und Tim Mälzer” conquered the hearts of viewers last fall and received plenty of positive feedback on all platforms, and it has now received a Grimme Award in the “Entertainment” category and the Audience Award of the Marler Gruppe.

In the Vox show, Tim Mälzer and André Dietz launched a project that was previously unheard of: 13 people with Down syndrome were trained to run a restaurant as independently as possible within three months. The jury explained its decision: “‘Zum Schwarzwälder Hirsch’ is a production that is outstanding in many respects. The show sensitively deals with its protagonists. Its narration is suspenseful, its methods are creative. However, its critical claim is especially remarkable. […] Summed up, a unique production that empathetically and entertainingly shows how inclusion can be lived. This makes it an important contribution to the debate about disabilities and participation in our society.” The Marler Gruppe commented: “[…] All of it was served up by Vox during primetime at 8:15 p.m. The Marler Gruppe was convinced by this fact, too.” The Marler Gruppe is a working group of the Marler Volkshochschule “Die Insel”, an adult education center which examines the development of television programming and the broadcast forms of both public and private television. It is involved in the Grimme Awards as a viewers’ judging panel.

“Entertainment with heart and attitude” 

“Vox stands for entertainment with heart and attitude, and ‘Zum Schwarzwälder Hirsch’ combines both in a special way,” said Vox Editor-in-Chief and Head of Entertainment Marcel Amrushkewitz. “Our 13 participants not only conquered hearts but also – together with Tim Mälzer, André Dietz and the restaurant crew – immersed themselves in the inclusion experiment and truly excelled. This Grimme Award is an expression of  the great appreciation for their courage and, naturally, also for the outstanding work of Vitamedia, which realized this special project with our team of editors. I am very pleased and look forward to telling their stories in a primetime special this summer.”

Stephan Schmitter, Chief Content Officer RTL Deutschland, said: “Two Grimme Awards for one show is a fantastic success that makes all RTL Deutschland employees proud. I would like to thank everyone involved for their courage, determination and trust in getting this extraordinary project going and broadcasting it during primetime.” Sascha Gröhl, Producer and Director of “Zum Schwarzwälder Hirsch”, commented: “At some point, we all began to sense the special magic that came into being on site with everybody involved. We felt that this project could become something uniquely valuable and, above all, sustainable: 13 people showed us and the whole world that they can do anything if they are given trust and an opportunity. We must take inclusion seriously and establish framework conditions that enable real participation. To use the words of the participant Ayla-Marie: ‘Every person deserves to be allowed to work – and so do we!’”

“Zum Schwarzwälder Hirsch – Eine außergewöhnliche Küchencrew und Tim Mälzer” was produced by Vitamedia Film and commissioned by Vox. The three episodes are available on RTL+ for streaming. The Grimme Awards will be presented on April 21 in Marl.