»These 15 minutes are an absolute thrill.«

Daisy Rosemeyer-Elbers, Executive Producer, Content Creation, ProSieben

Two perennial rivals have now teamed up. Their adversary: Big, red and stronger than ever. In May 2019, rather than going head to head as usual, Joko and Klaas joined forces and took on their employer. In the prime-time show “Joko & Klaas gegen ProSieben” (Joko & Klaas vs. ProSieben), the two entertainers competed in a string of challenges, playing to win a 15-minute live broadcast slot to fill as they wished. Daisy Rosemeyer-Elbers helped develop and produce the show. As the woman who once shared the studio with Michael “Bully” Herbig and brought home the Eurovision Song Contest victory with Stefan Raab, she understands what makes this new format so unique. And why German television needs more home-grown shows.
How did you develop the idea for this show?
The red seven is a brand, an attitude — so we went with the abstract figure “Mister ProSieben,” which we had already established in “Duell um die Welt.”

After the success of “Duell um die Welt,” we wanted to try something new with Joko and Klaas. And we were aiming for something that had broader appeal and was more family-friendly than other programs the duo had done. Then, while we were talking with the production company Florida TV, someone said, “Why don’t they compete against ProSieben?” Everyone liked the idea right away. But we quickly realized that there is no single individual who is the face of ProSieben. The red seven is a brand, an attitude — so we went with the abstract figure “Mister ProSieben,” which we had already established in “Duell um die Welt.” We worked with Joko and Klaas and, step by step, we created a concept in which the two of them form a team for the first time. And then we “sweetened the pot” with an unheard-of prize: 15 minutes of live broadcasting time on ProSieben. In prime time.

They gave away the very first 15 minutes they won to “people who have more to say than we do,” as Klaas put it. What those people offered were strong statements on search-and-rescue missions at sea, right-wing extremism and homelessness. That surprised quite a few viewers — you too?

The guys wanted to do something nobody could have expected — and that’s exactly what they did. Giving people a platform who don’t otherwise occupy this space was a stroke of genius. Of course, we were delighted to have generated social value with an entertainment program and, as a TV company that reaches so many millions of people every day, that’s also part of our responsibility. Even though everyone already knew before this show how outspoken Joko and Klaas are in public, we found their courage admirable — especially since the negative reactions to their taking such a clear stance on controversial issues did not fail to appear. So those 15 minutes were also a surprise to us, the showrunners — a fantastic one! Even just the setting: one person in a chair in the spotlight, the camera circling them. It was so focused, so incredibly intense. Definitely a very special on-screen moment. The kind of moment that only happens on live television.

This show illustrates the enormous appeal that linear television still has.
Is that what you find so unique about the show?

This show illustrates the enormous appeal that linear television still has. Live TV is especially powerful: These 15 minutes are an absolute thrill. Nobody knows what to expect, but everyone wants to be there, wants to know what all the buzz will be about afterwards around the water cooler, in the schoolyard or in the media. With this, we proved yet again that we can do strong, local programs. Just good TV. Preferably self-made. “Joko & Klaas gegen ProSieben” was developed for the German-language market and is perfectly adapted to this channel and audience — “tailor-made,” as it were. Our own shows are always best for that. But they’re also the hardest part of my job. Sure, we know what suits ProSieben — but you don’t just pull a successful new show out of your hat. The fact that we are now distributing the show internationally as “Beat the Channel” is a nice affirmation that shows the huge potential our idea has, and not only in Germany.