Verbotene Liebe

Verbotene Liebe (pronounced [fɛɐ̯ˈboːtənə ˈliːbə], lit. "Forbidden Love") was a German television soap opera created by Reg Watson for Das Erste. The show was set primarily in the German city of Düsseldorf although, at times, the city of Cologne and the Spanish island of Mallorca figured prominently in the show's story lines. First broadcast on 2 January 1995,[2] Verbotene Liebe was originally broadcast in 24-minute episodes, five times a week. It expanded to 45-minute episodes on 21 June 2011 and trimmed back to 40-minute episodes on 23 January 2012 to accommodate an adjusted time-slot. In 2006, Pay-TV network Passion began broadcasting episodes of the show from the beginning.

Verbotene Liebe
Verbotene Liebe-Main title.png
Verbotene Liebe title card
Also known asForbidden Love
GenreSoap opera
Created byReg Watson
StarringFull cast
Opening theme"Forbidden Love"
performed by The Wanderer
Ending theme"Forbidden Love" instrumental version
Country of originGermany
Original languageGerman
No. of seasons20
No. of episodes4,664[1]
ProducersRainer Wemcken
Guido Reinhardt
Production locationsCologne and Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Running timeapprox. 25 minutes
(2 January 1995 – 20 June 2011)
approx. 45 minutes
(21 June 2011 – 18 January 2012, 13 May 2013 – 29 January 2015)
approx. 40 minutes
(23 January 2012 – 10 May 2013)
approx. 50 minutes
(27 February 2015 – 26 June 2015)
Production companiesGrundy UFA TV Produktions GmbH (1995–2013)
UFA Serial drama (2013–2015)
DistributorZDF Enterprises
Original networkDas Erste
Picture formatPAL (1995–2007)
HDTV 720p (2007–2015)
Audio formatDolby Surround
Original release2 January 1995 (1995-01-02) –
26 June 2015 (2015-06-26)
Followed byVerbotene Liebe - Next Generation
Related showsSons and Daughters

Verbotene Liebe was initially based on original story and character outlines from the Australian soap opera Sons and Daughters, the show was also slightly influenced by the American soap opera Ryan's Hope, before evolving into a show of its own as the series progressed. The show originally focused on two core families: the wealthy Anstetten family and the middle-class Brandner family. More specifically, it dealt with the story of Jan Brandner and Julia von Anstetten, two strangers whose fascination for each other leads them to fall in love, neither of them cognizant that they are twins separated by their parents. It is this story of forbidden love that gave the series its title. As cast members left the show, many characters were written out of the storyline, and new ones were added. Sometimes this included whole families. Writers attempted to phase out the dwindling Brandner family by introducing a new middle-class family, the Prozeskis, as foils for the wealthy Anstettens, but the Brandners proved to be too popular with fans, and the Prozeskis left as quickly as they came. Later, much of the drama centered on the Wolf family and the aristocratic Lahnstein family.

The series became well known for its groundbreaking treatment of LGBT characters, presenting bisexuality and homosexuality as normal, and homosexual relationships as equal to heterosexual relationships on the show. For this reason, it became popular with gay and lesbian audiences in Europe and the United States[citation needed]. The series tackled controversial issues such as drug addiction, murder, rape, suicide, adultery, homophobia, incest, alcoholism, drug abuse, schizophrenia, HIV, miscarriage, kidnapping, and sexual confusion.

In 2005, Verbotene Liebe received the Rose d'Or award for "Best Soap", and in 2010 was nominated for the category of "Best Soap or Telenovela". The show was nominated for eight German Soap Awards in 2011, winning three. In January 2011, the series began filming in high definition. The show ended on 26 June 2015, after 4664 episodes due to a decline of viewers. The February transition to weekly broadcasting did not bring the number of viewers they had expected.[1]


Ehreshoven Castle is used as location for the fictional Königsbrunn Castle.

The central focus of Verbotene Liebe was the fictional high society in and around Düsseldorf and Cologne. Set in a world of power and intrigue, main locations in the beginning were Friedenau Castle, the Brandner home and the bar No Limits (originally called Off Limits). While the location of Friednau Castle was abandoned in 2001 and followed by the short-lived location of Schönberg Manor and eventually Königsbrunn Castle, the Brandner home stayed with the show as a permanent location beyond the show's 15th anniversary. Friedenau Castle, Schönberg Manor and Königsbrunn Castle were supposed to show a lifestyle of rich aristocrats and the Brandner home was used as a contrast, showing life of a middle-class family. Ehreshoven Castle was used for on location shoots for the fictional Königsbrunn Castle.

The bar No Limits was the only original location left as of 2014. However, the set and location of the bar changed multiple times, most of the time explained within story. In 2014, the bar was relocated to its original location in the show. Other common settings were various penthouses, flat shares and offices over the years; from 2011 the show was mainly set in fashion with the fictional fashion brand LCL and from 2010, the Media Harbor Düsseldorf was used for most on-location shoots.

The show was produced in the Magic Media Company studios in Cologne's borough Ossendorf since 2003. The same studios were also the home of Alles was zählt. Verbotene Liebe was previously produced in the studios of WDR. The biggest build stage was the LCL set over three floors. For six months in 2011, the show was partly produced in Majorca, Spain for a separate story that eventually concluded in Düsseldorf.



German television channel Das Erste ("The First") began airing Verbotene Liebe in January 1995 after many months of planning and production. The project was initially planned for RTL Television, another German channel, but executives there were skeptical that the concept of a love story between a brother and a sister could prove successful. Das Erste took on the project and told the memorable story of Jan Brandner and Julia von Anstetten, two young people who find themselves immediately drawn to each other, although they have just met. The affecting story of the two siblings is told in the first 600 episodes, and is identified today with the series title. In addition to Jan and Julia and their love story, the complex scheming of the other characters made the show popular with audiences. Clarissa von Anstetten becomes popular as Jan and Julia's conniving mother, earning her an unofficial title as the German Alexis Colby. (The "real" Alexis Colby, Joan Collins, had a brief recurring role as Lady Joan on Verbotene Liebe in 2010.) Tanja von Anstetten, too, soon rises to fame for being a murderous vixen. This classic formula brought Verbotene Liebe attention in the press and, with it, a large fan base resulting in three million viewers tuning in on a daily basis.

The series underwent some major changes when actress Valerie Niehaus announced her decision to leave the show after more than two years in the role of Julia. The writers re-focused the storyline on Clarissa and tried to put more attention on her with the addition of her family, the Prozeskis. This new middle-class family was to be the new counterpart to the wealthy Anstetten family, since many of the original Brandner family members had left the show. But the Brandners were too popular, and fans did not seem interested in Clarissa's origins or how she went about becoming a countess. As a result, Clarissa's mother, Erna, and her brother, Walter, were written out of the show by having the characters die in a car accident. Meanwhile, with his character's big, juicy storyline behind him, Andreas Brucker sought to leave his role as Jan. With Jan caught in a failed love relationship with Kerstin Richter, the writers chose to write both characters out of the show's storyline rather than recast the roles. The departures of both Niehaus and Brucker within such a brief amount of time led to the fan-created legend that Jan and Julia had reunited off-screen, somewhere else.

Even with her family gone, the focus remains on Clarissa as she is sent to war against Christoph and Barbara von Anstetten. Eventually, the writers again tried to dredge up Clarissa's past for a storyline. Peter Kaufmann, Clarissa's first husband, appears on the scene to expose Clarissa as a fraud and a bigamist, since the couple had never divorced. Years before, she had forced Peter to flee the country, and then had him declared dead, all before she ever met Christoph von Anstetten and Arno Brandner. However, at the beginning of the series it is revealed that Clarissa was just eighteen years old when she became pregnant by Arno. So a marriage before she even met Arno was either a huge continuity gaffe or that she had been married while in her early teens. The story was not well liked by fans nor by Isa Jank herself. Disagreements with the producers over her role led to the actress's departure from the show a little over a year after the Peter Kaufmann story concluded. It took almost ten years to woo Jank back into the iconic role. Meanwhile, Clarissa's hate for Tanja von Anstetten develops into a heartless, cutthroat rivalry between the two women. From the beginning, Clarissa knows that Tanja is a dangerous person to have around. Having made a similar climb up the social ladder herself, Clarissa understands what Tanja is all about. So when Tanja pretends to be pregnant with the child of Henning von Anstetten, Clarissa's stepson, in order to get him to marry her, Clarissa exposes Tanja as a fraud and a golddigger. Tanja vows revenge on the entire Anstetten family and total destruction of Clarissa. After scoring a job at one of the Anstetten businesses, Tanja puts Clarissa's company in danger by trying to sell cheap knockoff clothing under the Ligne Clarisse label. The lines are drawn for battle, and the war continues today.

The end of the 90s saw the return of Henning von Anstetten, a number of love stories involving the younger characters, the gay love story of Ulli Prozeski and Tom Seifert, the exit of Barbara von Anstetten, and the introduction of Elisabeth Ryan, who would become an important part of the show in the next decade.

Gay/lesbian storylines and other changesEdit

The turn of the 21st century brought with it the rising popularity of gay storylines. In 1999, the groundbreaking love story of Ulli and Tom begins as the coming-out story of a young gay man, Ulli Prozeski, who had formerly led a straight life. After Andreas Stenschke, the actor portraying Ulli, left the show in late 2000, Tom hooks up with the new guy in town, Oliver Sabel, played by Jo Weil. Six months later, in 2001, Ulli suddenly returns to town for a two-week stay that creates tensions between Tom and Oliver. Oliver feels very uncomfortable having Tom's old boyfriend around, and his feeling is justified when he catches Tom and Ulli in a reunion fling, which, sadly for Ulli, does not win his man back. Tom and Ulli are finally reunited with guest appearances in the show's 10th anniversary episode in 2005. Today, the story of Tom and Ulli is available for viewing in several clips online.[3]

The series suffered a blow in 2001 with the announcement that Isa Jank was leaving her iconic role as Clarissa. Her exit was written into the story along with a brief return of Miriam Lahnstein's Tanja. Jank's exit was caused by creative differences with the show's producers over the direction her character was taking. After she left, it was rumored several times that Jank would return in her role as Clarissa, but Jank denied the possibility as late as 2008. After a ten-year absence, however, the actress did return to the small screen as Clarissa on 21 June 2011.[4]

The brother-sister storyline was changed, and returned with the love story of Henning von Anstetten and Marie von Beyenbach in 2001, and later, with Sarah Hofmann and Leonard von Lahnstein in 2006.[5] It was clear to audiences from the beginning that Henning and Marie are not related, and that it is all just a scheme by Tanja. Leonard and Sarah are supposedly half-siblings, sharing the same father. That possibility ends at Leonard's wedding to Jana Brandner, when Adrian Degenhardt admits that he, and not Johannes von Lahnstein, is Leonard's father. Both of these attempts failed to fascinate viewers. The writers tried a different outcome in the fall of 2009 with the introduction of the twins, Helena and Tristan von Lahnstein. This time the forbidden love is said to have come from the mind of a mentally ill Tristan, who admits to being in love with his sister, and even schemes against Helena's boyfriend, Andi Fritzsche, by having him charged with rape.

Verbotene Liebe received international attention in 2008 with the love story of Christian Mann and Oliver Sabel. The gay couple was featured in a story in the British magazine reFRESH[6] and in an article in the 23 September issue of Soap Opera Weekly.[7] Since then, the show has developed a large following elsewhere in Europe and beyond. The relationship between Oliver and Christian unfolds as a love story of two people who happen to be gay, rather than one of gay caricatures trying to play house, as is often the case. The ups and downs of the couple's relationship play out over five years to the couple's engagement and wedding, and continue on.

The show also attracted international popularity with characters Carla von Lahnstein and Stella Mann as a lesbian couple. They are featured on the gay media interest website, and their relationship is chronicled in detail in gay media interest blogs.[8] Before her relationship with Stella, Carla was involved in romances with Hanna Novak and Susanne Brandner.

The final same-sex love story Verbotene Liebe created was the relationship between Marlene von Lahnstein, a former musical star, and Rebecca von Lahnstein, a fashion designer. The story of this couple, also known as Marbecca, began in 2012 and garnered a sizable international following. In November 2013, the two characters made it into The Top 25 Lesbian/Bi Characters on TV of (rank 14 and 15) as two of only three non-English speaking characters. wrote at the time: Sometimes you kiss your boyfriend’s sister during a game of spin the bottle and the next thing you know, you’re falling in love with her and leaving your groom on your wedding day and chasing down your lesbian love before she flies off to Los Angeles forever. Soaps are soaps, all over the world, and their love stories are so ridiculously delicious. Even more amazing: A whole year after they confessed their feelings for each other, Rebecca and Marlene are both still alive! Four for you, Germany. You go, Germany.[9]


Rumors about a cancellation of the soap opera were first made back in the fall of 2010 after Verbotene Liebe and fellow soap opera Marienhof performed not well and Verbotene Liebe lost viewers a third year in a row. However, in February 2011, a decision was made about Das Erste's access primetime. Marienhof was canceled and Verbotene Liebe extended from 20 to 45 minutes. The ARD hoped that Verbotene Liebe could gain viewers again, brought back fan favorite - and original cast member - Isa Jank (Clarissa von Anstetten) and reintroduced the original story about siblings Jan and Julia; although the roles were recast. However the return of Jank's character was reviewed by most fans as underwhelming and the recasting of Jan and Julia got mixed reviews as well. Verbotene Liebe continued to lose in ratings and by 2014, the soap opera performed well under the market share of Das Erste.

On 17 July 2014 the Bild newspaper was first to report that the show has been canceled.[10] Online magazine DWDL later confirmed the report, saying they were able to name several more sources about the cancellation.[11] The reports suggest that Verbotene Liebe is finishing its last year and airing into January 2015; long enough to let the show live through its 20th anniversary.

An official statement by Das Erste was made on 18 July 2014; confirming the cancellation.[12] Director of Program Volker Herres said: "20 years ago, the siblings Jan and Julia made Verbotene Liebe a German series hit. Who could have guessed back then that VL, as the glamor soap was soon only be called, would have such a long breath? But eventually all shades of the forbidden and glamorous are told. It is then necessary to stop at the right time. And in our opinion this is now. As painful as it may be for the loyal fans of the series. But one thing is sure: Verbotene Liebe wrote television history." ARD coordinator of access primetime Frank Beckmann added: "With great dedication and impressive creativity, the team of Verbotene Liebe has shaped the access primetime for years. We know the strength of the brand and the importance of their loyal fans. Therefore, we consider whether we can offer Verbotene Liebe in another form at a later date." The statement also confirmed that the soap opera will be replaced by the game show Quizduell, which was tested for four weeks in May 2014, and that Verbotene Liebe will air its series finale most likely in the beginning of 2015.

Rainer Wemken, CEO of UFA Serial Drama, shared the following statement hours after the ARD confirmed the cancellation: "The ARD has terminated the contract for Verbotene Liebe at this time. I regret this decision very much, especially because it is a series with a strong brand, with a large fan base that is also very popular on the Internet and achieves high polling numbers. We are therefore make offers to the ARD, how the series can continue - possibly with other production or broadcast models - at a later date. I therefore hope very much that we can continue Verbotene Liebe."[13]

Only hours after rumors of the cancellation started, Verbotene Liebe fans opened a Facebook page and a petition to fight for the survival of the soap opera.[14][15]

The remaining original cast member Gabriele Metzger (Charlie Schneider) and the show's matriarch Martina Servatius (Elisabeth von Lahnstein) opened up about the cancellation in a statement to the Bild newspaper.[16] Metzger received a mail about the cancellation. About her reaction the actress said: "I went into the garden, watered my lawn and cried." About the reason for the cancellation and the declining ratings, Metzger suggested that "look-wise, we have developed forward. But what makes a soap opera - exciting stories and characters with whom one can identify - moved into the background over the years." Meanwhile, Martina Servatius is criticizing Herres' statement about the cancellation that all stories are told: "That is nonsense. It was the desire of the ARD to extend the individual episodes from 20 to 45 minutes. We, the actors, have already feared then that this decision could break our necks. It's sad that the ARD twisted cause and effect in retrospect."

Sudden renewal and final cancellationEdit

After over a month since the show was officially canceled, the Bild newspaper reports on 3 September 2014 that ARD might move ahead with a concept from the production company UFA to bring Verbotene Liebe back as a weekly series.[17] The cast would undergo some changes to adjust to the new format and the production style of the show would change dramatically. The media-devoted websites Quotenmeter and agreed on the Bild report and suggested that official news about the future of Verbotene Liebe would be made in the upcoming days.[18][19]

On 4 September 2014, official word broke that Verbotene Liebe would return as a weekly series in 2015 as soon as airing on the daily format has stopped.[20] The network ordered 15 episodes and will air the weekly series Fridays at 6:50 PM. The show would introduce a new central character, Mila von Draskow, and still feature members of the Lahnstein family - namely Elisabeth, Ansgar, Sebastian, Tanja, Tristan and Rebecca, original character Charlie Schneider, the Helmke brothers and the younger set around Charlie's nephew Olli who were sharing a flat. Sets like the bistro Schneiders and the bar No Limits would also still be a part of the show. "There will be a new Verbotene Liebe with more shooting time, more opulent images and a dense plot. And yet the new look will still deliver intrigue, passion and great feelings - like many fans of Verbotene Liebe wished", said ARD coordinator of access primetime Frank Beckmann about the renewal.[21]

The fifteen weekly episodes started on 27 February 2015 and lasted till 26 June 2015. The weekly season, which was called "Vergeltung" (Retribution) introduced new characters and a darker plot. Fans of the show widely criticized the new concept of the show and ratings ultimately turned even worse, leading to Das Erste canceling the show for good.


Verbotene Liebe was built upon melodramatic love stories, family drama and friendship. Actress Gabriele Metzger in her role as Charlie Schneider was the only remaining original cast member when the series was cancelled in 2014, while others like Martina Servatius (Elisabeth von Lahnstein), Miriam Lahnstein (Tanja von Lahnstein), Jo Weil (Oliver Sabel), Dominic Saleh-Zaki (Andi Fritsche) and Wolfram Grandezka (Ansgar von Lahnstein) were considered long-serving cast members.

Metzger and Servatius both appeared as minor characters in the beginning, before becoming a central part of the show. Lahnstein had left the show several times over the years or taken short-term breaks. Weil had a five-year break since joining the show in 2000, while Saleh-Zaki took only two years off to concentrate on other projects. Grandezka's character of Ansgar was often considered one of the most important and identifying characters of the show.

Original cast member Konrad Krauss (Arno Brandner) left the show after 18 years, which ultimately also saw the demise of the Brandner family in the show. Other original cast members like Claudia Scarpatetti (Susanne Brandner) and Isa Jank (Clarissa von Anstetten) returned after being off-screen but then left again.

The show was known for their focus on thirty-something year old characters, a small set of young adults and an older generation, which most of the times also represented a patriarch or matriarch of a core family.

Broadcasting and ratingsEdit



VL German Broadcast History:

  • 2 January 1995 − 30 December 2004: Mon−Fri 5:55 pm on Das Erste, approx. 23 minutes
  • 5 January 1998 − 25 September 1998: Mon−Fri 9:03 am on Das Erste (episodes 1−171)
  • 22 June 1999 − 30 December 1999: Mon−Fri 9.03 am on Das Erste (episodes 172−250)
  • 3 January 2005 − 28 December 2007: Mon−Fri 5:50 pm on Das Erste, approx. 23 minutes
  • 1 December 2006 – present on Passion (reruns; stylized as 'classics')
  • 7 January 2008 − 20 June 2011: Mon−Fri 6:00 pm on Das Erste, approx. 23 minutes
  • 21 June 2011 − 18 January 2012: Mon−Fri 6:00 pm on Das Erste, approx. 44 minutes
  • 23 January 2012 – 7 June 2012: Mon-Fri 5:50 pm on Das Erste, approx. 38 minutes
    • 22 June 2011 – 11 June 2012: Mon−Fri about 8:00 am on MDR (previous day's broadcast)
    • 6 September 2011 – 11 June 2012: Mon−Fri 12:00 pm on EinsFestival (previous day's broadcast)
    • 23 March 2012 − 11 June 2012: Mon−Fri 6:40 am on NDR (previous day's broadcast)
    • 16 April 2012 − 11 June 2012: Mon−Fri 11:45 am on BR (previous day's broadcast)
  • 11 June 2012 – 6 February 2015: Mon−Fri 6:00 pm on Das Erste, approx. 38 to 43 minutes
    • 12 June 2012 – 15 March 2013: Mon−Fri 6:40 am on NDR (previous day's broadcast)
    • 12 June 2012 – 21 March 2013: Mon−Fri 7:05 am on MDR (previous day's broadcast)
    • 12 June 2012 – 12 October 2012: Mon−Fri 11:45 am on BR (previous day's broadcast)
    • 12 June 2012 – 21 March 2013: Mon−Fri 12:00 pm on EinsFestival (previous day's broadcast)
  • 27 February 2015 - 26 June 2015: Fridays 6:50 pm on Das Erste, approx. 42 minutes

In the beginning, Verbotene Liebe aired weekdays at around 5:55 pm on Das Erste and was followed by fellow soap opera Marienhof, creating a soap line-up for the network. The line-up proved successful in its early years and showed a lot of contrast. VL was labeled as glamor soap, while Marienhof showed the working-class of fictional district in Cologne. Becoming a huge success, Das Erste decided to show reruns in the early morning. With a break from about nine months, the network aired the first 250 episodes, who later were labeled as the show's first season.

After seven years on the air, the soap opera started slowly to lose viewers. Still a ratings success several cast changes seemed to hurt the show in the process. When Das Erste decided to change the airtime of both soaps, Verbotene Liebe (5:50 pm) and Marienhof (6:20 pm), particularly VL had now to challenge RTL's soap opera Unter uns, which ended at 6:00 pm. After two years, Das Erste changed the airtime again. Verbotene Liebe started around 6:00 pm and still provided the lead-in for Marienhof, which started around 6:25 pm again. In the meanwhile, the Pay-TV channel Passion started airing repeats in late 2006. However, the original airings of Verbotene Liebe and Marienhof continued to lose viewers and in late 2010 cancellation rumors started to surround fan bases. Das Erste eventually canceled Marienhof after over 18 years on the air and continued Verbotene Liebe, extending their episodes to 50 minutes with commercial breaks. The glamor soap served as the lead-in for various new crime dramedy series'. With the extension, VL now aired repeats on several ARD stations.

The line-up however was changed when the network signed Thomas Gottschalk and developed a new evening talk show for him. Gottschalk Live premiered in January 2012, causing Verbotene Liebe to lose about six minutes per episode and being a rival to Unter uns again. The talk show failed miserably and was canceled in June 2012. That led to the network changing the air time of Verbotene Liebe yet again. It was announced that the soap opera would return to its old time slot at 6:00pm. Fans complained about the several air time changes.

As of the end of March 2013, all local stations of the ARD stopped airing the previous day's broadcast of the show.


In 2008, Grundy UFA worked out a contract with the video-sharing website Sevenload to make the first season of Verbotene Liebe, consisting the first 250 episodes, available online. Sevenload started with the first episode on 25 August 2008.[22] After rumors about new contract, Grundy UFA and Sevenload ended their cooperation in the following year.

Das Erste started with its own video library, Das Erste: Mediathek, in May 2008 and airs extended previews, specials and new episodes (for seven days) of Verbotene Liebe.

Grundy UFA instead went into business with the video-on-demand platform Maxdome, which is owned by ProSiebenSat.1 Media. The first 800 episodes were made available for €0,99 per episode with a valid link for 48 hours. Maxdome also owns rights to new episodes, adding them right after television broadcast starting with episode 3400. With episode 3820 the show is available in high-definition.

In 2012, MyVideo became another provider for old Verbotene Liebe episodes. Under the label Verbotene Liebe classics are currently 360 episodes available for free.[23] MyVideo and Grundy UFA plan to extend the video library to more than the first 1000 episodes of the show. Currently there isn't an official schedule when MyVideo plans on releasing more episodes.


In the show's best years, Verbotene Liebe had three million viewers per episode,[24] the second-highest rated soap opera behind Gute Zeiten, schlechte Zeiten, with a 16 percent market share overall.[25] That all began to change in 2007, when the show began losing viewers. In 2008, ratings dropped dramatically as viewers became dissatisfied with recent casting changes and lackluster storylines.[26] On 15 December 2008, only 1.57 million viewers watched the show.[27] Producers reacted immediately and moved the storylines in a different direction.[28] The 3333rd episode was seen by 2.18 million viewers and featured an elegant masked ball.

One year later, Verbotene Liebe faced rumors of cancellation, when Das Erste announced intended changes to the lineup.[29] The show was revamped, and eventually it was lead-out soap Marienhof that went off the air in mid-2011. Verbotene Liebe was extended to an hour and took over Marienhof's problematic time-slot, resulting in a dip in ratings. The ratings got much worse in 2012, which again led to rumors that the soap opera might get canceled. Overall, Verbotene Liebe halved its ratings in the last five years.

Year Timeslot Network Episodes Viewers
(in millions/overall)
(in millions/target group 14–49)
Market share
Market share
(target group 14–49)
1995 Monday–Friday 5:55 pm Das Erste 233
1996 Monday–Friday 5:55 pm Das Erste 235
1997 Monday–Friday 5:55 pm Das Erste 239
1998 Monday–Friday 5:55 pm Das Erste 239
1999 Monday–Friday 5:55 pm Das Erste 242
2000 Monday–Friday 5:55 pm Das Erste 238
2001 Monday–Friday 5:55 pm Das Erste 233
2002 Monday–Friday 5:55 pm Das Erste 230
2003 Monday–Friday 5:55 pm Das Erste 249
2004 Monday–Friday 5:55 pm Das Erste 238
2005 Monday–Friday 5:50 pm Das Erste 242
2006 Monday–Friday 5:50 pm Das Erste 226
2007 Monday–Friday 5:50 pm Das Erste 244 2.23[30] 0.63[30] 13,7%[30] 10,8%[30]
2008 Monday–Friday 6:00 pm Das Erste 227 1.96[30] 0.59[30] 12,2%[30] 10,0%[30]
2009 Monday–Friday 6:00 pm Das Erste 229 1.83[30] 0.54[30] 11,5%[30] 9,3%[30]
2010 Monday-Friday 6:00 pm Das Erste 224 1.78[30] 0.47[30] 10,8%[30] 7,9%[30]
2011 Monday–Friday 6:00 pm Das Erste 234 1.61[30] 0.40[30] 9,6%[30] 7,0%[30]
2012 Monday–Friday 6:00 pm Das Erste 217 1.31[30] 0.29[30] 7,9%[30] 5,3%[30]
2013 Monday–Friday 6:00 pm Das Erste 219 1.18 0.26 6,9% 4,6%
2014 Monday–Friday 6:00 pm Das Erste 204 1.17 - 7,0% 4,6%
2015 Monday–Friday 6:00 pm Das Erste 18 1.29 6,2% 3,8%
2015 (Retribution) Friday 6:00 pm Das Erste 15 0.99 4,8% 2,8%


Over the years, Verbotene Liebe had several online specials, such as a weekly preview or cast interviews. However among them were also two online spin-offs:

Clarissas TagebuchEdit

Clarissas Tagebuch (English: Clarissa's Diary) is a 2011 five-part series that stars Isa Jank in her role as Clarissa von Anstetten. It chronicles much of Clarissa's past and shows that the character has been in a South American prison for the last ten years. The special aired before Jank would return on-screen on the main show.

Die längste Nacht von KönigsbrunnEdit

Die längste Nacht von Königsbrunn (English: The longest Night of Königsbrunn) is a 2014 fifteen-part series, set on a stormy night in the kitchen of Castle Königsbrunn. It stars Martina Servatius (Elisabeth von Lahnstein), Claus Thull-Emden (Justus Stiehl), Miriam Lahnstein (Tanja von Lahnstein), Sebastian Schlemmer (Sebastian von Lahnstein), Jana Julie Kilka (Jessica Stiehl), Jens Hartwig (Tristan von Lahnstein), Nicole Mieth (Kim Wolf) and as special guest stars Konrad Krauss (Arno Brandner) and Verena Zimmermann (Nico von Lahnstein). The special revolves around secrets of every character and concludes on 30 May 2014 with a live episode.


In early 2020, the RTL Group obtained the rights for old episodes to stream on their premium streaming service TVNOW. Viewing figures were favourable and the RTL Group decided in June 2020 to order new episodes from UFA Serial Drama for the streaming service. The intentions of RTL were made public by a Bild report on 19 June 2020. RTL later confirmed the news, planning to start filming later in 2020. The media group also announced that familiar faces, like Jo Weil, are set to return to the show.[31][32]

On 1 July 2020, it was reported that TVNOW ordered a 10-episode revival season, likely to air in a weekly rhythm starting in November 2020. The revival is set to focus on a new generation with few familiar faces in the world of fashion. The working title is Verbotene Liebe - Das Erbe (en: Forbidden Love - The Heritage). The concept for the revival orientates on dramas like Dynasty and Succession.[33][34] The show was later renamed Verbotene Liebe - Next Generation.


German Soap AwardsEdit

Rose d'OrEdit

  • 2005 "Best Soap"

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 June 2015. Retrieved 25 June 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ First air date Verbotene Liebe (German)
  3. ^ "Ulli and Tom Story on Verbotene Liebe on YouTube with English subtitles". Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  4. ^ "Clarissa's return date". Deutsche Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  5. ^ - Summary for Verbotene Liebe (German)
  6. ^ "Thore and Jo in reFRESH magazine". Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  7. ^ "Soap Opera Weekly: Soaps Overseas". Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  8. ^ "mels blog". Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  9. ^ "The Top 25 Lesbian/Bi Characters on TV (Right Now)". 4 November 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  10. ^ Stranghöner, Moritz; Schacht, Michael (17 July 2014). ""Verbotene Liebe" wird abgesetzt (German)". Bild by Axel Springer AG. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  11. ^ Lückerath, Thomas (17 July 2014). "Das Aus: ARD setzt "Verbotene Liebe" ab (German)". Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  12. ^ "Nach fast 20 Jahren im Ersten: Abschied von "Verbotene Liebe" (German)". Das Erste. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  13. ^ Wemken, Rainer (18 July 2014). "Die ARD beendet den aktuellen Produktionsauftrag von VL (German)". UFA Serial Drama. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  14. ^ "Facebook: VL retten". Facebook. Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  15. ^ "openPedition: Gegen die Absetzung von Verbotene Liebe in der ARD". Retrieved 18 July 2014.
  16. ^ Basan, Sandra; Bogdon, Norbert (20 July 2014). "Nach dem Aus für "Verbotene Liebe": Jetzt sprechen zwei Kult-Darstellerinnen". Bild by Axel Springer AG. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  17. ^ Cremer, D.; Schacht, M. (3 September 2014). ""Verbotene Liebe" wird fortgesetzt (German)". Bild by Axel Springer AG. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  18. ^ Weis, Manuel (3 September 2014). "Entschieden: ARD setzt "Verbotene Liebe" doch fort (German)". Quotenmeter. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  19. ^ Krei, Alexander (3 September 2014). ""Verbotene Liebe" kommt offenbar als Weekly zurück (German)". Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  20. ^ Krei, Alexander (4 September 2014). "Bestätigt: "Verbotene Liebe" geht als Weekly weiter (German)". Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  21. ^ ""Verbotene Liebe" wird als wöchentliche Serie fortgesetzt (German)". ARD. 4 September 2014. Archived from the original on 6 September 2014. Retrieved 4 September 2014.
  22. ^ ""Verbotene Liebe" available via Sevenload". Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  23. ^ "Verbotene Liebe classics on MyVideo". Archived from the original on 21 November 2013. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  24. ^ Das - Erfolg (German)
  25. ^ Das - Quoten (German)
  26. ^ Welt Online (German)
  27. ^ Deine Soaps - Quoten (German)
  28. ^ Presseportal (German)
  29. ^ ""Verbotene Liebe" and "Marienhof" canceled?" (in German). 3 March 2010. Retrieved 5 December 2013.
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x "". 20 January 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
  31. ^ " TVNOW arbeitet an Neuauflage von "Verbotene Liebe"". 20 June 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  32. ^ " Serien-Hammer: Comeback für "Verbotene Liebe"". 20 June 2020. Retrieved 20 June 2020.
  33. ^ ""Verbotene Liebe"-Fortsetzung: Starttermin und Titel stehen offenbar fest". 1 July 2020. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  34. ^ "Medienberichte: "Verbotene Liebe" soll wohl Weekly werden". 2 July 2020. Retrieved 2 July 2020.

External linksEdit