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The logo appearing on the series' title screen
|Created by||Hans W. Geißendörfer|
|Country of origin||Germany|
|No. of episodes||1417+ (10 February 2013)|
|Camera setup||Multiple-camera setup|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original channel||Das Erste|
|Original run||8 December 1985 – present|
Lindenstraße (literally "Lime Street") is a German television show on ARD's Das Erste, one of Germany's two publicly administered TV channels. The first episode was aired on 8 December 1985 and since then new episodes have been broadcast weekly. Its current timeslot on Das Erste is Sundays at 18:50. The events of the Sunday episode usually take place on the Thursday before the show, based on the TV station's original plan of airing the episodes Thursday night. Prior of the start of the show, the timeslot was switched to Sunday evening but the Thursday remained the day the events usually take place as the show shall feature the daily life routine of the protagonists on a working day. Exceptions are the so-called holiday episodes that take place on Sunday, such as for Christmas and Easter and also on important election days (especially the election to the German Bundestag).
Setting the pace for other soap operas in Germany, the first episodes were met with mostly bad reviews. However, Lindenstraße soon became one of the most successful shows on German TV.
The creator of Lindenstraße is Hans W. Geißendörfer, whose company Geißendörfer Film- und Fernsehproduktion GmbH (GFF - "Geißendörfer film and TV productions") still produces the series today. In the beginning, Geißendörfer also directed the series. It is set in Munich, but filmed at the WDR studios in Cologne-Bocklemünd, where an entire outdoor street mock-up of the eponymous Lindenstraße was built. An actual street named 'Lindenstraße' exists in Munich's Harlaching district, but it has nothing to do with the series' fictional street.
The show is based on the long-running British soap Coronation Street, from which it borrows its main premise (the everyday life of a number of neighbours). It tackles topics such as racism, cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, disabilities (both physical and mental), and homosexuality. In 1987, it gained notoriety for showing the first prime-time gay kiss on German television. The show is also known for its prompt incorporation of real-life events and current topics.
United States television actor Larry Hagman made a cameo appearance on Lindenstraße on 19 February 2006.
Geißendörfer wrote and directed the first 31 episodes himself. Now, there are different directors that take turns in about 10-episode blocks. The current directors are Herwig Fischer, Kerstin Krause, Dominikus Probst and Iain Dilthey.
There have been many different writers of the show throughout the years. Currently, three authors share the responsibility of writing the episodes: Michael Meisheit, who has been writing for Lindenstraße since 1997, and Irene Fischer, who has been writing for Lindenstraße since 1999. She has also been playing a main character in the series since 1987. In 2013, Geißendörfer's daughter Hana Geißendörfer joined the team and the first episodes written by her aired in late April.
Families with children live in the Lindenstraße. The families Beimer-Schiller, Beimer-Ziegler and Zenker, as well as couples without children and communes are very important to the show. There is also a doctor's office, currently run by Dr. Iris Brooks. In the past, it has been run by Dr. Ernesto Stadler, Dr. Carsten Flöter and his stepfather Dr. Ludwig Dressler. There is also a Greek restaurant "Akropolis" and a supermarket.
There are also a few shops in the Kastanienstraße, which is at one end of the Lindenstraße. There is an organic food shop called "1 A Bio" (It used to be the chocolate store "Kakao" and the gourmet food shop called "Alimentari". There is also a café called "Café Bayer" and a travel agency called "Träwel und Iwends" (a pun on the German pronunciation of Travel and Events)as well as the car shop "Die Werkstatt. There are also several main characters who live on this street.
On the other end of the Lindenstraße, one can find the Ulrike-Böss-Straße. In it is a movie theater ("Astor"), the "Café George" and a hair salon.
Due to the frequency of social problem topics treated in the series, a high proportion of the characters come from minority groups of diverse kind or live in patchwork relationships. From the Greek Restaurant with its family and a Vietnamese which where there from the beginning, characters and whole families with migration background have come and gone from Italy, Turkey, Eastern Europe etc. The current cast counts three male homosexuals, two of them living in marriage with an adopted son, and one female homosexual with a test-tube baby. There's a homeless man, a man in a wheelchair, a child with Down syndrome and so on.
Fans of the series have proclaimed in mild jest that a "normal" family wouldn't survive the Lindenstraße. As if to prove this, the model bavarian family Stadler which moved to the street in September 2008 has only one member, the contrarian Grandfather, remaining in the street as of early 2013. He "occupies" a room in a commune otherwise populated by twens. His son, the family father, fled the street after the family mother had a love-affair with his brother. The mother then broke up with the brother and started a new affair with a young immigrant from the Balkans who hid his visa-less family in an apartment in the same house. The younger family daughter, who became a teenage mother after a Lindenstraße resident of her age purposely broke a condom, fell in love with the same immigrant and left the street in shock after finding out that he preferred her mother over herself. The mother and the immigrant then left the street together. The older teenage daughter had more luck and married a widely liked Lindenstraße resident in Las Vegas with whom she started a successful business in the street, only to suddenly die from a food poisoning originating in the Greek restaurant in February 2013.
Current cast members
|Domna Adamopoulou||Elena Sarikakis||1985-|
|Anna Antonowicz||Nastya Niemeyer||2005-2010, 2011, 2013-|
|Julia Beerhold||Sandra Sarikakis #2||2013-|
|Daniela Bette||Angelina Buchstab||2007-|
|Jo Bolling||Andreas "Andy" Zenker||1990-|
|Lilian Büchner||Chantal Löhmer #2||2013-|
|Anna-Sophia Claus||Lea Starck||1999-|
|Ole Dahl||Paul Dağdelen||2002-|
|Irene Fischer||Anna Ziegler||1987-|
|Joris Gratwohl||Alexander "Alex" Behrend||2000-|
|Jan Grünig||Martin Ziegler||1999-|
|Erkan Gündüz||Murat Dağdelen||1999-|
|Ludwig Haas||Ludwig Dressler||1985-|
|Kurt Hinz||Hans-Joachim "Hajo" Scholz||1990-|
|Hermes Hodolides||Vasily Sarikakis||1985-|
|Trixi J.||Mila Pashenko #2||2013-|
|Beatrice Kaps-Zurmahr||Andrea Neumann||2004–2009, 2010-|
|Dominique Kusche||Sophie Ziegler||1998-|
|Joachim Hermann Luger||Hans Beimer||1985-|
|Marie-Luise Marjan||Helga Beimer||1985-|
|Sarah Masuch||Dr. Iris Brooks||2012-|
|Bill Mockrigde||Erich Schiller||1991-|
|Philipp Neubauer||Philipp Sperling||1992-2003, 2012-|
|Sontje Peplow||Lisa Dağdelen||1991-|
|Harry Rowohlt||Harry Rennep||1995-|
|Moritz A. Sachs||Klaus Beimer||1985-|
|Valentin Schreyer||Ben Hofer||2012-|
|Greta Short||Lara Brooks||2012-|
|Toni Snétberger||Vincenzo "Enzo" Buchstab||2006-|
|Gunnar Solka||Peter Lottmann||2004-|
|Philipp Sonntag||Adolf "Adi" Stadler||2008-|
|Andrea Spatzek||Gabriele "Gabi" Zenker||1985-|
|Julia Stark||Sarah Ziegler||1987–2003, 2004-|
|Jacqueline Svilarov||Nina Zöllig||1999–2007, 2011-|
|Amorn Surangkanjanajai||Gung Pham Kien||1985-|
|Sara Turchetto||Marcella Varese||1997-|
|Georg Uecker||Carsten Flöter||1986–1991, 1995-|
|Giselle Vesco||Hildegard Scholz||2000-|
|Jordi Vidal||Simon Schildknecht#2||2012-|
|Claus Vinçon||Georg "Käthe" Eschweiler||1996–2006, 2007-|
|Cosima Viola||Jacqueline "Jack" Aichinger||2001-|
|Sybille Waury||Tanja Schildknecht||1985-|
|Moritz Zielke||Moritz "Momo" Sperling||1992–2001, 2002-|
- "Lindenstrasse: Germany's answer to Coronation Street". BBC News. 19 April 2013.
- Coronation Strasse. BBC Radio 4. 20 April 2013.